H-1B quota likely to be exhausted on (or shortly after) April 1, 2013

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Friday, March 15, that it expects to receive a large number of H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2014 quota (also known as the “cap”) on April 1, 2013, the first date upon which USCIS will accept such H-1B petitions for FY 2014. The numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for FY 2014 is 65,000 under the “regular” cap (with certain visas specifically set aside for nationals of Chile and Singapore under respective free trade agreements). In addition, there are 20,000 H-1B visas available for individuals with U.S. master’s degree or higher (the so-called “master’s” cap). We note that individuals with U.S.-awarded advanced degrees can qualify either under the master’s cap or the regular cap, assuming there is availability. USCIS anticipates that it may 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.

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