USCIS has received a total of approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions for FY2014. 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 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.
USCIS has now started the data entry process for H-1B petitions selected in the lottery. Premium processing cases are being handled first and data entry for those cases should be completed by April 15. Therefore, the data entry process for the non-premium processing cases should start on April 16, 2013. As announced by USCIS on March 15, 2013, the 15-day premium-processing clock will start on April 15.
Donald Neufeld, Associate Director of the Service Center Operations (SCOPS) Directorate, has informed the audience at the AILA Spring CLE conference on April 12, 2013 that data entry for non-premium processing cases will begin after the premium processing cases are entered. Data entry for non-premium cases will likely not be completed until sometime in May, and rejection notices for petitions not selected in the lottery will be sent out after that. Non-premium processing cases can only be converted to premium processing after a receipt notice is issued