H-1B petitions filed
One week ago, on April 11, USCIS announced that they used a computer-generated random selection process to select enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for fiscal year (FY) 2019.
This year, USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions. The filing period began April 2, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. By April 6, USCIS announced that it had received enough petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 and the master’s cap of 20,000. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees (unless the petition is a prohibited multiple filing).
USCIS conducted the selection process for the master’s cap first. All unselected master’s cap petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are exempt from the cap.
Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not count towards the FY 2019 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
- Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
- Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
- Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
- Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
It is not unknown that the Trump administration is not favorable to promote and increase immigration. That may be part of the reason why for the first time in years, H-1B petitions have decreased in the last two years. Even in the cases that they do get selected, it takes a good immigration attorney to make sure that the petition is filed correctly and has all the information necessary to avoid an RFE or a denial.