The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has completed the automated lottery process for selecting the mandated cap of 65, 000 petitioners for the fiscal year 2019. Any additional petitions submitted will be rejected and the unselected ones will be returned along with the respective filing fees. To be noted, this return is applicable only to those who did not do multiple filings.
There is another mandated cap of 20,000 visas meant for petitioners with an advanced degree from the US – USCIS declared that this also has been met and therefore, will not be accepting any new ones.
This does not come as a surprise as lately, the rush to file H1-B petitions has been on a rising trend as seen in the last few years. Begun on April 2, 2018 the filing season is wrapped up in a short span of four days. Coupled with the new norms instituted by the US government that make it harder to get through the said lottery, foreign workers make a feverish attempt to be included within the chosen few. Most beneficiaries are said to be the tech industries from India.
Having said that, USCIS continues to accept petitions that do not fall under the cap. In case, you have already received a number or have been recently granted a H1-B visa, you are not considered a part of this lottery and may continue processing. Extensions and change of terms of employment for current H1-B workers continues to be in place irrespective of the cap. Since the 2019 lottery is meant only for new applicants, current foreign workers with a valid work-visa can still apply to change employers or apply to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
If your employer has filed a H1-B petition on your behalf, you may check that status of your application on Trackitt, a reliable, up-to-date visa tracker.