U.S. Government Reaches H-1B Visa Allotment for Fiscal Year 2019

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 6 that it had received 190,098 H-1B petitions against congressionally mandated fiscal year (FY) 2019 limits of 65,000 petitions, plus an additional 20,000 advanced degree exemptions, known as the master's cap. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select the petitions under the legislative cap. USCIS conducted the random selection for the master's petitions first and included the unselected master's petitions in the second general selection.

USCIS will return all unselected petitions with filing fees. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, including petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position


The high demand for H-1B visas is problematic for many employers and Foreign National employees. If your company's H-1B petition was rejected or if such a petition is not yet filed, your employee may have other visa options such as:

  • The O-1 visa for those Foreign Nationals who are extraordinary in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
  • The J-1 visa for Foreign Nationals who participate in an exchange program designated by the Department of State for the purpose of teaching, instructing, lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills or receiving training.
  • The H-3 visa permits Foreign Nationals from any country to come to the U.S. to participate in a training program with a U.S. employer.
  • If the Foreign National is from a country that has a special arrangement with the U.S., he may qualify for an E-3, H1-B1, or TN visa.
  • If your company works with a University or non-profit research organization, the Foreign National may be eligible for a cap-exempt H-1B.
  • If the Foreign National graduated from a U.S. college or university with a STEM degree, he may qualify for an OPT STEM Extension.
Please contact us to discuss these and other possible solutions.