H-1B Lottery Enacted after USCIS Receives 172,500 H-1B Petitions

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

On April 11, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions during the filing period for Fiscal Year 2015.  A computer-generated lottery was completed on April 10, 2014 for the 65,000 available H-1B approvals in the general category cap and 20,000 cap in the advanced degree exemption.  USCIS has also announced that it will begin working on all Premium Processing H-1Bs no later than April 28, 2014.

Despite the lottery being used for H-1B cases subject to cap USCIS continues to accept cases that are not subject to the cap, including petitions on behalf of current H-1B workers who have previously been counted against the cap, petitions to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S., a petition to change the terms of employment for a current H-1B worker, petitions which allow current H-1B workers to change employers, and petitions which allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.