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 for regular petitions and 20,000 additional petitions for foreign nationals who secured at least a master's degree from an accredited university in the United States. The USCIS has reported that, as of June 13, 2011, approximately 15,200 H-1B cap-subject petitions, and 10,200 master's degree petitions, had been filed for fiscal year 2012.

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.