USCIS H1B 2018 Petitions Accepted from April 3rd-2017

USCIS News : H1B 2018 Petitions Accepted from April 3rd – Summary

In H1B Visa News by Kumar30 Comments

USCIS released a press note indicating that they will accept H1B petitions for 2018 fiscal year starting from April 3rd, 2017. Last year, news release was done on March 16th, this year it is a day earlier. Below is a summary of the USCIS Press release

Summary of USCIS Press Release for H1B 2018 Season :

  • Accepting Petitions for FY 2018 : USCIS will accept H1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2018 starting from April 3rd, 2017. Usually it used to be April 1st, this year as April 1st and 2nd are weekends, they start accepting from April 3rd. Any H1B petitions filed before that date for FY 2018 cap quota will be rejected.
  • H1B Cap Quota Limits : Congress has set cap as below. No different from previous years.
    • Regular Quota : 65,000
    • Masters Quota : 20,000 ( US Masters degree or higher only )
  • Accepted Limit : USCIS will monitor the number of H1B petitions filed and notify the public when the H1B Cap is met. No info on lottery.
  • Premium Processing for H1B 2018 Quota : Premium processing for H1B petitions filed for fiscal year 2018 quota is temporarily suspended for up to 6 months. It was announced earlier on March 4 press release.
  • Rejection of H1B Petitions : Any H1B petition filed for FY 2018 quota, which requests premium processing using form I-907, will be rejected. If the employer submits one combine check for both H1B application and premium processing, both forms will be rejected.
  • H1B Filing Fee : The H1B filing application fee for I-129 went up in December 2016 and it is $460 USD. Check Complete H1B Filing Fee, Who Pays for what
  • Checklist for H1B Filing : USCIS has released an Optional Checklist for H1B filing. It is similar to previous years and provides guidance on how to file. Usually attorneys use it and submitted as needed with application package.

Summary – What’s the key missing piece of information ?
Well, most of the details  in press release are like pretty much like previous years, but the big difference this year is that they do not really talk about  H1B Lottery or Random Selection . They just say that USCIS will monitor and notify once the cap quota is met ( read  what is H1B Cap Quota ) . They do not clarify on the H1B lottery.  The lottery info was very explicitly written in previous years press releases of FY 2017 and FY 2016 . We do not know what their intention is…maybe they are not anticipating more petitions ?  As per our H1B 2018 Predictions – Lottery is expected…We just have to wait and see. They do not explicitly specify that USCIS will accept petitions for first 5 days or not… In general, the norm is that USCIS accepts petitions for first 5 business days and take all the petitions from 5 business days and conduct random selection aka H1B Lottery to select the petitions. Hopefully they do the same this year too…It is not explicitly mentioned in this year press release.

What are your thoughts?

Reference : USCIS Press Release H1B 2018 Official 

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Comments ( 30 )

  1. RRP

    Hi Kumar,

    This year my current employer is filing my H1. Will there be any issue with the one filed last year through a consultancy and the status still shows “Case Was Received” I personally feel this case mostly likely soon either denied by USCIS or the consultancy may withdraw. Please let me know will there be any issue if it still hang in there. Is it good idea to with draw before this coming year lottery period.


  2. Good NEWS_ 2018 H1B

    Kumar, could you please check if this news is legit?

    It has been officially confirmed Infosys restricted their H1B application this year, and TCS had applied for only 15% of the visas it usually applied for.

    1. administrator

      Well, it appeared in economic times : , I consider economic times a reasonably authentic site and info should be true.

  3. #Question#

    Can someone help clarify? So with there being a six months suspension on premium processing, what does that really entail? Does that mean no one would be notified until after six months if they are selected?

  4. Lottery

    There may not be a lottery this year if court approves the motion of preliminary injunction.

    1. administrator

      The federal court denied the request to end lottery on March 17th. Check

  5. H1B Aspirant 2018

    In case, USCIS receives petitions just above the cap (say 70-75K..), will there be lottery? or will they consider all the petitions for further process?

    1. H1bTruth

      Don’t be too optimistic look at the LCA website the count is growing rapidly I strongly go with kumar lottery predictions

        1. Pete

          There’s no way you can find out the count from LCA count. This guy is simply spreading rumor. You’ll see that s/he will never post the link. I’ve seen him/her in other forums as well.

          1. LCA Count

            Pete is right. The LCA count he is referring to is for FY2017 with a start date of 10/16-9/17. That is not accurate. Plus it includes all H1b petitions including extensions, transfers and cap-exempt.

    2. BooBoo

      USCIS will deny or revoke multiple or duplicate petitions filed by AN employer (NOT employerS) for THE same H-1B worker and will not refund the filing fees.

  6. Ram

    Like I said before, I predict there will be no lottery.

    Looks like the USCIS partners (WITCHs) have told them that they are not going to file 10s of thousands of applications like the previous two years.

    You heard it first here folks!

    No lottery this time.

  7. 2018_Notification_Query

    Yes, the information on lottery is missing. It was present in all the notifications until last year. Would they evaluate on merit basis , i.e individually scrutinize each application ?

    1. administrator

      Well, there is no official info…USCIS does not do such things without proper rule passing and official communication.

      1. 2018_Notification_Query

        This is making me suspect that there could be an executive order to this effect that is in the offing. Is it possible?

        1. 2018_Notification_Query

          My speculation is that USCIS will closely vet all applications and weed out all applications that don’t meet certain standards and only the successful ones will be allotted H-1B. I think USCIS does not expect that the number of genuine application won’t cross 85K. Hence, no mention of lottery. For vetting before lottery, you don’t need congressional approval. It could be done as part of the process. Cancellation of premium processing stands in support of my speculation.

          1. 2018_notification

            I second you there. Because even when lottery was introduced there was no formal approval process. So elimination of the mention of lottery in the notification certainly points out that the visa would be allotted based on other criteria but definitely not sheer luck (lottery). I expect tougher screening and scrutinity.

        2. administrator

          Well, I am not sure if executive order might work here…most of these policies, quota are congressional approved policies, rules and have to come through the same channel.

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