H1B Visa 2018 Cap Reached USCIS News

USCIS News – H1B Visa 2018 Cap Reached – Summary !

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 64 Comments

The first wait is over…USCIS just released a press note indicating that H1B Visa 2018 Cap is reached and they have received enough petitions for both regular and Masters quota.  Below is the summary of the press release.

Summary of USCIS New Release –  H1B FY 2018 Cap Reached :

  • H1B 2018 Cap Reached for Regular, Masters Quota : USCIS mentioned that it has received enough petitions for both regular quota, which is 65,000 petitions and masters quota, which is 20,000 for fiscal year 2018.
  • Return and Reject Petitions :  USCIS will return and reject all the petitions that are not selected, which are not duplicate filings.
  • Cap Exempt Petitions : USCIS will continue accept all cap exempt H1B petitions that are filed for categories like Extensions, Change of terms of employment,  Change of employers and work concurrently in second H1B position.
  • Premium Processing Suspended : They re-iterated that H1B premium processing is suspended for up to 6 months for all petitions, cap exempt and cap subject petitions.

What’s the big difference in News Releases from previous years ? 

One of the key differences from the USCIS FY 2017 Cap Reached Press Release  is that the FY 2018 cap reached news release does not really talk about H1B Random Selection aka H1B Lottery . We are not sure, if that is understood that there will be H1B lottery or there is something happening behind the scenes. We just have to wait and see. I am sure,  AILA and other immigration attorneys will reach out to USCIS and we will have that clarity.    We will have to wait for some news alert from USCIS, usually it happens next week… In the meantime, you can check out H1B 2018 Lottery Date Predictions, Tracking . Stay tuned for updates.

What do you think ? What are your thoughts ?

Reference : USCIS Press Release H1B 2018 Cap Reached 


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Comments ( 64 )

  1. Support_Merit_Based_H1b

    I mean why are people against merit based selection. You might be able to get an h1 through the lottery, job performance is not based on the lottery. I think it’s good if the current administration is moving along the merit-based selection, though no official word is out yet. It will only help the industry grow if the MIT and other highly skilled tech workers get visas to work for tech giants than coders from Infy and cognizant. A Ph.D. from MIT is any day bigger than any skills you get working for infy or TCS, there’s no denying that fact. This process will not stagnate the growth rate, and will, in turn, provide more opportunities for the other lot. Everybody knows that merit-based selection is good, one who denies is living in a fool’s paradise. I know most of you will disagree with my post

    1. Ash

      I believe they will select H1 this year based on merit. Most of the H1’s are filed by big consulting companies and they are definitely going to be targeted this time. USCIS has not declared anything about the lottery yet and it is highly unlikely that they have received just 85000 applications, My prediction, they will filter the less experience employee from big consultancy first and then less than 5 years experience from other companies. They might give preference to masters degree(done in US) candidates.

  2. Currently in US

    Guys – Market here is very bad. We are getting contract jobs for only US Citizens or GC holder. Very little companies are accepting H1B visas. If you are coming through big consulting companies you will not have any trouble, but coming with desi consultancies then your life will be difficult alteast for next 1 year until immigration policies are clearly laid out.

    All the best to H1B aspirants.

    1. job hunter

      I agree.. I was looking for a job change..but most of the recruiters specifically are asking about visa status. This is quite a contrast from last year july when i switched to my current job.

  3. Sunil_M

    I have received the FedEx Tracking number, its showing 2 records for that, One is delivered(latest, sent on 31st March, 2017) and other is PENDING (sent on 28 Feb, 2017), Not sure, which one to consider, please help guys.

    is One single tracking number assigned to 2 different deliveries ?

    1. Vinod

      Consider you have applied this year, unlucky last year. But be sure to do things on time. Otherwise you may miss every opportunity from now on.

  4. SunilM

    I have received the FedEx tracking number from my employer, but its shows 2 records for that tracking number, one is delivered(latest, sent on 31 march, 2017) and other is PENDING( sent on 28th Feb, 2017)

      1. Sh WA

        Don’t confuse your self, you don’t need to consider. If everything correct from you, USCIS will consider your application.

