H-1B Visa Cap Reached for 2017 Fiscal Year
USCIS announced today that it had reached the annual cap at 65,000. The H-1B visa is for skilled guest workers. USCIS stated that as of close of business on April 7, it had reached the mandated H-1B cap, meaning that it received more than 85,000 H-1B cap petitions within the first five business days of April. USCIS will randomly select the H-1B petitions in order to fill the 65,000 petitions for the’regular’ H-1B cap and the 20,000 petitions for the advanced degree cap. USCIS will randomly select the petitions for the 20,000 petitions that were filed under the advanced degree cap with a lottery system. All of the H-1B advanced degree petitions that are not selected in the first lottery will be placed in the lottery with the ‘regular’ cap petitions, and any unselected petitions will be returned to the petitioners.
At this point USCIS cannot provide the date that the lottery will be conducted. Due to the high number of petitions USCIS has received, it must complete an initial intake process for all petitions received between April 1 and April 7 before the lottery may take place.