H-1B Cap: When is The Last Day to File? H-1B Lottery Clarification

April 22, 2009

Many people have been calling our office to ask "when is the last day I can file an H-1B?" The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has clarified how they will determine the "last receipt date" for an H-1B.  Initially, the USCIS stated that if a sufficient number of applications were received during the first 2 days of April, USCIS would conduct a random lottery of all H-1B applications filed in the first 5 business days of April, that critical date being April 7, 2009.  USCIS was to include all applications filed on or before April 7, 2009 in a random lottery selection process.

However, the USCIS did not receive enough cases to fill the regular H-1B quota by the end of the day on April 7.  Therefore H-1B applications are still acceptable until USCIS determines when will be the final date for filing applications.  This date is called the "last receipt date."  

USCIS does not announce the "last receipt date" in advance.  Instead, USCIS will announce the "last receipt date" after the date passes.  Then USCIS will conduct a random lottery of all those cases received on that date.  

To ensure your chances of having your H-1B application considered, you should file your H-1B case immediately.  If your case is received on the "last receipt date," your case will be entered into a lottery for random selection with all the other cases received on the same "last receipt date."  If your case has already been filed, congratulations.  Now all you have to do is make sure it gets approved.

If you have a last-minute H-1B application to file, hire an immigration visa attorney to help you submit immediately.  Each day counts.