FY2018 H-1B Lottery Applications Decline for First Time in 5 Years

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this week that it received 199,000 H-1B petitions for the FY 2018 H-1B cap. As usual, this far exceeds the total allocation of 65,000 general-category H-1B visas and the 20,000 advanced degree exemption H-1B visas for the FY2018 cap. However, this number represents a 15.7 percent decrease from the 236,000 petitions that USCIS received during last year’s filing period. It also represents the first time the number didn’t rise since 2013, demonstrating that employers are beginning to re-think their use of foreign skilled labor, most likely because of the administration’s pointed comments about immigration matters.

Through a computer-generated random selection process, the USCIS has already begun sending out receipt notices for cases which have been accepted under the 2018 allocation. In addition to more receipt notices being issued over the weeks ahead, the USCIS will also reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees.