On April 6, 2018, USCIS announced that the H-1B cap for FY 2019 was reached. The application period opened April 2 and in only five days it reached the congressionally-mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019, and the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption, known as the master’s cap.
USCIS will hold a computer-generated random lottery for the petitions received. A lottery will be held first for the 20,000 U.S. advanced degree cap preference. The unselected U.S. advanced degree cases will then be included in the 65,000 regular cap lottery.
Employers whose petitions are selected for processing will begin to get filing receipts within weeks after the lotteries are run. Cases not selected in the lottery will be returned to petitioners with their filing fees, but the timing of returns is not yet known.