U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received approximately 172,5000 H-1B petitions during the fiscal year 2015 (FY2015) filing period and completed the computer-generated random selection process on April 10, 2014, to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 advanced degree exemption cap.

 |  Post by in H-1B Cap Counts, USCIS News

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY2015 for both the general category and the advanced degree exemption category, and will close the filing period after today. A random selection “lottery” will occur at a later date.

USCIS will begin premium processing H-1B cap-subject petitions no later than 4/28/14, and will accept Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing Service during the period that premium processing is unavailable. Petitioners may upgrade a pending H-1B to premium processing once a receipt is issued.

In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2014 H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa season, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated its practical filing tips:


Attorney Heather Sivaraman will be joined by Mr. Jeff Sapko of the USCIS Raleigh-Durham Field Office to speak on immigration law practices during a UNC Immigration Law Association Career Panel scheduled for Wednesday, March 5, 2014.


USCIS released an updated Form N-400 Application for Naturalization which now incorporates the two-column “table” format and 2D barcode technology, as well as a number of revisions to existing questions and new questions relating to national security and good moral character. USCIS will host a teleconference on February 20, 2014 to discuss the revised form. USCIS will not accept older versions of the Form N-400 after May 5, 2014.

View the revised form instructions at USCIS.com


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period for the first time since 2008. They have also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.

As announced on March 15, 2013, USCIS has temporarily adjusted its premium processing practice. To facilitate the prioritized data entry of cap-subject petitions requesting premium processing, USCIS will begin premium processing for H-1B cap cases on April 15, 2013.  For more information on premium processing for FY 2014 cap-subject petitions, read the related USCIS Alert.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions that have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted, as well as extensions of status, change of terms for current H1-B workers, change of employers, and second petitions for current H1-B holders.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit www.uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), YouTube (/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 cap on Monday, April 1, 2013. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted; not the date that the petition is postmarked.  The cap for FY 2014 is 65,000. In addition, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000.

Based on feedback from a number of stakeholders, USCIS anticipates that it may receive more petitions than the H-1B cap between April 1, 2013 and April 5, 2013.  H-1B petitioners should follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as they prepare petitions, in order to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, including, but not limited to, scientists, engineers, and computer programmers.

For more information on the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and current Form I-129 processing times, visit the H-1B FY 2014 Cap Season Web page.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) submitted the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

USCIS has previously published two notices in the Federal Register in connection with this information collection: a notice on December 28, 2011 published at 76 FR 81517, allowing for a 60-day public comment period; and, a notice on March 16, 2012 published at 77 FR 15787, allowing for a 30-day public comment period. USCIS did not receive any comments in connection with these notices. OMB, however, has recommended changes that are reflected in the instructions to the form.

In addition to these recommendations, USCIS is revising the form’s instructions to include clear guidance regarding recipients’ of Deferred Action under Childhood Arrivals (DACA) ability to request advance parole documents under certain circumstances as provided under the memorandum issued by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on June 15, 2012, and the implementation guidance that derives from it. USCIS is also reporting an increase in the number of respondents associated with this information collection as DACA recipients that can establish a need to travel outside of the United States based on humanitarian, employment or education reasons will be able to request advance parole documents.

DATES: The purpose of this notice is to amend the 30-day notice USCIS published on March 6, 2012, to allow for an additional 30 days for public comments regarding these additional changes USCIS is proposing. Comments are encouraged and will be accepted until December 31, 2012. This process is conducted in accordance with 5 CFR 1320.10.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, must be directed to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer and to DHS. Comments should be submitted to the OMB USCIS Desk Officer via email at oira_submission@omb.eop.gov. All submissions received must include the agency name, OMB Control Number [1615-0013].

Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.Regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to consider limiting the amount of personal information that you provide in any voluntary submission you make to DHS. For additional information please read the Privacy Act notice that is available via the link in the footer of >www.Regulations.gov.

Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies should address one or more of the following four points:

(1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Overview of this Information Collection

(1) Type of Information Collection Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

(2) Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Travel Document.

(3) Agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the DHS sponsoring the collection: Form I-131; USCIS.

(4) Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract: Primary: Individuals or households. Certain aliens, principally permanent or conditional residents, refugees or asylees, applicants for adjustment of status, aliens in Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and aliens abroad seeking humanitarian parole, in need to apply for a travel document to lawfully enter or reenter the United States. Eligible recipients of deferred action under childhood arrivals (DACA) may now request an advance parole documents based on humanitarian, educational and employment reasons.

(5) An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: 495,090 respondents submitting form I-131 at 1.9 hours; 71,665 respondents providing biometrics at 1.17 hours; and 293,733 providing passport- style photographs at .50 hours.

(6) An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: Estimated 1,171,385 burden hours.

If you need a copy of the information collection instrument with supplementary documents, or need additional information, please visit www.Regulations.gov.

They may also be contacted at: USCIS, Office of Policy and Strategy, Regulatory Coordination Division,
20 Massachusetts Avenue NW.,
Washington, DC 20529-2140;
Telephone 202-272-8377.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service reports that from August 15, 2012 to November 15, 2012, a total of 298,834 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival requests were accepted for processing, 273,203 biometric services appointments were scheduled, 124,572 requests were under review, and 53,273 DACA requests were approved.

Read more about the report on the USCIS website.