H-1B Petitions Accepted Beginning April 1

On April 1, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will begin accepting new cap-subject H-1B petitions. The quota of 65,000 H-1B visas for foreign nationals and an additional 20,000 for individuals who hold master’s degrees is expected to be exhausted as early as mid-May. Although there is a set 20,000 visas designated for those with a master’s or higher, once those are exhausted, petitions will be taken out of the regular “65,000” quota.

Employers who are not willing to miss out on this opportunity will likely send in their H-1B petitions on March 29 to guarantee their paperwork will be stamped by USCIS on the day the filing season begins. The new cap-subject H-1B petitions will start on October 1, 2013. In accordance with the H-1B visa work status regulations, employees must have university-level degrees or equivalent experience.

In previous years, the H-1B visas have been claimed at quicker rates, and this trend is expected to continue. In 2010 they exhausted by January 26,2011; in 2011, by November 22, 2011; and by 201, on June 11, 2012.