Each year, USCIS exempts 20,000 petitions from the regular H-1B cap filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. advanced degrees. On October 21, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the numerical limit for these “U.S. Masters” H-1B petitions had been met. Unless otherwise exempt from the cap, additional petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries who have received a U.S. master’s degree or higher will be counted against the regular cap. As of October 21, USCIS had received 46,200 eligible H-1B petitions towards the regular cap of 65,000. Based on current usage, it is possible that the H-1B cap may be reached on or before the end of this calendar year, so we encourage cap-subject employers who are considering first-time H-1B filings to make a decision as soon as possible and to file new H-1B cases well before the end of 2011.