Today, April 9, 2009, USCIS announced it received approximately 42,000 H-1B petitions subject to the bachelor’s cap (65,000) and approximately 20,000 petitions for the master’s cap. USCIS stated that it will continue to accept advanced degree petitions since in the past not all petitions received were approvable. USCIS also stated that on the day that it receives sufficient petitions, pursuant to 8 CFR section 214.2(h)(8)(ii), it will conduct a random selection lottery from among petitions from those received on that day.
For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7. For cases filed for premium processing after April 7th, the premium processing period begins on the date USCIS takes physical possession of the petition.