On April 5, 2013, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”) announced that for the first time since 2008, the “Regular” and “U.S. Master’s Degree” H-1B caps for the 2014 fiscal year had been reached during the first week that they were available. More information regarding the H-1B Caps can be found in our March Immigration Alert Newsletter. CIS is required to keep the H-1B caps open for at least the first 5 business days, and during that filing period, CIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions under both the “Regular” and “U.S. Master’s Degree” caps.
On April 7, 2013, CIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select the petitions it would accept for processing. CIS conducted the lottery first for the “U.S. Master’s Degree” cap. All petitions not selected in the first lottery were then added to the “Regular” cap pool, and the lottery was then conducted on the remaining petitions.
Any petition that was not selected for processing will be rejected and returned with the filing fee. As discussed in the FAQ that we released last week regarding the lottery, there is not a good method to quickly know whether a petition has been accepted for processing or not.
Foreign workers whose petitions were rejected may have other options available, and should speak to an immigration attorney to determine if they would qualify. We encourage anyone who is in Human Resources or Recruiting to attend our event on May 9th, “Alternatives to H-1B Visas.”