For the first time since 2008, USCIS reached the statutory FY-2014 H-1B cap of 65,000 and the FY-2014 H-1B cap on advanced degree H-1B petitions within the first week of the H-1B filing period (starting April 1, 2013). On April 7, 2013, USCIS conducted the FY-2014 H-1B lottery to determine which of the cap-subject FY-2014 H-1B petitions would be eligible for further processing for the coming fiscal year (beginning October 1, 2013).
From April 1, 2013, to April 5, 2013, USCIS received approximately 124,000 FY-2014 H-1B petitions, including petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption.
On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (a lottery) to select a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the general 65,000 annual H-1B cap and 20,000 for the FY-2014 advanced degree H-1B cap.
USCIS conducted the FY-2014 H-1B lottery for advanced degree exemption H-1B petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected in the first lottery were then also part of the FY-2014 H-1B lottery for the 65,000 H-1B cap.
USCIS will reject and return each cap-subject FY-2014 H-1B petition that has not been randomly selected in the FY-2014 H-1B lottery along with filing fees, unless that petition is found to be a duplicate filing.
As announced on March 15, 2013, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its premium processing practice with regard to FY-2014 H-1B petitions. To facilitate prioritized data entry of cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, USCIS will begin premium processing for FY-2014 cap-subject H-1B cap cases on April 15, 2013.
USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1B petitions that are otherwise exempt from the annual H-1B cap. H-1B petitions filed on behalf of current workers who have been counted previously against the annual H-1B cap will not be counted towards the congressionally-mandated FY-2014 H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
US businesses use the H-1B visa to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields including, but not limited to: scientists, engineers, and computer programmers.