Immigration Services

USCIS Conducts H-1B Random Selection Process
April 15, 2008

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received approximately 163,000 H-1B petitions for the available 65,000 and 20,000 advanced degree caps during the H-1B filing period ending on April 7, 2008.  More than 31,200 of those petitions were categorized under the 20,000 advanced degree cap. 
On April 14, 2008, USCIS conducted the computer-generated the previously announced random selection processes on H-1B petitions subject to cap limitations.  First, USCIS conducted a computer-generated selection process to select 20,000 H-1B petitions qualifying for the “master’s or higher” exemption category.  USCIS conducted a second computer-generated selection process with the remaining 11,200 of the advanced degree cap cases together with the general H-1B cap cases for the 65,000 H-1B cap.  

What happens next?

USCIS indicates that for those H-1B petitions that have been selected for H-1B numbers, it will issue receipt notices to the petitioners no later than June 2, 2008.  USCIS will return unselected petitions with the fee(s) to petitioners or their authorized representatives.  The total adjudication process is expected to take 8-10 weeks.

H-1B petitions filed under the Premium Process Program

For those H-1B petitions filed under the premium processing program, USCIS announced that the 15 calendar day premium processing period begins April 14, 2008.  Therefore, USCIS should issue receipts for those H-1B petitions and conduct its initial review of the petitions by April 29, 2008.

Wait-listed H-1B petitions

USCIS indicates that it has “wait-listed” a percentage of H-1B petitions filed to possibly replace petitions chosen to receive an H-1B number in the event they are subsequently denied, withdrawn, or otherwise found ineligible.  USCIS stated that it will retain these petitions until a decision is made whether they will replace a previously selected petition.  For those H-1B petitions selected for the wait-list process, USCIS will notify petitioners of their status.  It is our understanding that USCIS expects to issue a receipt notice for or return these petitions with fees within the next six to eight weeks.

Should there be any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.