U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this afternoon that as of April 5, 2013, it has received sufficient H-1B petitions (regular and master’s cases) to reach the statutory cap for Fiscal Year 2014 (10/1/2013 through 9/30/2014). This is significantly faster than the current fiscal year, when the cap was not reached until June 11, 2012. Because the cap was met during the first five business days that employers could file Fiscal year 2014 petitions, a lottery will be held in the coming weeks to determine which cases will be accepted for processing, and which will be rejected. Those chosen in the lottery will be issued receipt notices; those rejected will receive the original filings back from USCIS.
The H-1B cap applies only to petitions for new employment, and generally does not affect H-1B sponsors who request extensions or a change of employers, or those employers exempt from the cap. Cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS after April 5, 2013, will be rejected. Employers who wish to sponsor an H-1B worker should contact Hunton & Williams to determine whether an exemption from the cap may be available or to develop the best strategy for mitigating the effects of the cap being reached.
H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2015 may be submitted as early as April 1, 2014, for employment beginning on October 1, 2014.