On Friday, April 5, 2019, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions needed to reach the annual 65,000 regular cap, making 2019 the seventh year in a row in which the cap was reached within the first five working days of April. USCIS has not yet announced whether it has received enough petitions to meet the US advanced degree exemption (or “master’s cap”) for 20,000 petitions.

Per the final rule published on January 31, 2019, if USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to meet both the bachelor’s degree quota and US advanced degree exemption, the agency will first conduct a random lottery to select petitions needed to meet the regular cap, and will then conduct a second lottery to select petitions to meet the master’s cap. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected petitions.