Tag Archives: h1b season

H-1B Visa 2013 Summary

While technically we haven’t reached the end of the H-1B visa season for FY-2014 it is essentially over as this year in the first week of April 2013, the USCIS announced it had received 124,000 H-1B applications and that it would no longer accept anymore.

The H-1B visa lottery was instituted for the first time since 2008 to allocate the visa given the 65,000 regular cap and 20,000 advanced degree exemption extra quota. Premium processing began on April 15 for those applications that paid the extra $1,225 filing fee to have their applications processed within 2 weeks from commencement. Those that missed out during the lottery had their applications and fees returned and over the last few weeks those that were selected in the lottery were notified, although their actual petitions still need to be processed meaning there is still a small chance of rejection.

Below is a summary of this year compared to past year’s H-1B visa seasons. As you can see since the bad economic years of FY-2011  (during 2010) and FY-2010 (during 2009), the caps have been filling ever more quickly from January the following year to November, then June for last year’s season and now back to right away in April as we had in 2008 with oversubscription. Let’s hope things improve via US Immigration reform because no doubt the same thing will happen next year.

Cap Type FY2014 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 4/5/2013
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 4/5/2013
Cap Type FY2013 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 6/11/2012
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 6/7/2012
Cap Type FY2012 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 11/22/2011
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 10/21/2011
Cap Type FY2011 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 1/26/2011
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 12/31/2010
Cap Type FY2010 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 12/21/2009
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 12/21/2009
Cap Type FY2009 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 4/7/2008
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 4/7/2008
Cap Type FY2008 Cap Amount Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 4/3/2007
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 4/4/2007

Hopefully all of you that applied got lucky and possibly for H-1B Visa season in 2014 (FY-2015), new US Immigration reform which proposes increasing the cap to 124,000 for H-1B annually initially with further increases in subsequent years based on demand. Additionally the Green Card petitions that are currently in the system and new ones for particularly STEM graduates from US Universities may also increase along with the potential of the Startup visa.


H-1B Visa Quota April 2012 Update

The FY2013 H1B visa season commencing on April 1, 2012 has just poset the first H1B visa quota numbers for the season and it looks like the H1B visa demand is roaring back. It is the highest total at this point since 2009 and more reminiscent of 2007-8 where demand was exhausted in the first few days and you had things like the H1B Visa Lottery which meant heartache for so many foreigners who applied correctly right at the beginning of the season

While last season FY2012, the H1B visa quota was exhausted on November 22, 2011, the H1B visa quota if continues at the current rate will be lucky to be still running during May. With the US unemployment rate down to 8.2%, and tech companies booming with many recent and forthcoming IPOs with Facebook, Yelp, Zinga, LinkedIn, Pandora, etc., the need for skilled workers particularly in engineering is hot.

As at April 27, 2012, getting close to a half of the main H-1B Visa Quota has been filled, up 17% to 29,200 from 25,000 on April 20. This is a slight slowing of the 21% increase in H-1B quota the prior week. Now over half of the Advanced Degree exemption for foreigners with a US Master’s Degree has also been filled also up 11% to 12,300 from 10,900 on April 20.

Cap Type Cap Amount Cap Eligible Petitions Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 29,200 4/27/2012
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 12,300 4/27/2012

It should be noted that the related H-1B1 visa for Chilean and Singaporean citizens are not included in this cap which is about 6,800 set aside each year but is rarely filled and unused from the previous year are used in the current year. These are still being accepted for FY2012. Also please note the Official USCIS FY2013 H-1B portal.

Congrats to all those who managed to find an employer sponsor thus far and have got their application in early this year and good luck to those on F1 Visa OPT this year in your quest to get an H-1B visa. It is already a more competitive year this year than recent times so would be good to accelerate your search now and apply, apply, apply!