An Update on the Upcoming H-1B Lottery

Businesses throughout the country await results from the upcoming H-1B random lottery. It is important to note a few minor changes and updates to H-1B regulations for Fiscal Year 2009. First, as stated in a previous news post, a new interim final rule has modified the selection process for all cap-subject H-1B petitions that prohibit employers from filing multiple H-1B petitions for the same employee.

In addition, the period for filing regular and advanced degree H-1B petitions has been expanded by USCIS to five business days, if USCIS receives enough petitions to reach the specified cap on any of those business days. Finally, it is important to note that the first 20,000 petitions received for foreign national applicants with a U.S. master’s or higher degree are exempt from the 65,000 H-1B standard cap.

USCIS has noted that, if the 20,000 master’s and higher degree cap and the 65,000 standard cap are reached during this five-business-day filing period, a lottery will first be held for those advanced degree cap petitions. After that lottery, an additional lottery of all cases (including those with advanced degrees that were not selected in the first lottery) will be held to fill the 65,000 cap.

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