  5. Tensed

    Guys, My application was posted on April 06 evening and reached them today (April 7, 2017) at 11;46 AM. This is hours after the USCIS announcement came through. Will my application be entered into the lottery or is it too late? My employer has provided me with Fedex tracking and it reached at 11:46 AM as noted on April 07, 2017 and it has been signed A.Scoss at VT.

    Really tensed, let me know please

    1. Zak

      Don’t want to sound mean, but seems like you missed the bus this year. You waited until April 6th to file your H1, thats strange brother especially when its known fact that many are waiting for window to open to file.

    2. Raj

      They would have accepted petitions till the 7th Evening .. probably till 5PM
      The statement by USCIS means that they have reached the CAP of 65000 + 20000…This doesnt have to do anything with them accepting more petitions… anywaz its the lottery again.. All the best to everyone…

  6. Your friend


    First of all, let me appreciate you for your balanced views on the issues discussed in the forum. I have been noticing that since the time I have been on this blog since Jan 2017. Very well done, indeed.

    Now coming to my question, it has become clear that USCIS is deliberately trying not to use the word lottery. Not once but twice. You have stated two possibilities – 1. It is understood that there will be H1B lottery or 2. there is something happening behind the scenes. Where will you place your bets?

    Your friend

    1. administrator

      Your friend,

      Thanks for the kind words. If I have to place my bet, it would be random selection happening. Seeing the animosity in the blog, I am debating whether to write a more detailed post on this or not. It it ok to comment on policies, news etc but passing judgment on others without knowing the person is a step too far. So I will be opening a pandora’s box if I make another post on this topic 🙂

      1. Your friend

        Well, I’m also torn between the idea of using a heavy handed approach in moderating the discussions in your blog versus proving an open forum for people to expresss their views. I do agree that some people exploit the openness that you make available on your blog. I think as long as you don’t take sides in your posts it is fine which you are doing quite adeptly. Wish you good luck!

        1. administrator

          Your friend,

          Thanks. I don’t have a dog in this fight, and tend to follow a logical approach to keep a balance view. The discussion is nothing new and every year there is a debate on who is worthy of H-1 and who is not. There used to be 4 camps – applicants who have done education in US, applicants from desi consulting companies, applicants from IT Majors and H-4 visa holders. This time H-4 visa holders are not participating as they have their own EADs (and related issues to deal with).

          Just published another post as to why I think lottery would happen. Hopefully the discussion will remain civil 🙂

          1. Your friend

            Thanks. Read your new post and left you a question there. I think there could be another camp for people who are in arguably a highly specialized profession with an Ivy degree with years of prior international work experience. I think I might get invited to the party there 🙂 Basically what I am realizing is that everyone believes that they deserve H-1B more than anyone else which I guess boils down to the essence of human survival tendencies and particularly we Indians have that a notch higher in our DNAs. No wonder our former colonial master quickly identified and exploited that to divide and rule us for 300 years 🙂

          2. administrator

            Your friend,

            The pie is limited and there are lot more folks aiming for it. So there is bound to be friction and animosity.

            And yes, that could be a new group (and maybe more in future).

  7. H1B

    we can use https://h-1b.slack.com/


    Select channel “h1b2018” for discussion

  8. Optimist

    Murthy Law Firm conveniently added there own words to the official announcement. Here is what they say in their website:

    “NewsFlash! H1B Cap Reached for FY 2018
    07 Apr 2017
    The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the H1B cap limit for fiscal year 2018 (FY18) has been reached. This applies to both the 65,000 regular H1B cap limit as well as the 20,000 advanced degree (masters) cap exemptions.

    As the H1B case filings exceed the allowed limits, the USCIS will conduct a random lottery to select cases for processing. The USCIS has not yet revealed the number of cases filed for FY18. Stay tuned to Murthy.Com and subscribe to the MurthyBulletin for future updates.”

  9. OneAmong200000

    As per Fragomen, the number of applications received this year are less than last year and also there shall be lottery process to select the petitions. Source: https://www.fragomen.com/knowledge-center/immigration-alerts/fy-2018-h-1b-cap-has-been-reached

    1. kk

      As per internal sources This year they received more then 500K that is why they are not disclosing selection is based upon lottery

  10. Mike


    Will the petitions that will be reaching today (Friday 7th) be accepted?
    I thought USCIS accepts petitions for 5 business days from the opening window.


