US Unemployment rate impact H1B Visa jobs demand

May 14th H1B 2013 Cap count Update – 5,300 filed. Spike in petitions, Prediction ?

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 28 Comments

Yet another Monday, USCIS has been very prompt with its weekly H1B cap count updates…Earlier today, they released the cap count updates for fiscal year 2013 . The numbers include all the H1B petitions that USCIS received until Friday, May 11th, 2012. Here is the summary of the update:

  • 4,200 new H1B petitions were filed under Regular quota
  • 1,100 new H1B petitions were filed under Masters degree quota

H1B Visa 2013 cap count updates by USCIS on May 14th, 2012:

H1B Petition Filings Total CapCurrent Cap count
Regular Quota65,00036,700
Advanced degree Quota
(Masters degree)
Remaining H1B Cap33,500

Spike in Filings, H1B visa cap Prediction. Positive Outlook on US Economy

Yet another week in our H1B 2013 season…slight shift in numbers and slight movement in the prediction date..Lets play the H1B cap numbers game…as we compare with last week, May 8th H1B 2013 cap update , H1B regular quota filings were up by 900 from 3,300 last week to 4,200 this week…unlike, masters quota filings were down by 300 from 1,400 last week to 1,100 this week. Overall, the H1B petitions filed were up by 600 from 4,700 to 5,300 this week.  In fact, we are getting closer to the average pace of filings in the month April, which was about 5,300 per week.

As we look at the H1B predictions for fiscal year 2013, very slight change in prediction dates as well. Based on linear regression, the data suggests that H1B regular quota cap can be exhausted by July 8th and Masters quota cap can be exhausted by June 17th, 2012. Overall, we have about 28,300 H1B Slots left under regular quota and 5,200 H1B slots remaining under Masters quota. Also, we can expect some surge in H1B Masters quota filings as it mid May and it is Spring graduation time…In fact, international students get their final grades, including degree transcript to file H1B petition around Spring graduation time….If you are a Masters student and planning to file for FY 2013, hurry up !

Some real good news from US Economy perspective, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index (UMCSI) rose to its highest level in 4 years, it is at 77.8…It indicates positive outlook on employment situation and spending by US consumers…the UMCSI is used by all major corporations for decisions related to increasing workforce and demand forecast…Maybe, we can expect more hiring…more jobs, only bad news is inflation continues to decelerate, but fed is not too much worried as they can manage it…Also, Fed economists forecast the US unemployment rate will most likely average at 8.1% in 2012 and can decrease to 7.7% in 2013. Based on the forecasts, we can expect more demand for advanced skilled workers in 2013, which means higher demand for H1B visa 2014 filings…Overall, US economy looks better than the last couple of years and H1B workers will continue to have good demand…

What are your thoughts on H1B prediction and US economy ?

You can follow all the H1B updates at H1B visa 2013 Tracker 

H1B Cap Count 2013 – Regular Quota  Graph

 H1B Visa 2013 Regular quota cap count update May 15th 2012

Masters Degree H1B cap count 2013 Graph

H1B visa 2013 Masters Cap count update May 15th 2012


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Comments ( 28 )

  1. Raj

    Hi Saurabh,

    I recently changed job and my H1 transfer was approved on May-7. I’m planning to bring my spouse to US (she currently does not have any H4) as soon as possible. Do I require new I-797 before sending her for interview? How long does it take to receive I-797 notice?

    1. administrator

      If you are working for the new employer, then it would be better for her to carry a copy of approved 797 when going for stamping. The physical copy is received by the employer/attorney within 2-3 weeks.

  2. John

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a H1B already for 1.5 year and my company is about to promote me to another field, new position new salary. Do you know how long it would take to process this ? what if I am not accepted ? can I go back to my previous position?

    My HR department is not very cooperative thats what I am turning back to you …

    Thanks again for your help!

    1. administrator

      They would have to file new LCA for the new position which would take around 2-3 weeks. Then they need to file H-1 amendment which will take around 2-4 months. In case of denial, you can continue to work on previous H-1 petition.

  3. Vi


    my employer is filing H1B for me on June 5 (which is 2 weeks from now), is it going to be too late? Do you think visas will be exhausted by then?
    Do you know when they usually release the cap count update? I’ve been waiting for it all day long.


    1. administrator

      IMO, the cap would still be open 2 weeks from now. BTW, will the LCA be filed 2 weeks from now or will they file I-129 2 weeks from now?

      They usually release it by Monday, but it seems to have been delayed this week.

      1. Vi

        Thanks for your prompt response.

        LCA has already been filed, I-129 will be filed on June 5. I was just worried that visas would be exhausted before given this year’s fast pace.

  4. SundarSiva


    Am in US on H1. My fiancee is planning to come to US on H4 around August. She has good ERP consulting experience, so getting a job won’t be a problem. But the rate at which H1B cap getting consumed this year 2012-13 is alarming. I checked with few consultants here, everybody saying that they can sponsor only around September bcoz employers cannot wait more than 2 weeks. If we miss this year, then she has to find a job only next year, which is again not certain. What is the way out…are there any consultants who can sponsor H1 and wait for 3 months. Pls advise.

    1. administrator

      There must be employers who are willing to file 6 months in advance. That is why so many petitions have been filed (not all of them are in consulting industry and not all of them result in approval). However, I don’t know who those employers are.

