The USCIS completed on April 9 its lottery to select enough petitions to reach the quota of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. It then completed a second lottery for the remaining 216,000 petitions (including those not selected in the advanced-degree lottery) to reach the standard quota of 65,000. Bachelor’s degree petitions have approximately a 30 percent likelihood of selection in the standard lottery. Advanced-degree petitions have a likelihood of approximately 36 percent, due to the double drawing.
Filing receipts for premium processed cases that were chosen in the lottery are now being issued. Issuance of receipts for non-premium cases will begin later. The likelihood of being selected in the lottery is not affected by whether a case is premium or non-premium. Adjudication of premium cases will begin by May 16, with either a petition approval or a request for additional evidence being issued by May 31. Adjudication of non-premium cases will begin later and will likely to continue through mid-August. Petitions not chosen in the lotteries will be returned along with all filing fees.