      1. administrator

        Mike / Optimist,

        In the past, they have accepted the petitions on the day announcement is made. So they should accept petitions that are received today.


    Repost from other chapter, guess this is quite accurate! Any comments????


    Please correct me if I am wrong!
    So at https://lcr-pjr.doleta.gov/index.cfm?event=ehLCJRExternal.dspAdvCertSearch

    Please just select h1b, check 2017 fiscal year LCA, and click search (DONT ENTER COMPANY AND SELET ALL STATES), it will show only 415,805 LCA were filed so far, which is the same amount as 2013, and way lower than 2014, 2015, and 2016!!!

    I know officially we call it 2018 fiscal year h1b for now, however, this website’s “2017”‘s data is THE current one. If you don’t believe it, search some firms under 2017 h1b category, you will be able to see the exact LCA that was filled with the h1b date information indicating for this year!!!

    1. Bruce

      One obvious flaw about this is the LCA # for previous years included all the newly filed LCA till Sept that year. We are in April now, so there are still five month for other people to file new LCA regarding to H1b extension, change duties, etc. So the number you searched now will be way less than what it shown for previous years.

  12. Optimist

    There are 2 ways to look at it:
    1. “Maybe they missed mentioning lottery this year. They will soon revise the announcement”. Well they haven’t missed in the previous years, are they feeling the pressure too? 😉
    2. “There could be a different selection process”. If this is true then does it mean they will open all the applications submitted, which they don’t usually do. If they are going to review all the applications then it will take so much time for them that you can expect your approved I797 only at the end of this year.
    In whichever case, this year H1B is more exciting that previous years. Nail Biting stuff!

  13. H1B Aspirant 2018

    Well, here is my take:

    1. USCIS would have received applications anywhere between 130000-160000.
    2. They strictly don’t want to conduct lottery this time and would scrutinize each and every application.
    3. That is why first they announced news about premium processing so that every one would calm down for next 8 to 10 months (or more).
    4. They will issue receipt number for all and when we try to search it would show ” your case is received …..” Or something for next 1 year so we will stop searching ….lol …
    5.Finally……only TALENTED professionals will enter US with proud by end of 2017.

      1. kk2

        even if 65K all talented like you mentioned selected what difference they are going to bring if company any hire them nothing if you are really skilled graduate you don’t need H1b period throw out your ego and go and work .

    1. bbl

      yes talented people like you need to stay in US i wish US govt also gives them citizen ship because they can’t survive without h1b/work permit

  14. Ashish

    “The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings.”
    My guess is : This means they already selected petitions.

  15. Linguistic

    Have you guys noticed the minor difference of the master cap? Last year they said they had received more than limited 20,000 applications, however this year they said they received sufficient number to MEET the cap! Does this imply something different? Only a minimum or slightly over amount of 20,000???

    1. DJ

      Check this page https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-fiscal-year-fy-2018-cap-season#how

      Look at the update section: We have received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

    1. H1B

      we can use https://h-1b.slack.com/


  16. Hari

    The visa which is world famous..is so wisely granted based on LOTTERY, that well suits the date USCIS chose to accept those lottery ticket applications – April 1st !

  17. Peace Guys

    now I started deeply loving Trump. Looks like they are not doing lottery cause its random and may loose experienced specialist during the lottery.
    Redbus2US predicted this minute difference carefully, thanks to understand it with a bit clarity, that “this year may not be lottery/ random, initially”
    Maybe this time, they reduce the H1B jobs that need less experience (entry-level job H1B applications of employers) so that the remaining will be sufficient to go thru the CAP. Its almost like getting most of the experienced people to the US, so that US citizens dont have to feel bad about us. cause, good experienced experts will go thru CAP. good for everyone, lottery is not good for everyone. this way, those who are entry level can apply for US when they attain certain experience, may not now, but for sure. it looks good for everyone.

  18. shah

    Yes there is no mention of lottery unlike prior years. there was no mention of lottery in the news release that came out in March too when they notified the cap season. We may have a different selection process this year!

    1. Guru Gorantla

      No . Not all the applied candidates will get the visa. They have 65k + 20k (masters) limit. There might be more than 150k who applied for the visa process.

      They might have a different selection criteria other than lottery.
      As there is no premium processing, uscis will take its sweets uncle sammy’s time to process applications with rigorous back ground checks.

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