USCIS received more than 200,000 applications for H-1B visas for fiscal year 2020

H-1B visas available for fiscal year 2020 sold out in just 5 days.

As I informed you last month, the April 1, 2019 deadline for applications was to open. Due to the high demand, I predicted that they were going to sell out in the first few weeks, but it went faster.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received 201,011 applications for the 85,000 H-1B visas available for fiscal year 2020, which includes the 20,000 H-1B visa petitions filed 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 2020 (October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020). April 5, 2019 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.

New H-1B Visa Lottery Process

On April 10, 2019, USCIS held a lottery to choose the winners of H-1B visas for fiscal year 2020 using. new procedures.

First, USCIS selected H-1B petitions filed on behalf of all beneficiaries.

From the remaining eligible petitions, it chose the amount necessary to reach the limit of petitions dedicated to foreign professionals with master's degrees or advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

USCIS estimates that the new H-1B visa lottery process will result in an increase of approximately 5,340 petitions designated to foreign nationals with graduate degrees.

Unsuccessful applications will be rejected and returned to the petitioner along with the fees charged.

If USCIS finds that someone violated the processing instructions and submitted two or more petitions to increase their chances, they will not refund the processing fees for the petitions, even if they were not selected for an H-1B visa.

Certain H-1B petitions will continue to be accepted.

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.