Wow, it has been a crazy day with some surprise news from attorneys saying that they received H1B Receipt Notices for their premium processing cases. It clearly indicated that lottery was done and we were just waiting for the official press note from USCIS. Anyways, as you know, the H1B cap for FY 2017 reached on April 7th and finally, we have an official press note from USCIS. Below is the quick summary of the details.
Summary of the USCIS Official Press Alert on H1B FY 2017 Lottery, Cap Completion
- Total H1B Petitions in Lottery: USCIS received a staggering number of over 236,000 petitions for H1B FY 2017 Quota during the standard 5 day filing period between April 1st and April 7th, 2016.
- To put it in context, it is the highest number of petitions that USICS has ever received for H1B Quota cap since its inception. Last year for FY 2016 quota, we had 233,000 H1B petitions As we look at history, the previous highest was in 2001, when the H1B quota as 195,000 and total petitions received were about 201,543. You may read H1B Quota Cap reach Dates History
- Masters Quota : USCIS received more than the cap of 20,000 set aside for US Masters degree quota. We do not have any split on how many were filed under masters quota and regular quota, all we have been updated by USCIS is that the overall number is over 236,000 petitions for FY 2017 quota.
- Lottery Process for H1B 2017 : USCIS indicated on April 9th, that they conducted computer generated random selection, popularly called as H1B lottery for the total over 236,0000 petitions received to pick the required petitions for regular cap of 65,000 and masters cap of 20,000 petitions.
- Masters Quota Lottery : First a lottery was conducted for the US Masters degree H1B petitions to select the 20,000 petitions. The petitions that were not selected in this first round were added back to the regular quota pool of applications and lottery was conducted on the entire pool of applications to pick the required 65,000 petitions required for regular quota. This is no different from previous years and you may read H1B Lottery Process
- Petitions Not Selected in Lottery: USCIS indicated that they will reject and return all the petitions that were not selected in the FY 2017 lottery with the filing fee, unless they identify that the petition is duplicate filing by same employer for same or related job roles to trick the system of lottery selection for better odds.
- H1B 2017 Premium Processing Details : USCIS indicated earlier that premium processing will begin no later than May 16th, 2016. It means that, if your petition is filed under premium the clock of 15 calendar days starts from May 16th. As we have already seen many attorneys getting receipts, they may process the petitions earlier as well, but the 15 days SLA for premium processing starts from May 16th, that’s the idea.
- For FY 16, they said that it would be no later than May 11th ( later moved to April 27th after lottery) and for FY 15 it was April 27th. You can see that the initial forecast of the dates are further pushed for this year by 5 days…it tells us that they are anticipating more petitions. You should read H1B Visa 2017 Lottery Predictions Analysis
- Cap Exempt H1B Petitions: The current press alert is only for FY 2017 H1B cap quota stating that it is completed. As always, all the H1B cap exempt petitions will be accepted all year long, which falls under the below categories :
- Changes in H1B employment terms, contract
- Previously H1B cap counted Applications
- H1B extensions
- H1B Transfers
- Concurrent working second H1B petitions
Our H1B Predictions for FY 2017 – Actual Results : We have indicated in our H1B 2017 predictions article couple of things, first one is that we expect lottery and second one is that we expect about 230,000 to 250,000 petitions. We are proud to say that both of our predictions are correct. Firstly, USCIS had lottery for FY 2017 quota and secondly, they received about 236,000 petitions. Hope our predictions, let some of you plan ahead !
What can you expect in next few weeks or months?
All I can tell you my friends is that it is going to be a very long wait for many of the H1B Applicants, who filed petition for FY 2017 quota. With our experience, we can tell you one thing, stay calm and continue to focus on what you are doing…you may feel the pain and anxiety, when others report that they received case number and some post indicating that they got approval… As we have an active discussion always on H1B Visa 2017 Page, I suggest you all not to hurt anyone with your comments or post rumours misleading people. Please do NOT get into fight or write hate speech ! Let’s keep the forum friendly and help one another as everyone goes through this tough waiting period. I suggest you add your H1B case to our H1B Case Tracker and keep it up to date, so that everyone get some high level info and take necessary action as needed.
What are your thoughts on this FY 2017 Quota and Lottery ?
Official USCIS Tweet on this with press release
We've completed the H-1B cap random selection process for FY 2017: https://t.co/SFEay9jWqm
— USCIS (@USCIS) April 12, 2016