U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is still accepting H-1B nonimmigrant applications which fall under the numerical cap for fiscal year 2013. These applications were first accepted on April 2, 2012, and in many cases there is a flood of petitions once the immigration applications are accepted, since only so many H-1B nonimmigrant petitions are accepted each year.
So far this year, the USCIS has reported that they have received 17,400 H-1B applications subject to the numerical cap. This year, as with last year, the numerical cap for the year is 65,000 petitions. In addition, there is a 20,000 cap exemption for petitioners who have advanced degrees. The USCIS has reported that they have received roughly 8,200 applications from H-1B petitioners with advanced degrees.
If you are interested in applying for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa this year, it is imperative to submit your application as soon as possible, especially if your petition will be subject to the numerical cap. The USCIS will continue to update about the number of petitions received. If you hope to submit an H-1B petition this year, it is important to check for updates, since once the cap is reached the USCIS will no longer accept petitions subject to the cap.
Starting April 9, H-1B petitions submitted for premium processing will be subject to a 15-day processing time frame. For H-1B petitions submitted for premium processing that were submitted after the first five-day filing period, processing begins on the day that the USCIS receives the correctly completed application.
If you are filing for an H-1B visa you may not be subject to the cap, especially if you work for certain nonprofit, government, or research organizations. If you are filing an H-1B petition but have previously been counted against the cap in the past six years, you may not be subject to the cap for fiscal year 2013. This means that you may file for an H-1B visa even when the USCIS meets its cap for the year.