On April 1, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting applications for the H-1B cap season for fiscal year 2014. H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
To ensure H-1B employment needs can be met, employers should plan to file FY 2014 cap petitions between April 1, 2013 and April 5, 2013.
The USCIS is predicting higher than usual demand and possible the first lottery since 2008. Because of the high volume, USCIS also announced a delay in premium processing of H-1B cap cases until April 15, 2013.
In a statement the USCIS said “USCIS provides premium processing service for certain employment-based petitions and guarantees a 15-calendar-day processing time. Due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its current premium processing practice.”
Over the last few years, the cap season has been growing shorter and shorter due to pent up H-1B demand. It is greatly anticipated that the 85,000 quota cap will be reached within the first five days.
If USCIS receives sufficient applications on April 1, 2013, to fill the cap, it is required by regulation to continue accepting applications for the first five business days in April.
All petitions will then be subjected to a computer-generated random selection process. Cap-subject petitions that are not selected for the lottery will be rejected.