As of April 9, 2012, USCIS is still accepting cap-subject FY2013 H-1B petitions. The agency began accepting FY2013 H-1B petitions on April 2, 2012. As of April 9, 2012, USCIS had received approximately 17,400 FY2013 H-1B petitions subject to the 65,000 cap for regular petitions (for beneficiaries without a US advanced degree), and approximately 8,200 FY2013 H-1B petitions subject to the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with US advanced degrees.
As FY2013 H-1B filing progresses, USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY2013 H-1B petitions. When USCIS receives enough FY2013 H-1B petitions to meet the cap, they will issue an update advising the public that the FY2013 H-1B cap has been met as of a certain date. This date is known as the “final receipt date.” Note that the date USCIS informs the public that the FY2013 H-1B cap has been reached may differ from the actual final receipt date.
If necessary, USCIS may randomly select the number of FY2013 H-1B petitions received on the final receipt date that will be considered for final inclusion within the FY2013 H-1B cap. They will reject cap-subject petitions that are not selected in this random lottery, as well as petitions they receive after the final receipt date. Whether an H-1B petition is received by the final receipt date will be based on the date USCIS physically receives the properly filed H-1B petition, not the date that the H-1B petition is postmarked.
Premium processing of FY2013 petitions filed during the initial five-day filing window are now undergoing a 15-day processing period that began April 9, 2012. For all other FY2013 H-1B petitions filed for premium processing, the processing period begins on the date that the properly filed H-1B petition is physically received at the correct USCIS Service Center.
Meanwhile, petitions filed by employers who are exempt from the H-1B cap, as well as H-1B petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap within the past six years, will not count toward the FY2013 cap.