Despite USCIS's prior statement that premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions would begin on April 27th, some practitioners and employers are beginning to receive receipt notices for cases filed under the U.S. Master's Cap, including some for cases filed without a request for premium processing service.
As previously noted, USCIS recently announced that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption or "masters cap."
Reports indicate that USCIS received nearly 233,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including masters cap petitions. This marks an increase of about 35 percent from last year, placing the odds of selection at approximately 36 percent. USCIS uses a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 masters cap. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.
USCIS continues to accept H-1B filings for individual and organizations who are exempt from the cap.