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USCIS Receives 172,500 FY 2015 H-1B Cap Cases, Runs Selection Lotteries

Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office

April 14, 2014

Previously published on April 10, 2014

USCIS today announced that it received approximately 172,500 FY 2015 H-1B cap petitions between April 1 and April 7, 2014 - some 48,000 more petitions than were received during the FY 2014 filing period.

The agency ran two lotteries to choose the cases that will be processed to completion. The first lottery selected enough cases to fill the cap exemption for 20,000 holders of U.S. advanced degrees. Once the advanced-degree lottery was completed, USCIS placed the remaining cases - approximately 152,500 - into a second lottery to select enough cases to fill the standard H-1B quota of 65,000. The number of advanced-degree cases filed with USCIS is not known.

This year, cases had a roughly 42 percent chance of being chosen in the standard cap lottery - a significant drop from last year, when some 62.5 percent were chosen.

What This Means for Employers

Employers will not know which of their cases were selected in the lottery until USCIS completes initial case data entry and issues filing receipts, which could take several days or weeks. Cases that were not chosen in the lotteries will be rejected and returned with their filing fees.

As we have reported previously, the agency is expected to begin adjudication of premium processing cases no later than April 28. Today’s announcement made no change to that estimate.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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