Immigration Blog

Will this year's H1B Visa quota increase or decrease

By Bill at February 14, 2018 15:08
Filed Under: Immigration News
On January 25, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch Jeff Flake introduced legislation that would double the number of H-1B visas, and prioritize adjudication of cap-subject H-1B visa petitions for holders of U.S. advanced degrees and STEM bachelor degrees. read details

The bill is promising , but unlikely to become law within 2 months. When USCIS starts accepting cap-subject H-1B visa petitions on April 2, the annual quota will stay the same as last year:
  • Annual Cap: 65,000
  • Advanced Degree Exemption: 20,000
    for those who have obtained a master's or higher degree from U.S. universities.
  • Higher Education and Research Exemption: unlimited
    for those who will work at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations
  • Guam Exemption: unlimited
    for those who will work in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Chile and Singapore Treaty Set-aside: unused portion of 6,800
    Every fiscal year, 6,800 H-1B visas are set aside from the annual cap under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.
Since USCIS is expected to receive nearly 180,000 H-1B visa petitions during the first week of April, it will use a lottery system to randomly select the petitions.
  1. USCIS will first sort out multiple or duplicative H-1B petitions filed by one employer for same employee. USCIS will deny those petitions without refunding the filing fees.
  2. USCIS will then sort out U.S. Master's cap petitions from non-U.S. Master's cases and then use a lottery system to randomly select 20,000 winners.
  3. All cases not selected as part of the U.S. Master's lottery will be entered into the bachelor's cap lottery system.
  4. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions along with filing fees.
Wow! It is time for you to update your career profile and pitch potential employers now! You can review the just released 2018 edition of H-1B Visa Report, and do your own analysis since all raw data are now available on

Not all jobs are created equal!