Today, after receiving 199,000 petitions, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it conducted its lottery (a computer-generated random selection process) on April 11 to select the H-1B petitions that it will adjudicate for the 65,000 general-cap and 20,000 master’s cap visas available for FY 2018.

All unselected petitions will be returned with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing. Affected foreign nationals whose petitions are not chosen will be unable to obtain an H-1B visa until the next fiscal year and may be required to forgo employment with employers and possibly leave the United States. In such instances, employers will need to consider alternative visas for affected employees.