  5. subba

    Hi Saurabh,

    My wife will be traveling to USA on H4 visa by this month end and we are hoping with in a week time some company will sponsor H1 for my wife. Could you please clarify me below things.

    1). How long does LCA and other process to take though quota?
    2). Do you expect cap count will be available one more month?


    1. administrator

      1. LCA can take around 10 days for certification. Once approved, employer will have to post it on internal boards for another 10 days
      2. Yes, I do

  6. Shaan


    I heard that, for COS (H4 to H1) once the dependent arrived in USA, dependent must wait for 60 days to apply for H1.
    Is there any law or is there any alternative for this. Could you please through light on this.

    Thanks in advance..

    1. administrator

      It is not a law but a guideline. When a person enters US on H-4, the person tells the government agencies that they plan to not work in US. If the person then files H-1 petition w/ COS, then it may give the impression that person used H-4 to enter US and file H-1 COS. In other words the person lied when the person entered US on H-4 visa. This can be a big concern when H-1 COS is filed within 30 days of entering US and subsides as the person spends more time on H-4. It is minimal after 90 days.

      As this is more of a guideline and not a law, it will be up to USCIS officer whether to raise RFE questioning the intent or overlook it.

  7. Hari

    My employer says a certified LCA is what the cap count is and not the actual petition with LCA, i129, fees and rest reaching the concerned Service Center (which is what i believe).
    HR says LCA is certified and dont worry about cap count.

    I mostly believe they are wrong. how do i prove that its wrong and they have to apply ASAP?
    Can you either point me to USCIS website which makes it clear as to what is cap-counted stage or a different way to make them understand this.
    Please help me as early as possible

    Hari Kumar

    1. administrator

      They are wrong. If you go to the 2012 cap count article, you will see lot of posts where petition reached USCIS office on Nov 23 and was returned back as quota was considered over on Nov 22. All those people would have got their LCA certified prior to Nov 22. Your employer seems ignorant and so does your HR.

      This article is what I found but it doesn’t explicitly says what you are looking for. You can reason w/ them but if the employer wants to remain ignorant about the H-1 rules, then you can’t help it. Do they take services of an attorney? If yes, may be they can show the employer the light.

      1. Hari Kumar

        Trust me, i got less than 5 mins to talk to the employer and
        i argued with the same point that you showed below about last year Nov 22nd petitions.
        opened the same link of uscis and explained him
        also told him, if that’s the case, big Indian companies can file the maximum LCA’s and it get it Certified w/o actual employees or hiring someone, but he argued there are some limits for them to do so.

        I clearly understand that he is ignorant, but i was thinking you may point me to a better url that i can show and ask him to “F” off.

        1. administrator

          Hari Kumar,
          I tried searching for better links, but couldn’t find any. You can talk to an attorney to see if he can provide a legal text.

    2. administrator

      Just thought of another argument. The cap starts from April 1. A lot of petitions are filed on April 1, and they get their LCAs certified prior to April 1. If a person is considered to have made through the cap on the basis of LCA filing, then all these people would have made through the cap even prior to April 1, which would be contradicting to cap start date of April 1.

      LCA is filed w/ DOL and petition is filed w/ USCIS and counts are maintained by USCIS. They are two different agencies.

  8. Raghuvir

    Hi ,

    I am Raghuvir from a company X, my employer has just filed my LCA. I have 2 questions. How much time does it normally take to file a petition. And when am I considered under the cap?. ( When LCA is filed or when the petition is filed ). Thanks in advance !

    1. administrator

      LCA certification can take 7-10 days, and then it needs to be posted on internal boards for 10 days. Once that is done, I-129 will be filed w/ USCIS. Once this document reaches USCIS, you will be considered to have made through the cap (assuming cap is still open at that point of time).

  9. Venkatesh

    Hi Saurabh,

    Thanks for the continued updates related to the FY13 VISA updates. I’ve been learning more information from this forum. It would be a great help to clear my doubt regarding my H1B query. My employer has applied H1B on the basis of my client X in TX, US. The petition has been accepted and I’m yet to received the approval from USCIS. But my confusion is that my client X do not have any onsite opportunity at least for another year. When I get the stamping done, do I need to raise a new LCA if the traveling state differs?

    1. administrator

      Yes, if your client/location changes, then a new LCA needs to be certified. In addition, employer will have to file for H-1 amendment as well for the new LCA.

  10. Ren

    Hi Saurabh,
    I wonder, are these numbers officially released by the USCIS? So they come out weekly? Every mondays? I’d like to keep on track as I have to find a visa sponsor. Thanks!

    1. administrator

      Yes, they are released by USCIS weekly. You can follow them here on the blog or on USCIS website.

  11. Joydeep

    Hi Saurabh,
    I see, you help many people with your visa knowledge. Appreciate for that first of all. Now, i have a situation, where i have been in US with H1B since last 2 years, and my wife is visiting this month end with H4. I am planning to apply H1 for her in another 1 month time. Talking with many employers and consultancies as well. She has a sound India background with Java/J2EE development in Oracle Corp(hyderabad) with almost 8 years of exp. As per profile, she should be picked up by the employer, but mind is still afraid of the bad possibilities also! So want to know if you just maintain this blog or do you have your own consultancy? i.e. Can i get any help from you in this regard? Please reply me as early as it’s possible by you. Thanks.

    Joydeep Bhattacharya
    (I can be reached at- 248-275-1819)

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