News - April 2008

H-1B Visa Petitions - Processing Under FY 2009 Cap - Update

On April 10, 2008, USCIS announced that between April 1 and April 7 of this year it had received approximately 163,000 H-1B petitions. This is more than enough exhaust the 65,000 standard H-1B visas allowed for fiscal year 2009, as well as the 20,000 additional visas set aside for beneficiaries with U.S. advanced degrees. Of the 163,000 petitions received in early April, 31,200 were for the advanced-degree category.

The agency confirmed that it has proceeded according to its new rule published March 19, 2008 and has conducted two random lotteries. The first is for those advanced degree beneficiaries for whom 20,000 visas are reserved; the second is for the other 65,000 visas. This rule benefits advanced degree beneficiaries, as it means that petitions filed for them during the first week of April should be processed in the second lottery if not selected in the first.

USCIS stated the two lotteries were conducted on April 10, and that winners should get receipt notices showing their new case numbers no later than June 2, 2008.

Petitions rejected due to the shortage of visa numbers may not be re-filed until April 2009, when the new visa numbers become available for the 2010 Fiscal Year, absent a change in the law by Congress.


(c) 2008 Leete, Kosto & Wizner, LLP   See related Disclaimer at