For the past few weeks, our office as well as other immigration firms have been working at a frantic pace to get cap-subject H-1B petitions filed this week. For FY-2014, as in past years, there will be 65,000 Cap cases and 20,000 US Master Cap cases that will be accepted for adjudication by the USCIS.
In March, the USCIS announced that it expected H-1B demand to be high this year. Whether the USCIS announcement caused an artificially high demand or the government was correct in its prediction is hard to say. However, from what we and other immigration practitioners have been experiencing, the cap will likely be exhausted either this week or within the next couple of weeks.
If the cap is reached this week, the USCIS will hold a lottery to determine which cases it will accept. All cases submitted between April 1 and April 5, 2013 will have the same chance of being selected for adjudication.
If an H-1B was filed on your behalf and it is accepted, the filing fee checks will be processed and adjudication will begin. If your case is not selected, it will be rejected and the entire package, including filing fee checks will be returned to the petitioner or the attorney of record.
It is unfortunate that a lottery may be necessary for US employers to hire the workers they need and one would hope that pending immigration reform proposals would address this issue. But for now, as Jay, the clerk at my local gas station says when I buy a Powerball ticket, “good luck!”