USCIS or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced completion of data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B applications selected through its computer-generated random process. USCIS said it will now begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected. Due to the high volume of filings, USCIS said it is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions. USCIS has asked petitioners not to inquire about the status of submitted cap-subject petitions until they receive a receipt notice or an unselected petition is returned. USCIS will issue an announcement once all the unselected petitions have been returned, the US agency said.
In addition, USCIS said it is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center to balance the distribution of cap cases. “If your case is transferred, you will receive notification in the mail. After receiving the notification, please send all future correspondence to the center processing your petition,” USICS said.
USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions for up to six months. “While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition,” it said.
USICS received 199,000 H-1B applications this year, down 16 per cent from 236,000 received last year. The agency had opened the H-1B application window on April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. The US agency said that on April 11, it used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption.
H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows American businesses to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.