USCIS Clarifies Status of Receipt Notices Dated Before April 12, 2007

Many of our clients received receipt notices from USCIS prior to April 12, 2007 and celebrated too early. Here is what actually happened. USCIS did not issue receipt notices for all 123,480 petitions received on April 2 and 3. However, it did
conduct data-entry and generate (and in some cases actually issue) receipt notices for a portion of cap-subject petitions prior to conducting the computer-generated random selection process.

The issuance of receipt notices prior to conducting the computer-generated random selection process had no impact whatsoever on whether a petition has been randomly selected for processing.

USCIS appreciates that this process has caused some confusion regarding whether petitions have actually been selected for processing and offers a detailed explanation of its procedures below:

  • Some cap-subject petitions were data-entered on April 2 and 3. As a result, fees were deposited in connection with these petitions and receipt notices on Form I-797 were issued. USCIS cannot invalidate these receipt notices because the fees have been deposited. Petitioners who received receipt notices dated prior to April 12, 2007 cannot assume that their H-1B petitions have been accepted for processing. For cases that fall into this group, those that were not randomly chosen will be returned to petitioners and the filing fee will be subsequently refunded. Those that were accepted for processing will be processed under the original receipt notice.
  • Some cap-subject H-1B petitions were data-entered on Wednesday, April 4 and receipt notices on Form I-797 were generated, but never issued to petitioners. As USCIS did not deposit any of the fees submitted with these filings, these receipt notices have been voided. For cases that fall into this group, those that were not chosen will be returned to petitioners with the filing fees and those that were accepted for processing will be issued official receipt notices dated on or after April 12, 2007.
  • Finally, a small number of cap-subject H-1B petitions, filed under premium processing, were also data-entered on April 4. In accordance with USCIS procedure, e-mail notification acknowledging receipt of these petitions was issued to petitioners. Official receipt notices on Form I-797 were generated, but never issued, and USCIS did not deposit any of the fees submitted with these filings.

Thus, all generated receipt notices have been voided. For cases that fall into this group, those that were not chosen will be returned to petitioners with the filing fees and those that were accepted for processing will be sent a second e-mail confirmation of receipt and will be issued new receipt notices on Form I-797 dated on or after April 12, 2007.

USCIS will return all petitions not randomly selected for processing, with the fee(s) to the petitioner or their authorized representative. Final notification of those petitions is expected to occur in May 2007. We have started getting returned files early this week.

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