United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 17, 2017, that it had completed its annual H-1B lottery and had selected a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 65,000 petition bachelor’s degree cap and the 20,000 petition U.S. master’s degree cap. In total, USCIS received 199,000 petitions this year during the filing period that ran from April 3, 2017, until April 7, 2017. On April 11, 2017, the agency completed its random computerized lottery to select the cap petitions. The 20,000 U.S. master’s cap petitions were randomly selected first. All unselected U.S. master’s petitions plus the bachelor’s petitions were then pooled and subjected to the general lottery where 65,000 petitions were selected.
The 199,000 total H-1B petitions filed this year represents 37,000 fewer petitions than were received during last year’s filing period.
USCIS will now begin its process of formally receipting all the selected H-1B petitions, and will reject and return all unelected petitions including filing fees.
Please note that, as of April 3, 2017, USCIS temporarily suspended premium processing on all H-1B petitions, both cap and non-cap cases. Thus, all cases selected under the lottery will be processed under the regular processing timeline.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor H-1B developments, and will update the firm’s Immigration blog on timelines and other data as they are released.