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United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced late Monday, April 17, 2017, that it conducted the computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, for all H-1B cap petitions, on April 11, 2017. The process was completed first for the 20,000 slots in the advanced degree exemption (Master’s cap). Any cases not selected were then part of the random selection process for the 65,000 slots in the general H-1B cap. USCIS should begin sending out receipt notices for all cases selected in the lottery, and it will return all filings and filing fees for cases that were not selected. USCIS did not announce a timetable for when it will issue receipts or when it will return rejected cases.
USCIS also announced that it received 199,000 petitions this year under the cap. That represents an almost 16% decrease from the 236,000 petitions received last year. Two years ago, USCIS received 233,000 petitions. While the reason for the decline has not been determined at this time, it does mean that individual petitions have an increased chance of being selected this year.
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