H1B Visa 2013 Cap Reached – FAQs – Will there be lottery ? LCA ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 75 Comments

As you know, USCIS did a press release earlier today that H1B Visa 2013 cap is complete. Unfortunately, if you did not make it through for this year FY 2013 cap, you may be having lot of questions. We tried to compile list of most frequently asked questions for your benefit. Also, you can read H1B Visa 2014 FAQs

What are the cap reach dates for H1B Cap 2013 ?

  • H1B 2013 Regular quota cap reached on June 11th, 2012
  • H1B 2013 Masters quota cap reached on June 7th, 2012

My H1B application was sent to USCIS on June 11th, will I be considered towards cap ?
June 11th, 2012 is the final receipt date for new H1B petitions filed under 2013 quota. To be considered for 2013 cap,  USCIS should have physically received the petition on June 11th, 2012. Petition sent to USCIS with postmarked June 11th, 2012 will not be considered by USCIS, they will reject the petitions received after June 11th, 2012.

I am a student with Masters degree from USA, I have sent my H1B application on June 7th, 2012 and USCIS received it before June 11th . Am I counted towards H1B 2013 cap ?
Typically, all advanced degree petitions that did not make it to Masters H1B quota are added to regular quota. Advanced degree  petitions received by USCIS between June 7th and June 11th are also considered to have made through the FY 2013 cap.

Will there be lottery for petitions received on June 11th, 2011 ?
No, USCIS does not state any information about lottery in their press release. All petitions received through June 11th are considered to have made through the cap. In the past, USCIS press release explicitly mentioned about lottery, when they intend to conduct one. As there is no news on lottery, one can assume that all petitions received until June 11th, 2012 have made it through the 2013 cap (just like last year when all petitions received on the last day made through the cap)

I have filed for H1B Premium processing ? How will I get receipt numbers ?
Premium processing petitions will receive the receipt numbers through email (sent to employer/attorney) within couple of days

I have filed H1B under regular processing ? How will I get receipt numbers ?
Non-premium processing petitions will receive the receipt numbers through regular mail (sent to employer/attorney) within 60 calendar days

I have filed my LCA and still waiting on its update to file H1B petition for FY 2013, what should I do ?
Unfortunately, there is no point of following up on LCA as they will become irrelevant because of the H1B cap closure.

I am filing for H1B extension, will I be counted towards cap  ? I am transferring from Company A to Company B, will I be counted towards cap ?
No. If you had an approved H1B petition previously and looking to transfer from Company A to Company B or filing for an extension, you will not be counted towards cap. USCIS will continue to accept such petitions

Where is the official press release ? Can you point me to USCIS link ?
Official USCIS Press release :  USCIS Reaches H1B 2013 Cap

When does next H1B Season start ? Will it be in 2014 ?
Typically, USCIS accepts petitions from April 1st. So, next H1B 2014 season would begin from April 1, 2013. Read H1B Visa 2014 FAQs

Do you have any other question ?


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Comments ( 75 )

  1. Juan Tamad

    hi just call me Juan, im a Filipino, i just want to know if we were deceived(hope not) by our employer.. here’s the senario..
    March 2012, the employer ask for our files, requirements, etc.. its about that the US is offering H1B Visa in which we are told by the employer that we applied for.. Because everyone in the Philippines want to work in the US so we grab the opportuniy, so we arrange all the documents needed and send to the employer and we are also told that we have to PAY $6,000.00 dollars EACH to all the processing.. And so we provide also, because the employer told us that we need to catch the April 1,2012 deadline… In SHORT all were settled..
    And now as what i have read in the internet, H1B for Fiscal Year 2013 (in which we are to be included Right?) have already received the mail or result or what they call it, but in our situation WE HAVENT received or informed by the employer what happened to OUR application..

