USCIS currently anticipates receiving more than 65,000 cap subject H-1B petitions during the first week of the H-1B filing season (April 1 through 5, 2013). If the cap is indeed reached during the first five business days, USCIS will use a lottery to randomly select the petitions required to reach the numerical limit, and all petitions received from April 1 through April 5, 2013 will qualify for the lottery.
In other words, even if the cap is reached on April 1st, cases received through April 5th will have the same chance of being selected as cases received on April 1st.
If the cap is reached by April 5th, there will be two lotteries. The first will be for petitions qualifying for the 20,000 “US master’s or higher degree” exemption. The second lottery will include the remaining advanced degree petitions together with the general H-1B pool of petitions, for the 65,000 cap.
Based on the last H-1B lottery conducted in 2008, the following can be expected: FY 2009 Lottery.