In a press release today, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has again received more than the 65,000 statutory cap on H-1B visa petitions for the next fiscal year. USCIS also received more than the 20,000 limit for H-1B petitions filed under the U. S. advanced degree exemption.
USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, April 1, 2014 to April 7, 2014 before running the random selection process, commonly referred to as the H-1B visa lottery. USCIS has yet to announce the date on which it will conduct the lottery.
The computer-generated lottery process will randomly select the petitions to be included in first the 20,000 advanced degree exemption visa cap and then the 65,000 visa cap for the general category. USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all cap-subject petitions that are not selected, unless they are found to be a duplicate filing.
Any petitions that qualify for the advanced degree exemption but that are not selected in the lottery for the 20,000 cap will then become part of the lottery pool for the general 65,000 limit.
In the meantime, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the 2015 H-1B cap.
More information on USCIS and its programs can be found at www.uscis.gov.