Starting today, USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY2013 cap with employment start dates beginning October 1, 2012. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that it is received by USCIS, not the postmarked date. The H-1B category is subject to an annual cap of 65,000 new visas with an additional 20,000 for individuals with U.S. Master’s degrees. Once USCIS determines that it has received a sufficient number of cases, it will determine a final receipt date and conduct a random lottery based on that date. Any petitions that are not successful in the lottery system will be returned and the filing fees will not be cashed.
New H-1B petitions that are cap-exempt include beneficiaries employed at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations. Additionally, beneficiaries working only in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are exempt from the cap until December 31, 2014. Meanwhile, USCIS will continue to accept H-1B cases that are not subject to the numerical cap, including the following petitions:
• H-1B extension of status.;
• H-1B change of employer;
• H-1B amendments; and • H-1B concurrent employment.
For assistance in filing a timely FY 2013 H-1B petition, please contact our office.