Today, April 5, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that the H-1B Cap for the fiscal year 2014 has been reached. 

USCIS’s alert states that it received a “sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2014,” but that it will continue to accept H-1B subject-to-cap filings until the end of the day today. The statutory cap for “regular” H-1B petitions is 65,000. 

USCIS also stated that it had received “more than 20,000 H-1B petition filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advance degree exemption.”

USCIS’s announcements states that it will implement a so called “lottery”, a computer-generated selection process, for all H-1B cap-subject petitions received between April 1 and April 5 of 2013. 

USCIS, however, did not state the number of H-1B cap-subject petitions it had received or the exact day in which it will implement the lottery or random selection process. It is expected that USCIS will provide more details sometime next week. H-1B petitions selected under the “lottery” for processing will be “receipted”, those that are not accepted for processing, will be returned to the petitioner (or representatives) along with the filing fees.

H-1B petitions, which are not subject to the 65,000 cap, such as “extensions” and “exempted” petitions, will continue to be accepted for processing by USCIS.

Previously USCIS also announced that it expected a delay in processing subject-to-cap H-1B petitions filed under “premium processing” option.  Petitioners filing under the “premium processing” option should receive an adjudication in about 30 calendar day rather than the usual 15 calendar days from filing.