How the FY-2018 H-1B Visa Lottery Works

How many H-1B Visas are available for the FY-2018 Quota?

58,200 (65,000 minus 6,800 carved out for Chile and Singapore H-1Bs) H-1B Visas are available per year in the Bachelor’s degrees quota.

20,000 H-1B Visas are available per year in the U.S. Master’s degrees quota.

When can I file my H-1B Visa Petition with USCIS?

Monday, April 2nd, 2017 is the first day USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for quota (cap) subject cases for FY (Fiscal Year) 2018, commencing October 1, 2017 .

Because demand for H-1B workers remains high the quota likely will be filled in the first 5 business days of April.

Friday, April 7 2017 is likely the last day USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for quota (cap) subject cases for FY (Fiscal Year) 2018.

USCIS is required to accept petitions received during the first five business days of April.  With April 1st a Saturday, the fifth business day will be Friday, April 7, meaning petitions must be sent via Next Day Delivery no later than Thursday April 6th 2017.

What happens once USCIS receives my FY 2017 H-1B Visa Petition:

Initial review will sort out multiple or duplicative H-1B petitions filed by an employer for one employer.  Regulations require USCIS to deny or revoke those multiple or duplicative petitions that an employer files for the same H-1B worker, and they will not return or refund the filing fees.

U.S. Master’s cap petitions will be sorted from non-U.S. Master’s cases and subjected to the random process to select the 20,000 that will be processed.

All cases not selected as part of the U.S. Master’s lottery will be entered into the bachelor’s cap lottery, in which 58,200 cases (65,000 minus 6,800 carved out for Chile and Singapore H-1Bs) will be subjected to the random system to select those that will be adjudicated.

Rejected petitions will be returned to the attorney or employer along with the filing fees (except for multiple or duplicative filings by an employer for an employee).

Employers probably will not know whether a petition has been accepted and made it through the lottery until processing has begun and USCIS sends a receipt notice, or until the attorney or employer receives the rejected petition.

What is Premium Processing and should I use it?

For FY 2018 cases, Premium Processing means that USCIS will issue a decision within 30 days in exchange for a $1,225 fee.

Premium processing does not increase the change of being selected in the lottery, but may enable earlier notification of whether the petition was accepted or rejected.

Petitions filed without premium processing may take several months to process, but should be processed before October 1, 2017.

When should I start preparing my FY 2018 H-1B Visa Petition?

We suggest starting ASAP.

The iCert LCA system is likely to become slower as April 1st nears.

In addition starting now will give you more time to address potential specialty occupation and prevailing wage issues, and order University Transcripts, Academic Evaluations, and End Client Letters.

Client Reviews

  • Excellent service provided by the Team and every step of the way was very accurate and guidance was brilliant , we use USAVISANOW for our Companies Immigration needs , will recommend to every one.
    ★★★★★
  • After searching for an attorney/firm to prepare my NIW case I came across Marc’s website (usavisanow.com). I was immediately struck by how responsive they were, often answering my detailed questions within an hour. It took about 4 weeks from start the process to filing with USCIS – mostly because of the time it took me to obtain the reference / recommendation letters…
    ★★★★★
  • The Green Card process, or any immigration petition for that matter, can be a very daunting, stressful and confusing process for applicants. Thanks to Marc and his team, my experience (for both my Green Card application from start to finish, and H1B transfer from my former to my current employer) was none of those things.
    ★★★★★
  • I worked with Taylor and Associates Law P.C. on two separate cases — an H1B work visa and a marriage green card — and was very pleased with the high-level of service they provided. The visa process is very overwhelming, but my case manager, Mr. Dorer, made both processes easy and efficient because he is informative and is always quick to respond to my questions in a timely manner.
    ★★★★★
  • Marc Taylor and his team have been excellent in preparing and following-up on our case in a timely manner. The team has been prompt in filing all the paper work for the Green card for my husband. They answered every question I had (and I had a lot of questions!) quickly and clearly. I have already recommended their services to my friend who is getting married next month. Thank you for making this process seem easy!
    ★★★★★
  • We decided to go with Marc for our K-1 visa, for my fiance and son. Marc and his incredible team was an invaluable resource for us in uniting our family. I want to additionally extend my warmest regards and thanks to John for his patience and unwavering support! Thank you all so very much!
    ★★★★★
  • Have been using Marc Taylor’s services, usavisanow.com for a few years. Mr. Taylor provided assistance and guided us through many steps: from the initial H1B visa application all the way to the employment based Green Card. Very professional and quick to respond to our inquiries. The website is easy to use. Very convenient to send documents and track the progress of your application. Office employees are also very helpful and responsive.
    ★★★★★
  • My marriage based permanent residence case was prepared professionally and filed quickly. They responded to my emails in a very detailed and timely manner. The whole process was done online. They kept me updated about my case status during the whole process. Thank you Marc and your team for helping me through this process and not charging me thousands of dollars like some other lawyers.
    ★★★★★

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