On May 4, 2015, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency (USCIS) announced that the agency completed data entry of all FY 2016 H-1B petitions and will now begin returning all petitions that were not selected.
The agency did not announce when the return of the petitions and the related filing fees would be completed. The agency did ask that no status inquiries be made until either an issuance of fee receipt for a selected petition or the return of an unselected petition occurs.
As a reminder, the agency received nearly 233,000 new H-1Bs subject to the 85,000 quota limit for fiscal year 2016. US law allows for the approval of up to 65,000 new H-1Bs subject to quota limits for each fiscal year, plus an additional 20,000 new H-1Bs that are only for individuals who earned an advanced degree from an American university. When more than the authorized number are received during the first five business days of April, the agency then randomly selects the lucky winners, choosing first 20,000 from those with advanced degrees. All unselected advanced degree petitions are then part of the selection process for the 65,000 quota. The USCIS has not yet announced how many of the petitions received were for individuals with advanced degrees.