The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that on April 7th it received more than enough H-1B petitions to reach both the “regular” cap of 65,000 visas and the advanced-degree cap of 20,000 for fiscal year 2015 (FY 2015).

USCIS reported that it received about 172,500 FY 2015 cap-subject H-1B petitions.  So, what are the odds that your petition will receive a number under the FY 2015 H-1B cap?  Simple math shows that your chances are about 50/50.  The odds would be slightly better if your petition was for an advanced-degree professional because advanced-degree cap petitions which weren’t selected to count against the 20,000 advance-degree cap were included in the selection process for the regular cap.  In reality, the odds could be better or worse.  Without knowing how many of the 172,500 petitions were advanced-degree cap cases, the calculations can’t be refined.  We do know that after 20,000 advanced-degree petitions were counted, there were approximately 152,500 cap-subject H-1B petitions remaining for only 65,000 spots.  This means that about 43% of those remaining petitions would have been chosen for processing. 

The computer-generated random selection process (aka lottery) has been completed.  Electronic receipts are being received for premium processing cap cases. Presumably paper receipts for non-premium processing cap cases will begin to arrive in next week’s mail. 

USCIS stated that it will reject and return (with the unused filing fees) cap-subject petitions which were not randomly selected, that is, unless a petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The wait should be over soon.


Catherine Wadhwani is a partner in the Immigration Practice of Fox Rothschild LLP.  She can be reached at