H-1B Cap Lottery Selection is Complete for FY 2018 Petitions

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On May 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it has completed the lottery for all cap-subject H-1B petitions submitted for the Fiscal Year 2018 Cap.

The annual limit for H-1B visas is 65,000 for foreign nationals holding a Bachelor’s Degree and an additional 20,000 for those holding a U.S. Master’s Degree.

Between April 3, 2017 and April 7, 2017, USCIS received more than 199,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions submitted by U.S. employers on behalf of highly skilled foreign national workers.

Because the agency received more H-1B cap subject petitions than available visas in the first week of filing for FY 2018, as required by regulation, the agency conducted a computer-generated lottery to select 85,000 cap-subject petitions for review and adjudication.

The H-1B Petitions that have been accepted under the FY 2018 Cap Lottery have been entered into the USCIS system and assigned a case number. The petitioning employers of accepted cases have received or will receive H-1B Receipt Notices indicating that the H-1B petition has been accepted by USCIS and are being reviewed the agency.

Most petitioning employers should receive the H-1B Receipt Notice, indicating acceptance under the FY 2018 Cap Lottery, by mid-May 2017.

The H-1B Petitions that have been rejected by USCIS will be returned to the petitioning employers with the filing fees.

While a petitioning employer cannot be certain that its petition has been rejected in the lottery until the employer receives the rejected petition in the mail, if an employer has not received a USCIS Receipt Notice for a cap-subject H-1B petition by the middle of May 2017, it is unlikely that the H-1B petition was accepted in the FY 2018 Cap Lottery.

Employers whose H-1B petitions have been rejected should expect to receive their rejected petitions in the mail, along with the returned filing fees, in late May 2017 through the end of June 2017.

The H-1B Petitions that have been accepted under the FY 2018 Cap Lottery will be reviewed by USCIS Officers at the Vermont and California Service Centers. The agency has temporarily suspended Premium Processing for H-1B petitions, thus all H-1B petitions are subject to regular processing times.

H-1B petitions that have been accepted under the cap and are subsequently adjudicated and approved by USCIS will authorize H-1B employment starting on October 1, 2017.

For more information on the H-1B Cap, criteria for H-1B status or other immigration issues, please contact Kolko & Associates, P.C.

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Kolko & Associates is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, German, and Slovak, and we can arrange for translators in any other language.