This morning, the USCIS announced that the H-1B cap was reached during the initial filing period. More than 65,000 petitions were received for the regular cap, and more than 20,000 petitions were received for the advanced degree exemption. This announcement was expected, and it will take another couple of weeks for the USCIS to enter sufficient data for the petitions filed to run the random selection, and decide which cases to accept and process. The rest of the cases will be rejected. We expect another announcement when the number of petitions has been counted, and we will be able to assess the odds of a selection. Here is a link to the USCIS press release.

To account for logistic problems with deliveries, several years ago, USCIS implemented a rule that extended the initial filing period from the first of April to the first five business days of the month. Indeed, this year, processing problems at Federal Express centers created some additional problems for approximately 200 petitions that were caught in the conveyer belt and torn open. USCIS has promised to address the problems for these petitions. (We note that Porter Wright submitted all petitions by UPS, and therefore were not affected by the problems at Federal Express.)