    What makes me nervous now is that NOW is the application for the Fiscal Year 2014, right? and lottery have already made, if im not mistaken.. Still No information was GIVEN to us until now..
    If we count the number of months that we are waiting for any Updates or what. its already 15months……


    1. administrator

      What is the employer saying about this? Is he responding to emails/calls etc? Petitions filed in April 2012 should have been processed by now. If not, then your employer needs to follow-up w/ USCIS. If they haven’t followed-up until now, then they are pure dumb.

      Ask the employer for the copies of 797C, which is the receipt number issued by USCIS when the petition is filed. From the face of it, it looks like they have duped you.

  2. Devi

    Hi Saurabh,

    My husband is currently working in US.
    I have an approved H1B petition (approved this year) filed by Company A
    But due to personal reasons I have to resign by next month.
    Will my petition be ‘Invalid’ if I resign?
    Would like to know if I can use this petition for finding a new job (eg Company B) in US.

    Waiting 4 ur reply,
    Thank u

    1. administrator

      The employer can withdraw the petition once you resign from them. However, you can still use this petition to have another cap-exempt petition filed through another employer. Make sure you have a copy of the approved petition with yourself. If not, at least have the receipt number and copy of online status showing it approved for future cap-exempt petitions.

  3. Narayan BS

    Hi ,

    I have approved H1-B work petition and will be going for Visa Interview soon. My work permit was approved for a different client and now i have got the new LCA for the new client . But i do not have the client letter specific to the new client. .All i have is the new LCA & TM doc. please let me know if there would be any issues at the stamping .. thanks

    1. administrator

      Narayan BS,
      You may be asked for client specific documents. So it is better to carry new client letter, SOW or MSA. Also, did the employer file for H-1 amendment after getting the new LCA? The officer can also question about this.

  4. Ina

    hi saurabh,
    I have a quick question. I have an employer (school district) that filed a petition for O-1A on my behalf (world language teacher). They wanted me to start September 4th, 2012. For some reason they were told (by USCIS?) to change the application to H1B, which they now did. I don’t know/understand all the details…but sit and wait…
    So my question is: Is the cap not reached (for H1B) already? Or does the cap exemption apply to school districts? Do they have to prove something before the petition can/will be approved? And why would USCIS suggest changing the petition to H1B? (I am not sure though who suggested it. What I know is that it was suggested by someone.) Can you provide any clarification, please and how long this could take?
    Thanks a lot

  5. Himanshu

    Hi Saurabh,

    I am working with a reputed Indian IT company. The company filed my H1B petition on 1st June 2012. I received a mail from my employer which had Receipt/Petition Nbr, starting as WAC….. and receipt date as 20th June 2012. My question to you is, if the cap had reached the prescribed qouta on June 11 2012, how could my petition date on USCIS website be 20th June. If it’s correct what are chances that my case would be under 65k Cap.

    Expecting a +ve response from your end.


  6. shamini mohan

    I came to US in L2 dependent visa in February 2012 and got a small contract job through a third party consultancy.Since my husband’s visa status(L1) expired in Auguest 2012,I need to file my H1B. In the mean time the company decided to stop that particular project.Here the problem started.Since I don’t have job , consultancy person was asking us to take the full expense and we took entire expense. They filed my H1B with approved L.C.A and without client letter.Till this time this consultancy not able to find any other job for me. I am not sure whether they are searching seriously for me or not.
    I have invested the entire amount so consultancy don’t have any risk and thats why they are not taking interest in my case.
    If I am withdrawing my H1B petition, will I get my money back?( I have taken the entire expense of my H1B. and thats why I am really worried.)
    If there is any way to get my money back ,please give me a reply ASAP. Is there any chance to get my H1B approved?(it is submitted without client letter)


    1. administrator

      USCIS will not return any money if the petition is withdraw. What your employer returns, is b/w you and your employer. You can complain to USCIS letting them know that employer asked you to pay for H-1 fees even though legally they are required to pay for H-1 fees.

  7. Mayank

    i might get approval in next weak now as my H1B effective date will be Oct 1st 2012 but right now i got a good opportunity from another company so is it possible as soon as i will get my approval i can change my company ??

