USCIS has completed its computer-generated H-1B petitions selection process under the lottery for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The government reported receipt of 201,011 H-B petitions during the brief filing period in early April 2019. USCIS had started the lottery process with the selection of the H-1B petitions submitted on behalf of all beneficiaries and followed this initial selection by choosing the petitions falling under the advanced degree exemption from the remaining eligible petitions. At this time, employers are receiving receipt notices for the H-1B petitions selected for processing under the cap and, based on prior years’ experience, USCIS will be returning all unselected petitions with filing fees to petitioners over the following 2-3 months.
The joint program of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) provides Canadian citizens applying for an L-1 nonimmigrant status under the North American Free Trade Agreement with an opportunity to request USCIS’s adjudication of their L-1 petition proceedings remotely, prior to their arrival to the U.S./Canada port of entry or when they arrive. The only port of entry where this pilot program currently is implemented is Blaine, Washington. Over the following year of this program, USCIS and CBP are expected to evaluate its efficiency and devise ways to improve and, potentially, expand it.