H1B Cap Case Selection Update as of April 23, 2013

Many MurthyDotCom readers are still eagerly awaiting notification from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding whether their respective H1B cap cases were selected in this year’s H1B lottery. This NewsBrief provides readers with an update on the current status of H1B cap case processing, based upon experiences witnessed by the Murthy Law Firm and in recent USCIS announcements.

Background: Visa Lottery and Random Selections

As explained in H1B Lottery: Understanding Case Selection, far more H1B cap-subject petitions were filed during the five-day, initial filing period that the USCIS is allowed to accept under the cap limits. Therefore, the USCIS conducted a random lottery to determine which cases to accept and which to return.

Murthy’s Experience with H1Bs: Receipts, Approvals and RFEs

Although premium-processing timeframes were officially suspended until April 15, 2013, the USCIS issued receipt notices for premium processing cases and, in some instances, even approval notices prior to April 15th. The first eMail receipt notices for cap subject filings were received at the Murthy Law Firm on April 9, 2013. Since that time, the USCIS has continued to approve some of the cap-subject H1B cases filed under premium processing, and issue requests for evidence (RFEs) for others. Still others are awaiting further action. Given that the premium-processing timeframe for review officially began on April 15th, we expect that most of the premium processing cases selected in the lottery will receive either approval notices or RFEs in the near future.

Hard Copy Receipt Notices for Non-Premium H1B Cases

Hard copy H1B receipt notices for cases filed under the regular (non-premium) process began to trickle in to us at the Murthy Law Firm in mid-April. These receipt notices continue to arrive on a daily basis, as of this writing. The most recent estimate by the USCIS for the completion of data entry and issuance of receipt notices for non-premium cases is sometime in May. It is possible to upgrade a case from regular to premium processing, if desired, but only after the receipt number has been issued.

Returned Packets Likely in May 2013 and Sent by U.S. Mail

Cases that are not selected in the H1B cap lottery will be returned by the USCIS via ordinary U.S. mail. As of this writing, we at the Murthy Law Firm have not received any such cases. The USCIS has explained that rejection notices and returned packets will be transmitted after all the data entry has been completed on the accepted H1B cases. Thus, the best estimate is that this will not occur before the month of May.


While many of those with H1B cases have received confirmation of selection in the lottery, many others are still waiting. The uncertainty is decreasing daily, with delivery of additional hard copy receipt notices via regular mail. Updated information regarding the H1B cap filings will be reported for the benefit of MurthyDotCom readers, as it is made available.


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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.