Written by Marisa Howe and Bethany Mandell
On June 12, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of June 11, 2012, a sufficient number of H-1B petitions had been received to fill the statutory cap of 65,000 for Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013). USCIS also announced that the cap of 20,000 additional H-1B visas available for individuals who hold U.S. advanced degrees had also been reached. Any cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS after June 11, 2012 seeking an employment start date in FY 2013 will be returned.
All individuals needing a cap-subject H-1B visa must wait now until April 1, 2013 to request H-1B status commencing October 1, 2013.
Despite the quota being filled, USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1B petitions exempted from the H-1B cap, DOD cooperative research worker petitions, and Chile/Singapore H-1B1 petitions. Petitions will also be accepted for H-1B petitions which seek to:
- extend the stay of a current H-1B employee;
- change the terms of employment for an existing H-1B worker;
- change H-1B employers; or
- secure concurrent H-1B employment
Compared to Fiscal Year 2012, FY 2013’s H-1B quota was hit a full five (5) months earlier than the prior year.