H-1B Cap Subject Petitions Received by USCIS
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) cap on Monday April 2, 2012. The congressionally mandated numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for FY 2013 is 65,000. Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap. Out of these 65,000 visas, 6,800 are reserved for visas issued under the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements.
The USCIS informed participants at the CSC/VSC stakeholder engagement in Laguna, Niguel, CA on April 5, 2012, that 22,323 cap-subject H-1B petitions have been received as of April 4, 2012. Approximately 25% of these cases are for U.S. advanced degrees (U.S. Master’s degree or higher), which is approximately 5,580 cases. Therefore, approximately 16,743 H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2013 cap have been filed, which is a rate of 5,581 H-1B petitions per day. At this rate, the numerical limitation on H-1B cap subject petitions would be met within eleven (11) working days of the first day of filing, i.e. by April 16, 2012.
Pent-up demand for H-1B visas may be driving this increase and the number of filings may taper off in the next few days. According to USCIS, the number of filings received in the first few days of the H-1B season is almost double the number of filings received by USCIS during the same time last year. Although it is difficult to predict, the VERMA LAW FIRM sees the USCIS filing period for H-1B petitions should last for 1 to 2 months and the H-1B quota should be exhausted by the end of April or May 2012.
USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and will notify the public of the date on which USCIS received the necessary number of petitions to meet the H-1B cap. If the number of applications received exceeds the numerical cap, USCIS will randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit from the pool of petitions received on the final receipt date. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date