H-1B visas are sold out for fiscal year 2019.

In just 5 days, the available H-1B visas for fiscal year 2019 sold out. As I reported to you last month, the April 2 filing deadline was to open and due to the high demand, I predicted that they would sell out in the first few weeks. But it was faster than that. They sold out within the first week of the opening of enrollment.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced that it has received more than 65,000 available H-1B visas. It also received more than 20,000 petitions for H-1B visas submitted on behalf of individuals who are exempt from the cap under the "advanced college degree" exemption.

USCIS will no longer accept petitions for fiscal year 2019 (October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019). Today, April 6, 2018, was the deadline to receive petitions for H-1B visas.

USCIS will only accept as the date of service the day it physically receives the petition for properly filed cases, not the date stamped on the envelope.

Individuals who will receive an H-1B visa for fiscal year 2019 will be selected through a lottery - using a computerized program that randomly chooses names from among eligible petitions. USCIS will announce the exact number of petitions received and when the lottery will be held.

The lottery works as follows:

First, 20,000 winners are selected from the advanced degree applications. Those not selected in that round are added to the lottery for persons with college degrees (who qualify for the other 65,000 visas).

Individuals with advanced college degrees are more likely to be chosen over other applicants because their names are entered into the second lottery. Once the random selection process is completed, the names of the H-1B visa winners are announced.

However, there are some exceptions. USCIS will continue to accept and process certain H-1B petitions that 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.