USCIS Receives 199,000 H-1B Petitions in Total for Fiscal Year 2018

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it received a total of 199,000 cap-subject H-1B visa applications during the 2018 fiscal year filing period, which began April 3. The agency added that on April 11 it completed its computer-generated lottery to select petitions – which include those counting in the general 65,000-visa cap, as well as those counting in the 20,000-visa cap for aliens with master’s degrees – eligible for processing. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions, along with their associated filing fees.

Notably, even though the cap was reached within five business days, the total number of petitions filed this year is down considerably from the previous two years’ totals. In 2015, roughly 233,000 H-1B petitions were filed, while last year, USCIS received more than 236,000 applications. What accounts for the 15-percent drop will likely be the subject of inquiry.

Petitioning employers whose visa applications were accepted should receive receipt notices soon. If their petitions are subsequently approved, their alien beneficiaries are permitted to begin working in H-1B status on October 1, 2017, the start of the 2018 fiscal year. (Our firm started receiving receipt notices today, and we expect to receive more over the coming days.)

USCIS will continue to process H-1B petitions that aren’t factored into the cap, which includes petitions for H-1B employees who have been counted toward the annual cap previously and retained their cap numbers. Among the additional types of H-1B petitions USCIS will continue to adjudicate are those seeking to prolong the time current H-1B beneficiaries can remain in the U.S., to alter current H-1B workers’ employment terms, to permit current H-1B employees to change employers, and to permit current H-1B employees to work concurrently under a second H-1B petition. However, note that, for up to the next six months, the temporary suspension of premium processing for both cap-subject and cap-exempt petitions remains in effect.

As more information becomes available, updates will be published on our news section.

Former U.S. Consular officer, Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.

Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).

He will use his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.

Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.

At Zhang & Associates, P.C., our attorneys and supporting professionals are committed to providing high-quality immigration and non-immigration visa services. We specialize in NIW, EB-1, PERM, and I-485 cases. In the past twenty years, we have successfully helped thousands of clients get green cards. If you plan to apply for a green card, please send your CV to Attorney Jerry Zhang ( for a free evaluation.

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