On April 5, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, for the first time since 2008, the H-1B cap for FY 2014 had been met within the first week of the filing period. According to the agency, it received a sufficient number of H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject H-1B cap-subject petitions filed and received after April 5.

USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions between April 1 and April 5. On April 7, the agency conducted a random selection (“lottery”) process for all FY 2014 cap-subject petitions received through April 5 to determine which cases will be processed under the respective “caps.” 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 standard 65,000 limit.

Receipt notices have already been issued for some cases filed under the premium processing service. However, USCIS only began to adjudicate those cases on April 15 in accordance with its previous announcement. For petitions filed under regular processing, receipt notices may not be issued for several weeks.



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Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

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