  8. Mayank

    My emplyor file my H1B this year and its in process but i might get approval in next weak now as my H1B effective date will be Oct 1st 2012 but right now i got a good opportunity from another company so is it possible as soon as i will get my approval i can change my company ??

    1. administrator

      Yes, once the petition is approved another employer can file for cap-exempt petition. You can start working for the new employer on the basis of new petition’s receipt (provided it is past Oct 1).

  9. Raghu

    Hi Saurabh,
    I would like to know when this year’s applications will be interview starts as it got capped on 11th June 2012?
    Are there any chances before Oct?

    Thanks and appreciate your help.


    1. administrator

      People can start attending interviews at most 90 days prior to H-1 start date. So if H-1 is approved for Oct 1, a person can attend visa interview after July 1.

  10. Dhritiman

    I am in OPT and it is valid till February 2013. Since the H1B quota has been filled up, i couldnt apply for H1B but i will have 1 month gap in between OPT validation and H1B . In this case what is your suggestion? can i continue my job?
    Is there any chance of lottery?
    please reply

    1. administrator

      H-1 will be applied while you are in 60 day grace period. This will put you in cap-gap which allows you to stay in US but NOT work. You can start working again from Oct once H-1 gets approved w/ COS.

  11. sam

    Hello Saurabh,

    I was in process to apply H1 for FY2013 in Sep 2012 but the quota has reached. Currently I am on L1-B visa and working in US. Do I need to wait for 1 more year or another employer can apply for L1 to H1 transfer i.e. status change? Thanks in advance.

  12. Satish

    Hi Saurabh,

    My wife had a 221G in December last year. She is a direct employee for a large IT Services company. We submitted all documents requested – Company justification on her location of work as she is in sales and no client as such, previous H1b set of documents, company financials,. The Consulate just replied after 6 months and they mentioned the following: “Please submit your DHS Letter to VFS, along with Rs.183”. Nothing else mentioned. Our doubt is, what is “Your DHS Letter”? Where do we get it? What should it contain? what is your take on the reply.

    1. administrator

      DHS is Department of Homeland Security. I don’t know what letter DHS would have sent to VFS and how you would have access to it. Is this for H-1 or L-1?

  13. John

    Hi Saurabh,
    First of all good job for your work.

    I got a quick question, can I travel to Europe for a week and come back to the US while I am under a H1b transfer?

    If so, under which conditions?

    Thanks –

    1. administrator

      You can travel but then the transfer will be approved w/o I-94. So you will get the new petition w/ no I-94 attached. To return to US you need to have valid visa stamp and unexpired petition for the employer you will work for after entering US. If you plan to work for new employer then you need to carry old petition and copy of transfer receipt.

      You can check w/ your attorney for more details.

    1. administrator

      Legally that is possible as the GC is for future employment, and you don’t need to be necessarily employed w/ them on H-1 at the time of GC filing.

      1. pavi


        Thanks for getting back to me. Appreciate it. Just another clarification, what is the process for this? On the USCIS home page EB-2 is called a visa…. Can I start working once the EB-2 is filed or by filing for EB-2, will I have to wait for GC to start working

        1. administrator

          The company can hire a lawyer to guide them through the process. It starts w/ wage determination -> job placement in paper -> resume evaluation -> PERM -> I-140 -> I-485 (when the dates are current) -> EAD -> GC

          You can start working for the employer on the basis of GC only once EAD has been issued. This can take few years to arrive.

          1. pavi

            Thank you so much for the help and clarification Saurabh.
            Guess there is no way out for me then and will have to wait for next year’s H1-B cap to open. 🙁 Will I be able to volunteer instead in a small (less than 10 member) organization?

          2. administrator

            I don’t know what you current visa status is. As long as you maintain your legal visa status, you can volunteer at an organization. Also it is important that there are other volunteers (American citizens) in that company doing similar kind of job for free.

