U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 8, 2013, that 124,000 cap subject H-1B petitions were received between April 1 and April 5. The total included both U.S. advanced degree exemption cases and regular H-1B cap cases. USCIS did not provide a breakdown of how many cases were received in each category. Because there were sufficient cases to meet the annual cap of 65,000 for regular cases and 20,000 U.S. advanced degree exemption cases, USCIS conducted a computer-generated random selection process. The "lottery" was conducted on April 7, 2013.  

USCIS first conducted the random lottery of the 20,000 H-1B cases eligible under the master's cap exemption. Those cases not selected as one of the 20,000 under the master's cap exemption were then included in the random lottery for the 65,000 allotment. Those cap-subject petitions not selected during the random lottery will be sent back, with filing fees. As previously announced, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases on April 15, 2013.

With premium processing cases, USCIS will send out e-mail receipt notices that will indicate that USCIS has started processing the case under its premium processing service. This notification would indicate that a case was selected under the random lottery. For cases filed without premium processing that were selected in the lottery, USCIS will send a hard copy receipt notice by mail. Such receipt notices may be issued up to several weeks after the April 7 lottery.

Please follow this link for additional information from USCIS regarding the announcement on April 8, 2013.

Additional information can also be found on our previous legal updates from January 25, 2013, March 19, 2013 and April 5, 2013.