Completion of Data Entry on All FY 2015 H-1B Cap Petitions - Does it Mean no More Hope if You Have Not Yet Received the Receipt?


U.S.C.I.S. announced on May 2, 2014, that data entry of all H-1B cap petitions had been completed and that it would now begin returning all H-1B cap petitions that were not selected in the lottery. That was sobering news to many H-1B petitioners and beneficiaries who have waited for weeks in the hope that their petitions would be selected. U.S.C.I.S. received approximately 172,500 cap petitions and by this writer's count, could have selected approximately 94,000 counting the approximate number of petitions that could have been waitlisted based on the average percentage of waitlisted cases from FY-2009 to FY- 2012.

So does it mean that all hope is lost of being selected if the petitioner or attorney did not receive the receipt by this time? On parsing the language in the notice that "data entry has been completed", that does not mean that people are completely out of luck if they did not receive a receipt by May 2d. However, it does seem to mean that all receipts have probably been sent out and so this next week will likely be critical in determining whether some petitions have been selected. Of course, given the reliability of regular mail which is used by U.S.C.I.S. to deliver receipts instead of priority or express mail, it could take even longer for receipts to reach petitioners than one week or even to reach a few petitioners at all. The writer would also suggest that petitioners and/or beneficiaries who have given checks for the filing fees to U.S.C.I.S. verify with their banks whether the checks have been deposited, another sign that an H-1B case has been receipted.

Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Alan Lee

Alan Lee is a 30+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City holding an AV preeminent rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Director, registered in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, on the New York Super Lawyers list (2011-12, 2013-14), and recognized as a New York Area Top Rated Lawyer in 2012. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for Interpreter Releases, Immigration Daily, and the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasba and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: an Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004, and his victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of first impression nationwide, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof. Its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Bush Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.

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