The USCIS has begun processing the 124,000 timely-field
H-1B cap-subject petitions. Because the H-1B category was oversubscribed,
the USCIS will be returning approximately 15,000-20,000 H-1B petitions, after accounting
for improperly filed and/or denied H-1B petitions.
Between April 1-5 the USCIS registered each timely-field
H-1B case into their system. Each
timely-filed H-1B cap-subject petition was given a filing number. Once all 124,000 petitions were registered
into the system, the USCIS randomly chose 85,000 winning petitions. This "H-1B lottery" was held about 10 days
The USCIS now has started processing winning premium processing
petitions. Contrary to incorrect
internet rumors, this does not mean that premium processing petitions
were given any benefit in the lottery. The
USCIS has confirmed on multiple occasions that non-premium petitions had the
exact same chance of winning the H-1B lottery.
Processing of winning petitions consists of confirming
proper filing fee payment and data entry of H-1B petitions onto USCIS internal
computer system. Once the H-1B petition
is processed, Premium Processing adjudicators begin to assess the approvability
of the petition.
MU Law has had several H-1B premium processing petitions
already approved. We have also received
a few premium processing RFEs.
Data entry of non-premium processing petitions will not be
complete until at least May and perhaps June.
Rejection notices for petitions not selected in the lottery will be sent
out after the data entry for winning petitions has been completed. AILA points out that when the cap was reached
on the first day in 2008, USCIS
did not complete data entry and issue receipt notices until late in May