UNITED STATES – FY 2014 H-1B Cap Reached Already
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Friday 5 April that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year 2014, both in the general category (65,000) and under the "advanced degree" exemption (20,000). This means any cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS from today, Monday 8 April, will be rejected.
H-1B Lottery for 2014
Since the USCIS has already received more than 65,000 petitions and more than 20,000 “advanced degree” exemption petitions, it will run a “lottery” to determine which should proceed for full review and adjudication. The last time this happened was in April 2008.
The “lottery” is a computer-generated random selection process of all H-1B petitions received during the April 1-5, 2013 filing period. The petitions selected by lottery will continue for full adjudication.
For petitions not selected for adjudication, the petitions and filing fees will be returned to the petitioner or authorised representative (although fees for duplicate filings for the same employee will not be returned).
The first lottery will be run on "advanced degree" exemption petitions. All "advanced degree" petitions not selected as part of the initial quota will then be placed into the lottery for the 65,000 general category.
USCIS has not yet announced when it expects to conduct these random selection processes.
Cases for Adjudication
For petitions accepted for adjudication, USCIS will begin adjudication of premium processing cases on or about 15 April 2013. (see USCIS alert here.)
Why Was the Cap Reached So Quickly?
In the past several years, the H-1B quota has not been exhausted until later in the fiscal year. The increased demand is likely indicative of economic recovery as well as potential changes in the H-1B program tied to Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR).
Numerous legislative proposals include increasing the H-1B annual quota and also contain increased employer compliance requirements with additional fees.
- Note that the H-1B caps for FY2014 have already been reached, although bear in mind that many H-1B petitions are exempt from the cap; contact us, or Maggio & Kattar directly, for more information.