Do You Feel Lucky? USCIS Announces H-1B Lottery

For the first time since 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period beginning April 1, 2013. USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree cap.

On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5, 2013. The lottery selected a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the cap of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees.

As announced on March 15, 2013, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its premium processing practice. To facilitate the prioritized data entry of FY 2014 cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases on April 15, 2013.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been previously counted against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionally-mandated FY 2014 H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

• extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;

• change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

• allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

• allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

 U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields including, but not limited to: scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

Our website provides a number of informative articles regarding the H-1B visa category.  You can access those articles here: https://berardiimmigrationlaw.com/tag/h-visa .

If your business has a need to transfer foreign employees to the U.S., contact Berardi Immigration Law to discuss your options.

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