On April 10, USCIS used a random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated regular cap of 65,000 as well as the U.S. advanced degree exemption of 20,000.
During this year’s filing period (April 1st through April 5th), USCIS received 201,011 H-1B petitions, which represents the first increase since 2016. The number of cap cases received in the past 10 years:
- April 2018: 190,098
- April 2017: 199,000
- April 2016: 236,000
- April 2015: 233,000
- April 2014: 172.500
- April 2013: 124,000
- 2009 to 2012: cap was not reached
In accordance with the new H-1B regulation, USCIS first conducted the selection process for all petitions submitted, including cases for U.S. advanced degree holders. After that, all remaining U.S. advance degree cases went through a second random selection process to select 20,000 cases to exhaust the U.S. advanced degree exemption. USCIS will begin to reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees (unless the petition is a prohibited multiple filing).
USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1Bs that are exempt from the cap such as petitions to:
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;
- 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