The USCIS announced on April 7, 2017, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master's cap.
On Monday, April 17, 2017, the USCIS indicated that it received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. There were fewer petitions received this year than the 236,000 received for FY2017. This represents a decrease of about 15.7%.
On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.
The agency conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.