The H-1B program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in occupations that require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty, or its equivalent. H-1B specialty occupations typically include fields such as science, engineering, and information technology. We recently blogged about next steps in the H-1B process, and now those steps are complete: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced that it has completed the computer-generated random selection process, commonly referred to as the “lottery,” for all cap-subject petitions it received between Monday, April 2nd and Friday, April 6th. Those who are awarded H-1B visas generally will be eligible for employment for Fiscal Year 2019, which begins October 1, 2018. While the number of filings of H-1B petitions for both the Masters’ and regular H-1B visas were down by approximately 10,000 this year from the almost 200,000 petitions received last year, USCIS still received over 100,000 petitions above the quota. Therefore, the lottery process was used to determine which petitions would be adjudicated. If your petition was selected to be considered, you should be receiving a Receipt Notice. If your petition was rejected, you should be on the lookout for a return of the petition and filing fees submitted – unless the petition was a prohibited multiple filing.
The lottery doesn’t affect you if you filed a petition to extend the amount of time that a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S. or to allow the worker to work concurrently in a second position; to change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; or to allow current H-1B workers to change employers. These petitions are “cap-exempt,” so USCIS will continue to accept and process them.