USCIS used computer-generated random selection process to select cap-subject H-1B petitions since it received more petitions than the H-1B numerical cap for the FY 2014

(Newsletter Vol. XXIII, no. 05, April 10, 2013, Issue No. 1)

April 8, 2013, WASHINGTON— For the first time since 2008, USCIS reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.

On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with the filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.  The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Additionally, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its premium processing practice. To facilitate the prioritized data entry of cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases on April 15, 2013. Because of this change, the fifteen days premium processing timeline will kick in only on April 15, 2013.

Since  the accepted cap-subject petitions were selected randomly, it is unpredictable to ascertain whether a petition was accepted for the quota. Because of the lottery process and the time required to enter the data about the H-1B petitions, it is expected to take a couple more days or even a few weeks to receive the actual receipt notice from USCIS.