On April 11, 2018, USCIS announced that it completed the randomized selection of Petitions submitted for the Fiscal Year 2019 H-1B Cap. USCIS reported that it received a total of 190,098 H-1B Petitions between April 2 – 6, approximately a 5% drop from the almost 200,000 H-1B Petitions submitted for the Fiscal Year 2018 H-1B Cap. With 20,000 slots reserved for holders of U.S. Master’s Degrees and an additional 65,000 available under the Regular Cap, nearly 45% of all submissions will be selected in this year’s Lottery (with slightly better odds for U.S. Master’s Petitions). Employers and employees alike have not seen odds this high since 2014.
USCIS will generate Receipt Notices for all H-1B Petitions selected in the H-1B Cap Lottery over the next month or so. Due to USCIS’ suspension of Premium Processing for Petitions submitted in this year’s H-1B Cap, it is likely we will not receive decisions on selected cases until the summer. As always, USCIS will return all H-1B Petitions that are not selected in the Lottery or rejected, along with their filing fees.
In the meantime, USCIS will continue to accept H-1B Petitions submitted by cap-exempt employers or on behalf of foreign nationals who have been previously counted against the H-1B Cap. Such H-1B Petitions include: H-1B Portability Petitions (i.e. Change of Employer); H-1B Extension Petitions; Amended H-1B Petitions; H-1B Petitions seeking concurrent employment; and H-1B Petitions submitted by employers (e.g. universities, teaching hospitals, nonprofit research organizations, etc.) that are statutorily exempt from the H-1B Cap. Further, Premium Processing remains available for such H-1B Petitions.
If you have any questions regarding your H-1B Petition that is subject to the Fiscal Year 2019 Cap, or whether an H-1B Petition submitted on your behalf would be subject to the H-1B Cap, please do not hesitate to contact Green and Spiegel.