On April 7, 2016 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had received more than the statutorily allowed number of H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2017. As such, USCIS will no longer accept H-1B petitions for this fiscal year. In the one week that USCIS accepted H-1Bs the agency received more than 236,000 H-1B petitions. Under the law a maximum of 65,000 H-1B petitions may be issued per year, in addition to a limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the Master’s Cap for those with advanced degrees from U.S. colleges and universities.
Since the H-1B Cap has been closed, USCIS performed the random computer-generated lottery process to select which H-1B petitions will be counted under the Cap. In the coming weeks USCIS will reject and return all unselected H-1B petitions with their filing fees. Those who received an H-1B Cap number will begin to receive receipt notices. USCIS will continue to accept H-1B Cap exempt petitions.