On April 3, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") began accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2018 ("FY2018"). In keeping with the trend of the last several years, USCIS confirmed it expects to receive more than the congressionally mandated cap of 85,000 petitions from employers within the first five business days of April (this year, April 3rd - April 7th). The cap consists of 65,000 H-1B visas available for beneficiaries with at least a bachelor's degree or equivalent and an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for beneficiaries with a U.S. master's degree or higher. After April 7th, the agency will use a computer-generated lottery system to randomly select the 85,000 petitions for adjudication. Last year USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions in the first five business days of April.
For updates on when USCIS reaches the cap, the lottery, whether there will be a re-start date for premium processing (discussed in further detail below), and other H-1B related news, visit USCIS's H-1B FY2018 site and look for breaking news on our website's news and updates section.