On April 7, 2014, the USCIS announced that it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the 65,000 statutory cap for Fiscal Year 2015. As of the same day, the USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the regular cap under the advanced degree exemption.

Based on past processing procedures, USCIS will reject any cap-subject petitions received on or after April 8, 2014 for H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY 2015 (October 1, 2014 or after).

The USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all FY 2015 cap-subject petitions received through April 7, 2014.  The USCIS has not released a date when the lottery will be done due to the high number of petitions received. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected during the initial lottery will then become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. For cap-subject petitions that are not randomly selected, the USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees.

Martha J. Schoonover.