It came as no surprise to us at Valentini Law Offices that FY 2013 H-1B visa regular quota was reached on June 11, 2012. As for the quota for aliens with advanced degrees, it was filled a few days earlier. For the first time in four years, both H-1B quotas were reached in less than one fiscal quarter, turning the H-1B visa quota into a barometer for our recovering economy.
Now that both quotas have been reached, qualified applicants have to wait for FY 2014 H-1B visa quota to open up on April 1, 2013. It is certain that FY2014 H-1B visa quota would only stay open for a very short period. Acting fast and applying as early in the “H-1B visa season” as possible is crucial. As the saying goes, an early bird catches the warmth! Eligible aliens and their employers are advised to contact H-1B visa lawyer no later than March 1, 2013 to meet FY2014 H-1B visa quota!
Is there any hope for employers not willing to wait until April 1, 2013 to file H-1B applications? Absolutely! Not all petitioning employers are subject to H-1B caps. Examples of these employers are: institutions of higher education, nonprofit entities related to or affiliated with institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and governmental research organizations. Additionally, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the H-1B cap are not subject to subsequent caps.
Therefore, while FY2013 H-1B quota is closed, USCIS continues to accept H-1B petitions filed to extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the US; change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; allow current H-1B workers to change employers; or allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B job.