USCIS Returning H1B Cap “Rejection” Packets

This MurthyDotCom NewsBrief marks the end of updates to our readers on developments related to the fiscal year 2014 (FY14) H1B cap season. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun returning H1B cases that were not selected in the FY14 lottery. The USCIS uses the term “rejection” when packages are returned for not having been selected in the H1B lottery. Rejections can also occur when the petition lacks certain necessary elements (e.g., omission of correct filing fees, petition not signed). Thus, the rejection of a package is procedural, whereas the denial of an H1B case generally occurs only after a substantive review of the petition. Cases that were rejected in the lottery selection process are the topic of this discussion for the benefit of our readers.

USCIS Began Returning H1B Packets on May 6, 2013

The Murthy Law Firm started to receive returned H1B filing packets on May 10, 2013. The earliest accompanying USCIS cover letters were dated May 6, 2013. Individuals whose H1B filings were not selected in the random lottery should seek advice regarding their status concerns and immigration options.

H1B Case Processing with Approvals or RFEs

The returned packets mark the end of the FY14 H1B cap season for individuals with cases not selected in the FY14 lottery. For those whose cases were selected, many have already had their cases adjudicated, but still others are in process. We at the Murthy Law Firm continue to receive approval notices for our clients and, for some petitions, requests for evidence (RFEs) that must be addressed before the USCIS can render a decision.


The need for a lottery selection process in FY14 reflects the disconnect between the demand for new H1B employees and the annual cap. The limited supply of H1B cap numbers forces employers to file cases six months in advance of the allowed October 1st start date. This is burdensome and unrealistic for many employers. Unless there is a change in the law, however, this cycle will likely be repeated each year. Senate Bill 744, the comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill currently being debated in the Senate, seeks to increase the cap, but no one knows if the bill will pass or in what form. Updates and further developments on CIR will be provided by the Murthy Law Firm. Check MurthyDotCom, subscribe to our RSS feed, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to stay informed.


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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.