USCIS has announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013. USCIS has notified that June 11, 2012, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2013. Also, as of June 7, 2012, USCIS had already received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption.
The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 65,000. USCIS has announced that it will consider properly filed cases as received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers if they arrive after June 11, 2012 and seek an employment start date in FY 2013.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap; DOD petitions; and Chile/Singapore H-1B1 petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2013. In addition, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted toward the FY 2013 H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process these petitions 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.
Employers (except cap-exempt organizations) desirous of filing new H-1B petitions will now have to wait until April 1, 2013 to be able to file again for a start date no sooner than October 1, 2013.
The H-1B cap numbers for FY 2013 has been steadily climbing towards the cap since the opening of the filing period on April 2, 2012. When compared to last fiscal year, the H-1B cap has reached more than 5 months sooner in FY 2013. In the last fiscal year, USCIS announced that the H-1B cap had reached on November 22, 2011, and the 20,000 under the ‘advanced degree’ cap reached on October 19, 2011, against June 11, 2012 and June 7, 2012 respectively this fiscal year. The steady increase in H-1B filings could surely be a sign that the US economy is well on its way to revival.
To learn more on how you must evaluate and utilize alternatives to the H-1B category visit What Would You Do If the H-1B Cap is Reached?