Today, April 1 2019, is the first day of the new H-1B cap season. Unfortunately, we expect that all H-1B visas for the entire year will be gone by April 5, 2019. Congress authorized only 65,000 H-1B visas for the entire country for the entire year. For those with a master's or higher degree from an American university, there are an additional 20,000 visas available.
Last year, applicants that filed within this narrow 5 day window had about a 40% chance of being selected for an H-1B visa. This year, we expect there to be about the same chance for a visa.
If you filed a petition for H-1B status in this year's cap lottery, we anticipate to get a notification from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services that your case was accepted or rejected by June or July. If you are accepted, the earliest you could start working on H-1B visa status is October 1, 2019.
Karol Brown is the managing attorney at World One Law Group in Bellevue, Washington. World One specializes in employment and business immigration, family-based immigration, naturalization, as well as asylum, DACA, VAWA, and U-Visa cases.