H-1B visa cap reached for both 65,000 regular, 20,000 master’s exemption categories

USCIS uses lottery system to select petitions.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it has reached the cap of 65,000 regular H-1B visas and 20,000 for the US advanced degree exemption. The caps are mandated by the US Congress.

The caps for the fiscal year 2018 have been filled just four days after USCIS started accepting applications on April 3.

The agency has also announced that it will reject and return the filing fee for all applicants whose petitions were not selected, the only exception being duplicate filings.


The USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. It has to be noted that the agency had suspended premium processing of H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for a period of six months.

According to a USCIS press release, “petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap.”

The 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.

The H-1B program allows US companies to temporarily employ foreign workers in jobs that require highly specialized knowledge. USCIS mandates H-1B applicants to have bachelor’s degree or higher in the specific specialty or its equivalent.

8 Comments

  1. Deplorable Bry

    I heard about a company called LHC out of indiana i think on NPR news and how they could not find qualified applicants so they use the visa program. After hearing that story I found a posiiton I was qualified for and applied and didnt get any call back. Alot of this is encouraging race-to-the-bottom competition for lower and lower labor costs for corporate america

  2. Jimbo Simmons

    If anyone actually thinks a US citizen can’t fill all and every position in the US I’ve got some land to sell you. Nothing is stopping a company from opening up an office location outside this country and hiring them. I’d rather have that then a bunch of lawyers lying for their clients and company they work for.

  3. JustThinkLogically

    The United States takes the best and brightest of poor countries leaving those countries with the poorest most destitute people. Then we wring our hands about the poverty! How about we leave the talented people to develop opportunities in their own country that will also help their country to develop? We don’t because American big business doesn’t want to pay market labor rates and they hate free enterprise capitalism

  4. This country is all about the dollars.
    When will the 1% of the US start using working people and unemployed for firewood and fertilizer.
    We are fighting the wrong people.

  5. TheDabutts

    With the incredible number of Americans unemployed, especially in the IT realm, no work visas should be allowed. Once everyone in the US is back to full time employment in their field of study and the pay is raised back to pre 2008 rates then maybe we should allow work visas.

    • walker123456

      Unemployment is at an all time low. Do you not realize the U.S. nuclear program was engineered with foreign scientists?

    • Jon Williams

      If you are American, and in IT with an actual skill set, there is no valid reason to be unemployed. Sell your house, move where the work is. Open up any job board and look at the incredible number of open, well paying IT positions available. I’ve changed jobs 3 times in ten years, each time it took me less then 2 weeks before interviews rolled in and less than 30 days to be seated at my new desk, my wife has switched jobs twice as many times as me in ten years and she has never had even the smallest issue ether.

  6. This works as indentured servitude for the immigrant. Please cap the percent of employees that a company may sponsor at 10% to end the financial rape being done by a few companies doing most of the sponsorships for excessive amounts.

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