United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced on April 11 that the agency had randomly selected enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap, for FY2019. USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period which began April 2, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. For those employers who submitted petitions, you will soon know whether you made the cut. Unselected petitions will be rejected and returned with their filing fees. However, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, namely 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.
If you are anxious to know whether your petition has been selected in advance of notice from USCIS, you can monitor whether the checks for your filing fees have been cashed.