On April 5, 2013, USCIS announced that they had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the FY-2014 H-1B cap for cap-subject H-1B petitions with an employment start date of October 1, 2013. In addition, USCIS also announced that they had received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.
After April 5, 2013, USCIS will not accept either regular or advanced degree cap-subject FY-2014 H-1B petitions. This means that, unless Congress acts to increase the annual H-1B cap, those who have not yet filed cap-subject H-1B petitions will be effectively locked out of the H-1B program for the next 18 months until the following fiscal year (FY-2015), which begins October 1, 2014 (the first filing date for cap-subject FY-2015 H-1B petitions is April 1, 2014).
Beginning in the coming weeks, USCIS will use a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as the “lottery”) for all cap-subject FY-2014 H-1B petitions received from April 1, 2013, through April 5, 2013. USCIS will conduct the lottery selection process for advanced degree exemption cap-subject FY-2014 H-1B petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected in this initial FY-2014 H-1B lottery will be part of the random selection process for the regular 65,000 H-1B cap.
Due to the high number of petitions they have received, USCIS has not yet announced the exact day of the random FY-2014 H-1B lottery selection process.
Neither are USCIS currently providing the total number of cap-subject FY-2014 H-1B petitions received, as they continued to accept cap-subject H-1B filings for FY-2014 on the day of their announcement (April 5, 2013). Finally, USCIS continues to accept and process FY-2014 H-1B petitions that are otherwise exempt from the annual H-1B cap.
USCIS will provide more detailed information about the FY-2014 H-1B cap, including details regarding the FY-2014 H-1B lottery, in the second week of April 2013, and we will post that information as it comes.