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UNITED STATES – USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for Fiscal Year 2018

On 7 April 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received sufficient quota-subject H-1B filings for government fiscal year 2018 (1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018) to meet both the general H-1B quota (65,000) for individuals holding a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and the additional quota (20,000) for individuals holding a US master’s or other advanced degree.

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began 3 April, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. This is a significant reduction from the 236,000 petitions received for fiscal year 2017.

On 11 April USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

As we noted here, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

Action Items

  • Note that the H-1B caps for Fiscal Year 2018 have already been reached, although bear in mind that many H-1B petitions are exempt from the cap.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Maggio and Kattar.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.