As a follow-up to the April 6, 2018 announcement that the H-1B cap had been reached, on Thursday, April 12, USCIS revealed that it has now completed the random selection of the 85,000 petitions for the quota and that in total, the agency received 190,098 H-1B cap-subject submissions. This number is down from last year’s 199,000. This lower rate of filing again signals a trend that employers are seeking alternative strategies due to the uncertainty of the H-1B cap selection process. This decrease in the total number of submissions does increase the chances of selection out of the quota compared to recent years.

USCIS will begin mailing Receipt Notices for selected petitions, but adjudication has not yet started. Likewise, the return of unselected petitions and their filing fees has not begun. Stay tuned for additional updates regarding the FY19 H-1B cap lottery selection and adjudication trends.