On Friday, April 13, USCIS notified the public that it had completed the “random selection” process for the H-1B filings as of April 2 and 3.
USCIS previously announced that only about 13,000 petitions were received toward the extra 20,000 cap for holders of Master’s and higher degrees from U.S. universities, so the “random selection” process was applied to some 123,000 H-1B petitions for persons not holding such degrees. Because USCIS selects some “extra” petitions over the actual cap to account for denials, approvals that are never used, and withdrawals, each H-1B petition has a 50-55% chance of being selected, depending on exactly how many “extra” H-1B petitions USCIS selected.
USCIS advises that properly-filed petitions that have been accepted for adjudication will receive a receipt notice, and petitions not chosen will be returned with the fee checks attached. USCIS estimates that it will take four weeks to complete the issuance of receipts and the return of non-selected cases. USCIS further advises that, for cases initially filed for premium processing, the 15-day premium processing period begins on April 12, the day petitions were selected through the random selection process.
Our office received some receipt notices prior to April 12, 2007 for petitions that selected “premium processing.” Informally, USCIS has advised us that such receipts should not be considered evidence that the petition was “selected” for one of the available numbers. We are seeking clarification of how we will be notified whether those cases were, in fact, accepted for further processing.
We will release more information as it becomes available, and will communicate directly with each client with respect to individual petitions as soon as information becomes available for that client’s specific petition or petitions.