U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced April 7, 2016, that between April 1, 2016, and April 7, 2016, it received more than 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions and more than 20,000 H-1B petitions for individuals holding a U.S. master's degree or higher. USCIS will no longer accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2017 cap or the advanced degree exemption. USCIS has also indicated that due to the high number of filings that have been received that USCIS is not yet able to announce the date for the random selection process.
USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process for all FY 2017 cap-subject petitions received through April 7, 2016. As the agency did last year, USCIS will first conduct a random lottery of the 20,000 H-1B cases eligible under the master's cap exemption. Those cases not selected as one of the 20,000 under the master's cap exemption will then be included in the random lottery for the 65,000 allotment.
USCIS has not yet announced the exact day of the random lottery and has not provided the total number of petitions received under either the regular cap or the master's cap exemption. USCIS indicates that more information related to H-1B cap issues will be provided soon. Previously, USCIS announced that it will begin its premium processing service for H-1B cap cases on May 16, 2016.
For additional information and developments from the USCIS regarding the April 7, 2016, announcement that the H-1B cap has been reached, follow the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services news website at “USCIS Reaches FY 2017 H-1B Cap.” Additional information is also available through two recent Faegre Baker Daniels' legal updates: “USCIS Predicts Random Lottery for H-1B Cap and Announces Premium Processing to Start on May 16" on March 17, 2016, and "H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions Will Be Accepted by USCIS Beginning April 1; Employers Urged to Start Process Now as Lottery is Anticipated” on January 5, 2016.