Law Offices of Stuart J. Reich, PLLC

Practice Limited to Immigration & Nationality Law

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Completion of H-1B Cap Selection Lottery Announced

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced that they have completed the random selection process for both the 20,000 H-1B US Master’s cap cases, and the general 65,000 general H-1B category. USCIS announced that 190,098 cap cases were received this year.

We expect to begin seeing Receipt Notices for cases selected in the cap within the next two weeks or so, and the process of completing date entry, depositing filing fee checks and sending notices to last into at least May and possibly early June.

Only after intake procedures are completed on the selected cases will USCIS begin to return unselected filings; those who now must decide how to structure their futures without an H-1B will wait the longest to find out the nature of their situation.

While the lower number of H-1B cap petitions filed (approximately 9,000 fewer than last year) means that ever petition has a better chance of being selected than in the last several years, at just under 45% this is still less than a 50% chance (slightly better for US Master’s petitions, slightly worse for everyone else – USCIS doesn’t release the breakdown of US Master’s vs. general category cases).

This remains an untenable situation for employers and potential H-1Bs, many with limited time remaining on their Optional Practical Training employment authorizations. Neither can make solid plans, severely disadvantaging US businesses.