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USCIS conducts lottery to select 85,000 H-1B visa petitions under general and master’s cap

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The agency received 199,000 H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2018.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced on Monday that it has selected 65,000 H-1B petitions under the so-called general-category cap and another 20,000 under a category known as master’s degree cap.

The agency said it received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which started April 3, in both categories.

Last year, for the 2017 fiscal year, USCIS received more than 236,000 H-1B petitions.

All the unselected petitions will be rejected and their filing fees will returned to the petitioners, USCIS said.

The lottery, which is a computer-generated random selection process, was conducted on April 11.

According to a press release, the agency conducted the lottery for the advanced degree exemption first and those unselected in that category were part of the general pool.

USCIS stopped receiving the petitions on April 7, stating that it has received enough petitions to meet both the general and the master’s degree cap for the fiscal year 2018.

The agency will continue to process petitions that are exempt from the cap, it said on Monday. That includes petitions of H-1B employees who were counted against the cap in previous years.

USCIS will also accept petitions for extending the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States, as well as for changing terms of employment of current employees.

The agency will also accept petitions from existing H-1B employees to change employers. Another category of petitions that it will accept is those from the current H-1B employees who would like to apply for a second H-1B position.

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H-1B season begins with Trump administration warnings against visa fraud, abuses (April 3, 2017)

H-1B reporting in US media is irresponsible and one-sided: Bill Richardson (March 22, 2017)