USCIS H1B 2018 Petitions Accepted from April 3rd-2017

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

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 55 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 ( 55 )

  1. news guy

    Seems like this USCIS is a breaking NEWS that will affect our H1B this year? Not quite sure. Any comments are welcome:

    1. Reply news guy

      As per the article, the filtering process will be stricter. So we may not have lottery this year. It clearly states a mere computer programmer is not a speciality occupation. To quality as speciality occupation, there has to be a substantial evidence.

      Lets wait for some expert comments.

      May the deserving people will have better chance this year.

    2. my 2 cents

      i read this as an additional step the USCIS employees have to consider before they raise a RFE when they are scrutinizing the applications. It doesn’t say whether they have to do it on all the applications are just on the lottery selected applications. That is how I read it.

      *I am not a specialist and am just stating my opinion*

    3. administrator

      News Guy,

      My interpretation is that instead of Computer Programmer job, the companies will have to use Software Developer etc as job category. This would require a higher pay, maybe more experience as well.

      May impact some who had their LCAs and I-129s filed as Computer Programmer.

      1. Follow Up News Guy

        Saurabh, thank you so much for your answer! This also rise another question to me: since they will be more strict on the petitioners’ credentials, that means they will at least open those envelopes up after those cases were picked and reviewed. Does this mean it won’t impact the lottery at all? To me it seems we should only be worried when we win the lottery… I guess most of our pressure are coming from the 1st step, the Lottery… Do you think they might open all cases, eliminate the unqualified ones? Or draw the 1st pool, reject the unqualified ones, and then draw another one?

        1. administrator

          Follow Up News Guy,

          In previous year all petitions were subject to lottery even though they included incomplete information (like missing I-129, incorrect start date etc). If I extrapolate that data, then they should subject all petitions to a true random selection and then review each petition on its merit and pick-up from the pool of waitlisted petitions to make-up for the denied ones.

          However, whether this trend line holds true or not still needs to be seen.

  2. Sab

    When will come to know if we will be having a lottery. Based on the petitions received today, Can we expect any notification?

  3. Margarita M Correal

    We mailed my h1b petition on friday and it was suppose to get there on Monday april 3rd, and it got there on April 1st. Will it be rejected or will it be filed on Monday?

    1. administrator

      Margarita M Correal,

      It should be fine and should be accepted. Technically, the cap opens on April 1. I assume in this case although it has been marked as delivered, it will considered to have been received on the next business day i.e. Apr 3.

  4. Amendement

    Is it possible to travel to a different location with an amendment receipt? Or do we have to wait till the amendement is approved?

  5. EH

    When you apply for H1B visa in April 3rd, when can you expect to leave US. I heard that if you don’t hear back by May 15th, you can assume that it was not picked in lottery. Does this still hold true? When can you start traveling outside of US once you apply? Is late July a safe bet?

    1. administrator


      It all depends when USCIS makes the announcement of completing the process of issuing the receipt numbers. Once all the receipt numbers have been issued, it may take another 2-3 weeks for the last lot of receipts to reach the employer. After that, chances of getting selected for H-1 petition is pretty slim.


    H1B Anticipators,

    This is year gonna be very tough even if you wanna file your H1B with any employer in USA. This time it is not easy like previous years. For sure there will be a high level screwtany in regard to experience anfdeducational qualification this is the first step. Next is employer part like what is the revenue and for that particular position wether employer is capable t o prove no body is avail in USA that is the reason need to get this person from abroad which is highly impossible. Try to avoid to apply for H1B this time. Lot of new things are going on more over without any intimation there might be a chance of going beyond their limits. stay safe in INDIA once things will come on to track decide on it DONT BE CRAZY GUYS…GENUINE EXPERIENCE GUYS CAN TAKE ATLEAST RISK 🙂 ALL THE BEST GUYS WHO EVER STILL WANNA APPLY.

  7. Prerna

    Hi Kumar,

    I have a query. I have received certified LCA from my employer. When I check the DOL website with the case number, it shows certified too. However, when I use search filter with FY’2017 in the dropdown (since FY’2018 is not available as yet) and put start date and end date range corresponding to my LCA, no entries pop up.

    I checked some websites and they seem to use the DOL data to count the LCAs (and hence the total number of approximate petitions), which I believe in incorrect since FY’2018 data is not available unless you search with case number.

    Can you please confirm.


    1. administrator

      FY 2018 does not start until October 1st, 2017 for DOL. You will see your case in FY 2017. Usually LCAs cannot be filed for 6 months before the start date. Employers do predating of the LCA to have start date around end of September and file H1B with start date of October 1st. They will adjust the H1b end date to match with LCA. You will lose few weeks in the 3 years, but this will be covered during extension.

      1. Prerna

        Hello Kumar,

        Thank you for the reply ! I’m not able to see my certified LCA in FY 2017. My start date as per the certified LCA is mid September’17, however I can see it when I select FY 2017 in the drop down.

        However if I just put the case number on the right hand side box of (which only asks for case number) it shows as certified.

        Please advise.


        1. administrator

          I am not sure, if that is a bug or the case information is being synced…at least your status show ok, that should be fine. Technically, it should show up when you search selecting FY 2017.

  8. 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.


  9. 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.

  10. #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?

  11. 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

  12. H1bGenuine

    True. EmployerS may not file multiple or duplicative H-1B petitions for the same employee. Is it the end of multiple applications (even from not related employers)? What do you think Kumar? Did not see it last year.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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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