On April 13, 2015, USCIS announced that it had received nearly 233,000 cap-subject H-1B Petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2016. This is believed to be the highest number of applications ever. As a comparison, in the past two years, the U.S. received 172,500 and 124,000 H-1B visa petitions, respectively.
Since there are only 85,000 cap-subject H-1B visas available each year, only approximately 36% of this season’s visa petitions will be approved.
The % of likely success increases for advanced degree applicants, who are given advantages in the H-1B “lottery”, yet is even lower for applicants with only a bachelor’s degree.
USCIS conducted its “lottery” to pick the lucky Petitions on April 13, and will begin notifying Petitioning companies of the good (or bad) news over the next two-month period.
Those accepted applications that have utilized premium processing can expect decisions as early as the first or second week in May, as on April 14 USCIS announced it would begin processing such cases on April 27.