The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the H-1B cap and to satisfy the 20,000 “advanced degree” exemption for fiscal year 2009. Before starting the random selection process, the USCIS must complete data entry for all filings received during the filing period that ended April 7, 2008. The exact day the computer-generated random selection process will be conducted was not announced.
During the random selection process, the USCIS will select the number of petitions required to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 for the “advanced degree” exemption. As part of this process, the USCIS will select those petitions qualifying for the “advanced degree” exemption petitions. All “advanced degree” petitions that are not selected will be included in the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Once the selection process is complete, the USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all of the cap-subject petitions that were not randomly selected, except for petitions determined to be duplicates that will be handled in accordance with the interim final rule published on March 24, 2008.