USCIS Reaches Advanced Degree Exemption Cap for FY 2020

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

On Thursday, April 11, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it has completed the selection process to select enough H-1B visa petitions to meet the congressionally-mandated master’s cap of 20,000 petitions.

Additionally, USCIS reached a sufficient number of H-1B visa petitions to reach the 65,000
H-1B regular cap.

USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select FY 2020 visa petitions. For FY 2020, USCIS reported it received 201,011 H-1B visa petitions during the filing period, which opened April 1 and closed April 5.

For those petitions allowed to file with Premium Processing, USCIS anticipates updates on May 20, 2019. For regularly processed petitions, we anticipate to start receiving updates in late May and June.

What Do I Need To Know?

USCIS will still accept and process visa petitions otherwise exempt from the cap. This exemption includes H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap and still retain their cap number.

The agency will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B employees to work concurrently in a second H-1B position
  • Extend the duration a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.
  • Change terms of employment for current H-1B workers

Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is the Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (, Envoy’s affiliated law firm.