U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 13, 2015, that 233,000 cap subject H-1B petitions were received between April 1 and April 7. That’s 60,500 more petitions filed this year than during the same period last year. The total included both U.S. advanced degree exemption cases and regular H-1B cap cases. USCIS did not provide a breakdown of how many cases were received in each category. Because there were sufficient cases to meet the annual cap of 65,000 for regular cases and 20,000 U.S. advanced degree exemption cases, USCIS conducted a computer-generated random selection process on April 13.
USCIS first conducted a random lottery of the 20,000 H-1B cases eligible under the master's cap exemption. Cases not selected as one of the 20,000 under the master's cap exemption were then included in the random lottery for the 65,000 allotment. Those cap-subject petitions not selected during the random lottery will be sent back, with filing fees. As previously announced, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases no later than May 11, 2015. However, USCIS may start processing cases sooner than May 11, 2015, as it did last year.
With premium processing cases, USCIS will confirm via email receipt notices indicating that processing has begun. This notification will indicate that a case was selected under the random lottery. Hard copy receipts will be sent by mail for cases filed without premium processing that were selected in the lottery. Those receipt notices may be issued up to several weeks after the April 13 lottery.
Additional information from USCIS can be found on its government website at “USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2016.”
Further information can also be found in previous Faegre Baker Daniels legal updates on:
- “H -1B Cap Reached; USCIS to Conduct Random Lottery, April 8, 2015,” April 8, 2015
- “USCIS Predicts Random Lottery for H-1B Cap and Announces Premium Processing to Start on May 11,” March 12, 2015
- “H -1B Cap-Subject Petitions Will Be Accepted by USCIS Beginning April 1; Employers Urged to Start Process Now as Lottery Is Anticipated,” January 13, 2015
We will provide more information as it becomes available.