USCIS has announced that the H-1B cap was reached even before the Friday April 7th deadline. As such, the government will reject any cap subject petitions received after April. 7th. This means that the government has received over 85,000 petitions already and the exact number will be revealed over the next few weeks. Last year, the government received 236,000 petitions and ran a lottery to select the lucky 85,000. The remaining petitions were returned to the applicants.
Although we do not know exactly how many petitions have been filed yet, it appear that the volume of petitions is lower this year than last year. That is likely because many companies have given up on the program and are not willing to undertake the expense and uncertainty of the program.
What Happens Next in the H-1B Process?
The Government signaled last week that they will again run two separate lotteries. (One for the master’s cap (20,000) and one for the regular cap (65,000). The petitions that are selected will be adjudicated but do not expect results any time soon as premium processing has been suspended. Given the significant backlog of H-1B petitions, it is unclear how long it will take to adjudicated the petitions or even if they will be adjudicated by October 1st. Further, as premium processing has been suspended this year, even receipt notices may take a significant amount of time to be delivered.
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