FY13 H1B Quota Reached on June 11, 2012

The H1B quota for fiscal year (FY) 2013 was reached on Monday, June 11, 2012. The advanced-degree cap was reached a few days earlier, on June 7, 2012. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made an announcement regarding both cap limits on June 12, 2012. The USCIS will reject any H1B cap cases filed against the FY13 cap that reach the USCIS on or after June 12, 2012.

Last Day for Filing / Receipt at USCIS: June 11, 2012

The last day for filing cases against the FY13 cap was June 11, 2012. Any cases filed after that day will be rejected. As mentioned, the advanced-degree exemption limit was hit on June 7, 2012. Remember that filing, for this purpose, means that a properly completed and signed H1B petition should have reached the USCIS by June 7th to be counted against the advanced-degree cap or by June 11th to be counted against the regular H1B quota for FY13. Cases filed against the advanced-degree cap between June 7th and June 11th were counted against the regular cap.

No Lottery Information Provided

In prior years, the USCIS held a lottery of the cases filed on the last filing day. This was implemented because there were not enough numbers for all cases filed on the last day. It was necessary, therefore, to make a selection using a random, computer-generated system. This was not required when the cap was reached last fiscal year, FY12. The USCIS did not mention any lottery in the FY13 cap announcement.

Filing Means Received by USCIS

Filing, in this context, means that a case is received by the USCIS. Assuming that no lottery is announced in connection with the FY13 cap, cases received by the USCIS on or before June 11, 2012 will be accepted for review and adjudicated to a decision, if they are otherwise properly filed. That is, the USCIS will make a decision to either approve or deny each case accepted under the H1B cap, as long as certain basic requirements are met. These requirements include: submission of the proper form/s with appropriate signatures, inclusion of correct filing fees, and delivery to the correct filing location.


Reaching the FY13 cap on June 11, 2012 ended the cap season months earlier than in FY12 and FY11. The FY12 and FY11 caps were reached on November 22, 2011 and January 26, 2011, respectively. The higher rate of initial filings came as a surprise to many. If FY13 is an indication of a trend toward shorter cap filing seasons, it will be important for employers and eligible individuals to engage in earlier H1B cap planning in the future. Filing for FY14 cap cases can begin on April 1, 2013, with an employment start date on or after October 1, 2013. Planning for these filings should start well in advance of the filing date. Individuals and their employers who were unable to file during FY13 may wish to discuss their immigration options with an attorney at the Murthy Law Firm.

Copyright © 2012, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.