FY2017 H1B Cap Filing Approvals, Receipts, and RFEs

As of this writing, many are still anxiously awaiting the outcome of H1B petitions filed against the fiscal year 2017 (FY17) H1B cap. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced completion of the lottery selection on April 12, 2016, and premium processing officially commenced on May 12th. Here, MurthyDotCom readers are updated on the experiences so far of the Murthy Law Firm regarding H1B cap-subject petitions filed by the firm for this year’s lottery.

USCIS Issues Receipt Notices

The Murthy Law Firm began receiving the first premium-processing receipt notices via eMail on April 12, 2016. Hard copy receipts began to arrive by regular mail slightly later. All selected premium-processing cases should have receipt notices as of this writing.

The receipt notices for cases filed under regular processing began to arrive at the Murthy Law Firm on April 21st. Only hard copy receipt notices are issued for regular (non-premium) cases.

It has been more than two weeks since the firm last received receipt notices for any H1B cap cases. While nothing is certain until the USCIS starts to return petitions that were not selected in the lottery, those who have not received H1B receipt notices by now should prepare for the strong possibility that unwelcome news may arrive in the near future.

Approval Notices for Premium-Processing Cases

The USCIS set May 12, 2016 as the guaranteed start date for meeting premium-processing timelines. However, the USCIS clearly began working on at least some premium-processing cases prior to this date, as the Murthy Law Firm started receiving approval notices for such cases on May 12th.

Requests for Evidence

It is inevitable that requests for evidence (RFEs) will be issued by the USCIS in response to some of the cap cases filed. The first RFE issued on a premium processed cap case filed by the Murthy Law Firm arrived on May 12th. For these cases, once a response is submitted, the USCIS is expected to issue a decision within 15 calendar days.

As of this writing, the firm has not yet received any RFEs for cases filed using regular processing.


The Murthy Law Firm has not yet had any packages returned for cap cases that were not selected in the lottery. Last year, the first of such returned packages arrived in early-June. MurthyDotCom will continue to provide updates on this year’s H1B cap season in the coming weeks.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.