The USCIS has been resorting to a lottery mechanism since 2013-14 as the number of applications far exceeds the annual quotas. This year's number of petitions is lower than the 199,000 H-1B petitions filed in FY2018.
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The H-1B visa is a temporary work permit that allows highly skilled professionals to travel to the USA, and is used extensively by the Indian information technology industry. "USCIS received 190098 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 2, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption", wrote the United States government body in its news release. The fall by 8,902 applications, or 4.5 per cent, as compared to 2017-18 is comparatively minuscule. The number had hit a peak in 2016-17 with almost 2.4 lakh applications. USCIS will begin processing H-1B cap cases now. When the current year's applications are compared with the peak statistic, the reported decline is 19.5 per cent in the number of H-1B visa applications.
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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted an H-1B visa lottery for over 1.90 lakh applications received during the filing period in first week on April. The criteria for obtaining H-1B visa has been tightened severely by the USA government, thus causing major problems to technology companies who depend on these visas to hire thousands of employees from countries such as India and China. USCIS will release an announcement once all the H-1B petitions have been returned.
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Global firm Fragomen that deals with immigration laws said: "This year, general cap filings had roughly a 38% chance of selection in the lottery. The overall chance of selection this season was approximately 45%".