As anticipated, last Friday (April 5, 2013), USCIS received enough cap-subject H-1B petitions to meet or exceed the available number of H-1B spots for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY 2014).  Full details can be found on USCIS’s website.

H-1B petitioners and beneficiaries will now anxiously await news of whether or not their filings are granted one of the precious H-1B spots. 

To begin the lottery process (i.e., computer-generated random selection process), for all H-1B petitions received by the Immigration Services on or before April 5, 2013, USCIS has stated that it will first conduct the selection process for Master Cap (i.e., advanced degree) petitions. 

When that step is completed, remaining Master Cap petitions will be included in the lottery for Regular H-1B Cap numbers. 

USCIS has not yet announced the date on which the H-1B lottery will occur, but an announcement is expected soon along with information regarding the number of filings received, and presumably including information regarding H-1B numbers set aside pursuant to treaty for citizens of Chile and Singapore.

As a reminder, the 15-day premium processing period is not set to begin for cap-subject H-1B petitions until Monday, April 15, 2013. 

Of course, H-1B cap-exempt petitions continue to be accepted and processed. 

For those who do not receive an FY 2014 H-1B spot or are not exempt from the H-1B cap, there may be alternatives.  It’s best to be prepared by consulting with qualified immigration counsel regarding possible options.

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