On October 1, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service will release the H-1B visa numbers for the 2014 fiscal year. While October may seem like a long way away, H-1B petitions can be filed beginning April 1, 2013 - six months in advance of the H-1B start date.
On April 1, tens of thousands of H-1B petitions will be filed to claim one of the 85,000 H-1B visa numbers (20,000 of which are reserved for those who have received a Masters degree or higher from an academic institution in the U.S.).
Last year, all 85,000 H-1B visa numbers for the 2013 fiscal year were exhausted by June 13. This year it is anticipated that the visa numbers will be exhausted much sooner - possibly even within the first week in April.
If you think you may need to file an H-1B petition on April 1, and have not already brought this to my attention, please contact me as soon as possible so I can evaluate the case and let you know if the H-1B petition should be filed this year. This includes filing H-1B petitions for F-1 students whom you currently employ under Optional Practical Training (OPT).
I will be initiating all known H-1B cap cases over the next week or so.
Remember that most individuals who have not previously held H-1B status will be subject to the H-1B quota.
While the H-1B quota will likely increase for next year under Immigration Reform, it is also likely that the government filing fees associated with H-1B petitions will increase as well - possibly by $1000 - which is another reason you may want to file this year.