U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has just announced that it has completed what is commonly known as the “master’s cap” H-1B lottery. The agency confirmed, as was widely anticipated, that sufficient petitions were received during the first five business days of April 2019 to satisfy this additional pool of 20,000 H-1B numbers, which are set aside for workers who possess an advanced degree from a U.S. college or university. As we previously reported, the “regular cap” of 65,000 numbers was also met during the 5-day filing window.
USCIS also just released the total number of H-1B petitions that were received for both lotteries during the FY2020 filing window: 201,011. That number represents almost a 6 per cent increase over FY2019, when 190,098 total petitions were received.
USCIS typically does not report what portion of the overall volume of petitions are for people with advanced degrees. However, we anticipate that, this year, the agency will release at least some of those statistics if the change that was implemented this year – reversing the usual lottery order so that more advanced-degree workers would be selected – was successful. Please watch our blog for updates.