The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions on January 26, 2011 to reach the annual cap limit for fiscal year (FY) 2011. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions received after January 26.

For petitions received on January 26, USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to select the remaining petitions needed to meet the cap. It will reject and return those petitions not randomly selected and all capsubject petitions received after January 26 with the accompanying fees. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, including H-1B petitions filed on behalf of foreign nationals who (1) have previously held H-1B status in the last six years, (2) have not used up their entire six years of H-1B status, or (3) will be employed at an institution of higher education, a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, or a nonprofit or governmental research organization.

USCIS will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2012 on April 1, 2011 for a start date of October 1, 2011.