There are no more H-1B visas available for fiscal year 2018. As has been the case in recent years, due to the high demand for this type of visas, they are sold out in the first week, because most of those interested submit their applications as soon as the registration period opens.
As I informed you last month, the deadline for applications began on Monday, April 3, 2017.
Today, with just 5 days to go before the deadline, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received more than the 65,000 H-1B visas available.. It also received more than 20,000 petitions for H-1B visas submitted on behalf of individuals who are exempt from the quota limit under the "advanced college degree" exemption.
USCIS will no longer be accepting petitions for fiscal year 2018. April 7, 2017 was marked as the last day to receive petitions for H-1B visas.
The USCIS only accepts as the date of service the day the petition is received at its offices, regardless of the date stamped on the envelope.
Please note that if the application is incomplete, does not include all the necessary documents or is missing the check for processing, the USCIS will reject it.
How the H-1B Visa Lottery Works
After submitting an application with all necessary supporting documentation, eligible professional immigrants are entered into a lottery that uses a computerized program to randomly select names. USCIS will announce in the future the total number of petitions received and when the lottery will be held.
First, 20,000 winners are selected from the pool of advanced degree applicants. People who are not chosen in this round are added to the lottery for people with college degrees (who qualify for the other 65,000 visas).
People with advanced college degrees are more likely to be chosen over other applicants because their names enter the second lottery.
Once the random selection process is completed, the names of the H-1B visa winners are announced. There are some exceptions.
USCIS will continue to accept and process certain H-1B petitions they seek:
- Extend the amount of time a worker, who currently holds an H-1B visa, may remain in the U.S.
- Change the conditions of employment for workers who currently hold an H-1B visa.
- Allow a worker, who currently holds an H-1B visa, to change employers.
- Allow a worker, who currently holds an H-1B visa, to simultaneously work in a second H-1B job.
H-1B visas allow U.S. companies to temporarily hire foreign workers in specialized occupations such as scientists, engineers or computer programmers.