1. H-1B Cap Season Began April 1, 2013—USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 cap on Monday, April 1, 2013. Cases are considered accepted on the day USCIS receives the petition with the correct fee. The numerical limit for FY 2014 is 65,000, and the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of people with a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the cap. USCIS anticipates receiving more than 65,000 H-1B petitions between April 1 and April 5, 2013. USCIS will notify the public when the H-1B cap has been met. If USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, a lottery system will be used to randomly select the number of petitions to reach the numerical limit. The lottery for the H-1B cap was last used in April 2008. H-1B cap cases can continue to request premium processing. Due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season, USCIS has temporarily modified the premium processing service. 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 details on premium processing cap-subject petitions, please see the USCIS Alert at www.uscis.gov
2. New Form I-9—On March 8, 2013, USCIS issued a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. All employers are required to complete Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. Some of the changes to this revision include new data fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions. Additional information, including the new form and instructions, are available at http://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
On March 8, 2013:
• Employers should use the new I-9 Form (Rev. 03/08/13)N for new hires and reverifications
• Employers can use prior versions (Rev.02/02/09)N and (Rev. 08/07/09)Y until May 7, 2013
• After May 7, 2013, employers must use ONLY the newest version
3. CBP to Automate Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record—U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to automate Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Form I-94 provides nonimmigrants evidence that they have been lawfully admitted to the United States. Under the rule, which becomes effective on April 26, 2013, nonimmigrants arriving to the U.S. by air or sea will no longer need to fill out a paper Form I-94. However, anyone who goes through secondary inspection, such as asylees, refugees, and parolees, will still be given a paper copy of Form I-94. USCIS will continue to require applicants to submit a paper copy of Form I-94 when requesting certain benefits. Other government agencies, such as State Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs), also require a paper copy of Form I-94. Also, nonimmigrants who are authorized to work may present a paper copy of Form I-94 to their employers as proof of work authorization. For more information about I-94 automation, visit www.cbp.gov.