  14. Pavithra

    Hi Saurabh,
    I am currently on H4 and made into the H1 cap for this year. I just recieved the H1B reciept number from my employee and the case is in intital review. I got a problem now, where my husband is having some issues with his visa extension. His visa expires July 31st, incase if his visa extn did not happen on time and if we are supposed to leave US the
    1) what would happen to my H1 petition that is currently in review stage?
    2) If my husband gets his visa extn docs in Aug or Sep, he appears for the visa stamping and comes back to US with his approved petition. In such a case can I travel with him on H4 and then do a CoS from H4 to H1?

    waiting for your reply…thanks much!

    1. administrator

      1. Your H-1 would still be processed as you were in status at the time of filing. If you leave US before it gets approved, then your COS from H-4 to H-1 will be abandoned.
      2. Yes. If he returns on H-1, then you can also return on H-4 and later file COS from H-4 to H-1.

      1. Pavithra

        Thanks Saurabh for your quick reply.

        I am little confused on your reply “Your H-1 would still be processed as you were in status at the time of filing. If you leave US before it gets approved, then your COS from H-4 to H-1 will be abandoned.

        Does it mean that my H1 petition (or the work permit) will also be abandoned and cannot work in the US.
        If my petition is approved when I am in India, should I have my visa stamping done and then enter into US?


        1. Raj

          To my understanding only COS will be abandoned and not petition, if you leave US then insted of COS you need to face Embassy Visa Stamping process and then only you can return back.

          But in between if your husband got visa extension then again your H4 will become active and you can return to US and skip stamping process and your H4->H1 will be under COS

          Saurabh correct me if i am wrong.

          1. Pavithra

            Thank you Raj for your reply….just waiting for Saurabh’s confirmation on this…
            Can you please confirm Raj’s reply on this?

        2. administrator

          Your filed H-1 application has two things – the H-1 petition itself and the COS from H-4 to H-1. If you leave US while it is pending, then COS would be abandoned while H-1 petition would be continued to be processed. If H-1 gets approved, you can return to US on stamped H-1 visa (after Sep 20th).

          I assume your H-4 visa is also expiring on July 31. So you can return on H-4 visa only after your spouse’s H-1 extension gets approved, and then go for H-4 visa stamping.

  15. Annie

    Hi Sourabh/J,
    My H-1B visa was filed on 11th June 2012 and I received the EAC two days later. I am worried as I have been told that petitions received on the last week might have to go through the lottery system. Pls illuminate on this matter as I am unaware of the inside story. Also would like to know how soon can I expect a decision as the visa was filed under premium processing. Appreciate your help. Thanks!

    1. administrator

      You have already received the EAC number which is a proof of making through the cap. The processing will be done within 15 calendar days for PP.

  16. Suresh

    Dear Saurabh,
    i got the receipt number (EAC) on May-3rd of 2012.
    whenever i check my status, it is always initial Review.
    can you please let me know how many days will it take for the H1B Approval.

    Thanks and Regards,

    1. J


      If you have filed under premium processing you will get decision in 15 calender days in regular processing it can take 2 to 6 months for decision.


  17. sri


    My application was sent on friday june 8th evening, and the tracking shows as delivered on saturday afternoon at vermont office.

    Will i be counted in the cap ? All the posts show that the application reached only on week days. But my application was received by VT office on saturday. Slightly feared.

    1. administrator

      If it was received by 11th, then it has made through the cap. USCIS will send out the receipt number within 60 days (assuming it is a normal processing case).

  18. bharath


    I have file my H1b visa for this years quota and I got my reciept number.I am having H4 visa if I travel on H4 visa can I transfer my H1 in US or else do I need to have approval copy or receipt number is sufficient for H1B transfer.Please advice.

    1. administrator

      H-1 transfer can be done once the petition gets approved. It cannot be done while the initial petition is still pending.

      1. bharah


        Sorry for posting duplicate queries.Can a new employer file new petition under cap exempt as I got recepit number.My h1b has beeen filed through India MNc and now i got married and travelling to US on H4 and I resigned from my current company and I am not sure whether they will support all the docs for approval.Please suggest.

