The H-1B cap will be reached this year on its first day of eligibility. MU Law expects around twice as many H-1B petitions as allowed will be filed this year. We are basing this projection on our internal H-1B cap filings, discussions with other AILA attorneys, our historical experience with H-1B numbers since the mid-1990s, and media sources. That having been said, our projection is not a scientific one. Indeed, no one knows exactly how many H-1Bs will be received.
The H-1B cap petitions will be divided into two categories: (1) Those who have graduated from US Master Degree programs; and (2) all other H1-B cap-subject petitions (“regular H-1B cap”). The US Masters category has a quota of 20,000 H-1B petitions. The regular H-1B cap has a quota of 65,000 H-1B petitions.
Since both H-1B categories will be oversubscribed, the USCIS will hold an H-1B lottery. The H-1B lottery will be held next week. Last year the H-1B lottery was held April 9, 2013. Although the H-1B lottery will be held next week, the USCIS did not notify all petitioners of the outcome until June 2013.
If a petitioner wants know sooner, the H-1B may be filed via the Premium Processing Service (PPS). The PPS does not give a petitioner any greater chance at winning lottery, but it does allow for speedier notice and decision-making.