By Ashwin Sharma, Esq.
The latest H-1B numerical cap (FY 2014) opens on April 1, 2013. USCIS has indicated that it expects to receive more than 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions and more than 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher between April 1, 2013, and April 5, 2013. USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public of the date on which the numerical limit of the H-1B cap has been met. This date is known as the final receipt date. If USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, USCIS will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit. USCIS will reject petitions that are subject to the cap and are not selected, as well as petitions received after it has the necessary number of petitions needed to meet the cap.
This could be the first time since April 2008 that the H-1B cap will require a lottery. USCIS has also indicated that premium processing for H-1B petitions filed for the Cap will note begin until April 15, 2013, quite understandable considering they are expecting an avalanche of H-1B cases.
That we are at 2008 application levels and preparing for another H-1B lottery is testament to two major factors:
1. Information Technology consulting, and the large variety of industries supported by it, have largely rebounded since the 2008 economic crash.
2. There are not enough H-1B visas to meet demand. Increasing H-1B numbers was obviously not at the top of the priority list during the economic collapse, however, it must be addressed directly by any Comprehensive Immigration Reform program. Increasing the H-1B quota, along with the addition of a special category for IT workers, is a no-brainer – one of the simplest fixes Congress can make in both strengthening this country’s economy and status as a tech superpower.
- US to accept H1B applications from April 1 (news.in.msn.com)