USCIS announced that it received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions for professional workers during the FY2015 filing period and that it completed the computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) on 4/10/14 to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced-degree exemption. Last year, 124,000 H-1B petitions were received by USCIS. This is the second year in a row since the economic downturn in 2008 that the H-1B cap has been met on the first day of filing.  Clearly, there is serious flaw in the laws governing H-1B visas, which, instead of responding to market and business needs, are fixed by a cap set more than 20 years ago.

USCIS announced that H-1B petitioners will be notified by regular U.S. regular mail whether their petitions have been selected for adjudication. Premium-processed cases can expect to obtain e-mail notification of acceptance, and many petitioners already have received such e-mails, although the adjudication of premium-processed H-1B cap cases will not begin until April 28, 2014.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  These include petitions for physicians with certain J waivers; petitions filed by institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, by nonprofit research organizations, or by governmental research organizations; and those petitions filed on behalf of H-1B workers who previously have been counted against the cap.