On January 27, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the H-1B quota for Fiscal Year 2011 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011) was met on January 26, 2011. Any petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2011 H-1B quota will be rejected if received on or after January 26, 2011. Petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2011 H-1B quota which were received on January 26, 2011 will be subject to a random selection process in order to ensure that the USCIS does not accept more than the statutorily available number of H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2011.

The H-1B quota for Fiscal Year 2011 was met approximately one month later than the H-1B quota for fiscal year 2010. The H-1B quota for fiscal year 2010 was met on December 23, 2009. However, the H-1B quotas for Fiscal Year 2008 and Fiscal Year 2009 were technically met in one day during the initial filing period. In Fiscal Year 2009, 166,000 H-1B petitions were received against the regular H-1B quota of 65,000 and the U.S. Master's exemption to the H-1B quota of 20,000.

The H-1B quota for Fiscal Year 2012 (October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012) will open on April 1, 2011. The USCIS has unofficially indicated that it will be changing the submission process for petitions filed against the Fiscal Year 2012 H-1B quota. However, the USCIS still has not released official guidance about this change. Similar to Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009, if the USCIS receives more than the statutorily available number of H-1B quota petitions during the initial filing period, the USCIS will conduct a random selection process of all of the petitions received. The number of available quota petitions for Fiscal Year 2012 will remain the same as with the H-1B quotas for the past seven years.

Additional information about the Fiscal Year 2012 H-1B quota will be contained in our firm's future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.