The agency will first randomly select petitions for 20,000 visas allocated to foreign nationals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities.
All unselected advanced degree petitions will then become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general limit.
"Before running the lottery, USCIS will complete initial intake for all filings received during the filing period, which ended April 7. Due to the high number of petitions, USCIS is not yet able to announce the date it will conduct the random selection process," it said. This is the third year in row that the U.S. received sufficient number of applications within the first five working days in April for the H-1B work visas to meet the Congressional mandated cap of 65,000.
However, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.
Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, will also not be counted toward the congressionally mandated FY 2016 H-1B cap, the agency said.