U.S. gets 233,000 H-1B petitions, a new record

The U.S. received 233,000 H-1B petitions this year, believed to the highest number ever, and almost three times the number of available visas.

The government issues 85,000 H-1B visas each year, 20,000 of which were set aside for people who had earned advanced degrees.

Because the number of H-1B visas exceeded the cap, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service is distributing the visas via a lottery, which was held today.

The more visa petitions in the lottery pool, the lower the odds of winning a visa. Based on these numbers, only about 36% of the visa petitions will be approved.

The USCIS first conducted the lottery selection process for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit, the agency said.

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