On April 6 2018 the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2019. USCIS has also received more than the 20,000 limit on H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the ‘master’s cap’.(1)
US businesses use the H-1B programme to employ foreign workers in occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.
Subsequently, on April 11 2018 USCIS announced that it had received 190,098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began on April 2 2018, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. The number of petitions filed this year is down from the record-breaking filings for FY 2017, during which USCIS received 236,000 petitions,(2) and down from last year, where USCIS received 199,000 petitions.(3)