On May 2, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that data entry for all FY 2015 H-1B cap petitions has been completed. The agency will now begin to reject and return all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected in the random selection (“lottery”) process.
The number of H-1B cap-subject petitions received during the first week of April 2014 exceeded the annual quota for both the “regular cap” and the advanced degree exemption. As the number of petitions received exceeded the annual quota, USCIS conducted a lottery for all FY 2015 cap-subject petitions received through April 7 to determine which cases would be processed under the respective “caps.” USCIS conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were included in the random selection process for the regular 65,000 limit.
USCIS will continue to process certain H-1B petitions not subject to the FY 2015 cap, including petitions to extend or amend current H-1B status and petitions to change H-1B employers. In addition, USCIS will continue to accept petitions exempted from the cap. Employers or beneficiaries whose petitions are not selected in the H-1B cap lottery should consult with counsel to determine eligibility for other available options. USCIS will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2016 on April 1, 2015 for employment with a start date of October 1, 2015 or later.