H-1B Petitions Hit Record High

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") announced on April 12, 2016 that it received more than 236,000 H-1B petitions for specialty occupation visas for foreign workers for Fiscal Year 2017. These petitions were received in the first five business days of April, breaking the record set last year for the highly popular visa. USCIS stated that it received approximately 3,000 more petitions this year than last year. A lottery was held on April 9, 2016 to determine which applications will be processed. The Fiscal Year cap only allows for 65,000 H-1B visas in the general category and an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for those beneficiaries who have a Masters degree or higher from a U.S. educational institution. When the lottery was conducted, the 20,000 petitions were chosen first and then those that were not chosen were included in the general category H-1B lottery. USCIS will now begin processing the petitions that were chosen and returning all the unselected petitions with their filing fees.
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