United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced this week that the agency has completed its selection process for the H-1B petitions it received for Fiscal Year 2018. The lottery, a computer-generated random selection process, was completed on April 11 after the agency received approximately 199,000 H-1B petitions during its filing period, which began on April 3.

The agency received well in excess of its statutory cap of 65,000 visas for FY 2018 in addition to its master’s cap of 20,000 visas for advanced degree petitions, thus triggering the lottery. As stated by USCIS, the agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first, and all unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.

After all data entry is complete, USCIS will begin issuing receipt notices. Once USCIS issues all receipts, the agency will then return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing. Please note that we have not received any receipt notices at the time of this post, and it is likely that they will be returned by the end of the month.

On a final note, keep in mind that USCIS has suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions for up to six months. Read more about the suspension here.

If you have any questions on your H-1B petition or on H-1B visas in general, please give me a call.

Brad Hendrick heads the immigration law practice group at Caplan and Earnest LLC. He may be reached at bhendrick@celaw.com or 303-443-8010.