Each federal fiscal year, there is a quota on the number of new H-1B petitions that the USCIS can approve. That quota is 65,000 regular petitions and 20,000 additional petitions for FNs who secured at least a master's degree from an accredited university in the United States. The USCIS has reported that, as of April 29, 2011, approximately 9,200 H-1B cap-subject petitions, and 6,600 master's degree petitions, had been filed for fiscal year 2012. This leaves room for approximately 55,800 new H-1B approvals under the 2011 "Regular" cap quota and 13,400 under the 2012 "Masters" cap quota.
USCIS will continue to accept all eligible H-1B cases until a sufficient number of H-1B and H-1B1 petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits. Employers considering an H-1B petition for an existing or potential employee should prepare and file the petition as soon as possible.