As you all know the H-1B season is fast approaching, the H-1B Quota for FY 2014 will be starting October 1, 2013 and we are allowed to file H-1B cases on April 1, 2013.
This year we are anticipating that the quota will be reached in the first week of April. This will lead to cases being selected randomly in a “Lottery System”. Therefore if the H-1B quota is reached in the first week their is no guarantee that your case will make it in the quota as this will be decided by a random selection made by a computer. We therefore urge all our clients to file LCA’s ASAP and submit all their documents by March 15th or before to ensure that their cases can be filed in the first week of April.
The procedures for the H-1B lottery system is such that if the quota is reached one any of the fist five business days that filings can be made, USCIS will randomly apply all the numbers among the petitions received on all of those five business days, conducting random selection among the petitions with a computer generated system.
Therefore your chances of getting in the quota are not higher if you file your case on April 1 as compared to April 5 as all the cases are taken into consideration for the lottery.
See below the text of the actual regulations as per 8CFR.
“(ii) Procedures. (A) Each alien issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under sections 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b), 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c), or 101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the Act shall be counted for purposes of any applicable numerical limit, unless otherwise exempt from such numerical limit. Requests for petition extension or extension of an alien’s stay shall not be counted for the purpose of the numerical limit. The spouse and children of principal H aliens are classified as H-4 nonimmigrants and shall not be counted against numerical limits applicable to principals. (Revised effective 1/18/2009; 73 FR 78104) (Revised 6/11/01; 66 FR 31107)
(B) When calculating the numerical limitations or the number of exemptions under section 214(g)(5)(C) of the Act for a given fiscal year, USCIS will make numbers available to petitions in the order in which the petitions are filed. USCIS will make projections of the number of petitions necessary to achieve the numerical limit of approvals, taking into account historical data related to approvals, denials, revocations, and other relevant factors. USCIS will monitor the number of petitions (including the number of beneficiaries requested when necessary) received and will notify the public of the date that US CIS has received the necessary number of petitions (the “final receipt date”). The day the news is published will not control the final receipt date. When necessary to ensure the fair and orderly allocation of numbers in a particular classification subject to a numerical limitation or the exemption under section 214(g)(5)(C) of the Act, USCIS may randomly select from among the petitions received on the final receipt date the remaining number of petitions deemed necessary to generate the numerical limit of approvals. This random selection will be made via computer-generated selection as validated by the Office of Immigration Statistics. Petitions subject to a numerical limitation not randomly selected or that were received after the final receipt date will be rejected. Petitions filed on behalf of aliens otherwise eligible for the exemption under section 214(g)(5)(C) of the Act not randomly selected or that were received after the final receipt date will be rejected if the numerical limitation under 214(g)(1) of the Act has been reached for that fiscal year. Petitions indicating that they are exempt from the numerical limitation but that are determined by USCIS after the final receipt date to be subject to the numerical limit will be denied and filing fees will not be returned or refunded. If the final receipt date is any of the first five business days on which petitions subject to the applicable numerical limit may be received (i.e., if the numerical limit is reached on any one of the first five business days that filings can be made), USCIS will randomly apply all of the numbers among the petitions received on any of those five business days, conducting the random selection among the petitions subject to the exemption under section 214(g)(5)(C) of the Act first. (Revised 3/24/08; 73 FR 15389) (Revised 5/5/05; 70 FR 23775)”
Please call us (212) 354-1010 if you have any further questions.