2016 FY H-1B Cap Reached During Initial Filing Period

As expected, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the U.S. Master’s cap.

USCIS received about 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 13, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As we receive information as to which petitions have been accepted or rejected, we will keep you advised and let those whose petitions were rejected know what options may be available.

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