According to United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Center Operations (SCOPS), USCIS will not have a lottery for FY-2012 H-1B petitions received November 22, 2011, to determine if they will be included in the FY-2012 H-1B cap.
USCIS has confirmed that November 22, 2011, is the final receipt date for new FY-2012 H-1B cap subject petitions requesting an employment start date in FY2012, and that all properly completed H-1B petitions accepted for filing on November 22, 2011 will be included in the FY-2012 H-1B cap.
Since the FY-2012 H-1B cap has now been filled, H-1B visas for new employment in the United States will not be available again until October 1, 2012, which is the beginning of the government’s next fiscal year, FY2013.
For H-1B employment start dates of October 1, 2012, and beyond, an H-1B petition may be filed up to six months in advance. So, employers who wish to hire an H-1B employee with an employment start date of October 1, 2012, should file on or as close as possible to the first possible filing date of April 1, 2012, to ensure the availability of a FY2013 H-1B number.
We expect the volume of H-1B petitions to increase substantially for FY2013 as economic and employment conditions in the United States improve. So, once again, we urge employers to pay close attention to H-1B restrictions and filing schedules, and to prepare and file FY2013 H-1B petitions as close to April 1, 2012, as possible to ensure receipt of a FY2013 H-1B number.