USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for Fiscal Year 2019

On April 11, USCIS randomly selected enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated cap and the U.S. advanced degree exemption (the master’s cap), for the fiscal year 2019.  USCIS received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, the first five business days of April.  This is down from 199,000 applications last year.  On April 6, USCIS announced that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 and the master’s cap of 20,000.  Receipts for cases accepted are expected in the next 30 days or so.  USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees unless the petition is a prohibited multiple filing

As is consistent with previous years, 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 otherwise exempt from the cap.  Additionally, 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 be counted 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. 

For assistance determining H-1B eligibility, or other immigration questions, please reach out to:

Michael Nowlan

James Morrison