January 11, 2019


On April 1, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2020 cap. Employers use the H-1B visa program to hire foreign workers in specialty occupations that require the theoretical or practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, including but not limited to: scientists, doctors, engineers, accountants, and computer analysts and developers. Requested start dates can be no earlier than October 1, 2019.

The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas is 65,000. An advanced degree exemption is available for 20,000 beneficiaries who have obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Once that limit is reached, petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher will count against the regular cap. Although USCIS has announced plans to implement a pre-registration system for the H-1B Cap lottery, it is not anticipated that this will be in place in time for the Fiscal Year 2020 lottery.

Based on trends for previous years, we expect that the number of petitions will exceed the available slots. USCIS will conduct a lottery with all petitions filed within the first five business days in April. We recommend starting this process in January so the H-1B petition is ready to be filed on April 1st.

Here is a summary of past H-1B Visa Numbers

FY 2019 H-1B Visa Cap:

USCIS received 190,098 H-1B Petitions

FY 2018 H-1B Visa Cap:

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B Petitions

For more information about the H-1B program, or if you have interest in applying for an H-1B Visa for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, please contact our office.

Let’s Talk

Let us help you navigate the complexities of immigration law and work towards a positive outcome. Your immigration journey starts here.

"*" indicates required fields