H-1 B Lottery

On April 7, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducted a computer-generated random lottery of the entire H-1B cap for FY 2014 petitions received from April 1 – April 5, 2013.

The agency received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. According to the agency, it received a sufficient number of H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject H-1B cap-subject petitions filed and received after April 5.

USCIS conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the standard 65,000 limit.

It was the first time since 2008 that the United States has had such a rush in interest, forcing a random selection. It is a sign that the economy is recovering, but it is also a sign that the demand for highly skilled workers is far exceeding the supply of visas.

Receipt notices have already been issued for some cases filed under the premium processing service. However, USCIS will only begin to adjudicate those cases on April 15 in accordance with its previous announcement. For petitions filed under regular processing, receipt notices may not be issued for several weeks.

Author: Aleksandra Chesnokov / Legal Assistant / BridgehouseLaw Charlotte

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