U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has stopped accepting H-1B petitions subject to the 2014 fiscal year H-1B cap or the advanced degree exemption.
On April 5, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the 2014 fiscal year H-1B cap has been reached. The USCIS also announced that it has received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from cap, pursuant to the advanced degree exemption. Accordingly, the USCIS will not accept any H-1B petitions subject to the 2014 fiscal year H-1B cap or the advanced degree exemption after April 5.
The USCIS will utilize a computer-automated random selection process (lottery) for all 2014 fiscal year H-1B cap-subject petitions received between April 1, 2013, and April 5, 2013. Advanced degree exemption petitions will undergo the random selection process first. Those advanced degree exemption petitions not selected will be added to the general pool for which there are 65,000 visa numbers available.
The USCIS has not yet announced the total number of petitions received, as it is continuing to process filings received through April 5. The USCIS has also not yet announced the date on which the lottery will take place.
Please note that H-1B1 visa numbers are still available for nationals of Chile and Singapore. In addition, H-1B petitions filed on behalf of foreign nationals who have previously held H-1B status within the last six years, including requests for an extension of stay and requests for a change of employer, are exempt from the cap. H-1B petitions filed on behalf of foreign nationals employed by institutions of higher education, related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations are also exempt from the cap.
The USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for its 2015 fiscal year on April 1, 2014, for employment commencing on October 1, 2014, or later.
We will issue updates as additional information becomes available.
For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following attorneys:
Lisa Stephanian Burton