        1. administrator

          I don’t think another employer can file cap-exempt petition for you while the initial petition is still pending and has not been approved. It would have been better if you could have stayed back w/ old employer at least until petition approval and then resigned from them. Check w/ an attorney to see if you can still make use of the receipt number (which may now be withdrawn as you have resigned from the employer).

  19. Jittin Nautiyal

    I just came to know that my shipment was also received on 11th June 2012 however I did not get teh EAC number yet. Most of my frnds got the EAC number and their application was also received on 11th June so I am just confused if I made it or not??

  20. bhav

    Hi Saurabh

    Can multiple employers file H1b?
    Company A filed h1b in april but did not get any information from them.
    Later company B filed the petion in June and i got the reciept.
    Is it ok have 2 h1b filed?

      1. JK

        For all those who have applied for multiple H1Bs and/or have L1 in the processing simultaneously, please henceforth be considerate of people who are also well qualified, have employers willing to sponsor visa and have missed the quota. FYI, there are many many people who do not have OPT and are truly dependent on H1B. We are all unemployed for the next 1 yr atleast!

  21. Prasanna

    Hi Sourabh,

    I Usually the quota is open till sep/oct isnt it? A similar scenario happened in 2008 where the quota got filled just within a week or so. Then they reopened it. Is there any possiblity of such a thing to happen this time? If so when they will be announcing about this?

    Please clarify. Thanks!

    1. Alex


      I don’t recall reopening the quota in 2008. In both 2007 and 2008 the demand was extremely high and the quota was reached in a few days. After the recession, the quota was available up to the following February (like two years ago), or November (last year). This year there was again a surge of applications because the economy is doing better. The quota has been reached and it will not reopen this year.

  22. Jittin Nautiyal


    My visa application was sent on 8th June 2012 however I am not sure if it will be come in this quota still I would like to ask that out of these 65000 applications many will be rejected so will the USCIS open the quota once again? If yes then do we need to send a fresh application for it.


    1. david

      Jittin, Did you send it via Fedex? you should check with you your employer when it was received. If it was received on or before 11th, you made the cap. Otherwise you have missed this year. It will not reopen….

      1. Jittin Nautiyal

        Thanks David,

        There will be some rejections in this 65000 quota so will the USCIS keep it to whoever got in first….

        1. J

          Jittin Nautiyal,

          Generally USCIS is not publishing denial visa counts, rejected petitions from 65000 will be added in next FY year.

          Saurabh, Please correct me here


          1. Arpan


            My visa application was sent on 9th June 2012. USCIS recevied it on 11th(by USPS) & I got my receipt number today. But when I check status, It says We recevied your application on 13th june and its in “Acceptance” status. If I got receipt number it means they are considering my application, right?

          2. administrator

            They accept few extra petitions in the same financial year to accommodate for petitions that might get rejected/denied/withdrawn. They use historical numbers to guesstimate this number.

            For more details, refer to this article I recently wrote about different caps and how they work.

  23. anoop

    hi saurabh,

    Thank you very much for the post it was really helpful , however i have a question regarding the non filing of H1 .I am sorry if you have answered the question already 🙂 i am currently on OPT and it expires on the second week of september this year 2012 , unfortunately my company has missed the deadline as they have closed the h1 applications as of monday . Mty question is what are my options ?if i need to maintain a legal status here in america and work at the same time ? i do have a 5 year f1 visa.

    1. administrator

      You can apply for OPT STEM extension if you are eligible. The other option is to enroll in another course/school.

  24. Siva

    Thanks Saurabh!
    Its only because of you and RedBus2US website many have their Visas processed without any issues. Thanks for your prompt reply for thousands of queries and helping the people like us everyday.

  25. Kala


    Great work…..
    Let me appriciate your effort on this website.
    What a data analysis you have been done 🙂 …
    Gr8 effort in providing…Exact and to the point info….

    Congs once again.


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