On April 8, 2013, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an update on the fiscal year 2014 H-1B cap, stating that: "For the first time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period."
USCIS received this season approximately 124,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions during the filing period (April 1–5, 2013), including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. The total number of petitions permitted by the statute are 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit.
On April 7, 2013, USCIS conducted a "lottery" by using a computer-generated random selection process to select a sufficient number of H-1B cap-subject petitions needed to meet the total cap of 85,000.
For the filed H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected through the "lottery," USCIS will send them back to the petitioner or representative, along with the filing fees. As a direct result of the "lottery," approximately 40,000 petitions will have to be submitted again by U.S. employers next year if they wish to apply for the same temporary workers. Resubmitting a new H-1B petition next year for the same foreign worker, unless the statutory cap is changed by Congress, will not guarantee an H-1B visa.
For Further Information
If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact any of the attorneys in our Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group or the attorney in the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.