News Update: H-1B Cap Update

H-1B Cap Update

Between April 1, 2013 and April 5, 2013, USCIS received approximately 124,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions. On April 7, 2013, USCIS conducted a lottery to select a sufficient number of petitions for the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. USCIS conducted the lottery for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were added to the general category lottery. For cap-subject petitions not selected, USCIS will reject and return the petitions with filing fees.

Since April 8, 2013, we have been receiving e-receipts for premium processing cases selected for the general category and advanced degree exemption. We have not received receipts for regular processing cases.

In the past, USCIS took approximately three to five months to adjudicate petitions filed under regular processing. For premium processing cases, USCIS will adjudicate beginning on April 15.

We recommend that should your petition not be selected that you make an appointment to visit with us to discuss possible options for the coming year.

Recently, USCIS announced that it will be requiring all applicants for benefits appearing for an interview at a USCIS field office to submit digital fingerprints and photographs pursuant to their new “Customer Identification Verification” (CIV) program. This information will subsequently be made available to all USCIS offices and to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which is responsible for inspecting all foreign nationals upon their entry into the country. Seeking InfoPass information is not considered by USCIS to be
seeking a benefit and therefore, those aliens will not be required to provide biometric data unless they will seek benefits at InfoPass appointments.

Please also remember that the new Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) will be required beginning May 7, 2013. Should you have questions concerning the new I-9 forms, please contact Patrick O’Rourke, in our office.