U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2017. The agency has again received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.
USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions for the 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.
How does the H-1B lottery work?
USCIS will first randomly select petitions for the advanced degree exemption (Master’s Cap). All unselected petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 General Cap.
Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7.
What if I’m exempt from the cap?
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, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2017 H-1B cap. Click here for more information regarding cap-exempt categories.
What’s next if my application does not get selected?
The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.
There is not much you can do, but there are a few things you can consider. Click here for more information.
For more information about the H-1B Cap, please click here for the Press Release from the USCIS.