As of October 21, 2011, there have been 46,200 regular H-1B cap-subject petitions filed toward the 65,000 available for fiscal year 2012. We have received reports that the number of new H-1B filings have substantially increased over the last few weeks. In that the H-1B masters exemption of 20,000 petitions has been reached, it may result in an even higher number of petitions being filed in the coming weeks. If petitions continue to be filed at the current rate, we expect that the H-1B quota will be reached in about six weeks.

If the cap is reached before a case is received by USCIS, the next opportunity to file a cap subject H-1B petition will be April 1, 2012 for an H-1B employment start date of October 1, 2012, the start of fiscal year 2013.

Please contact us right away if you are interested in filing an H-1B visa petition for FY2012 for an H-1B employment start date before October 1, 2012.

About the H-1B cap:

Each fiscal year (October 1 to September 30), new H-1B petitions for specialty occupation workers are subject to an annual limit, referred to as “The H-1B Cap.” April 1 of each year is the earliest date USCIS accepts H-1B petitions with a start date of October 1, until the cap is reached. The current annual cap for the H-1B category is 65,000, but not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to the cap. For example, individuals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities can obtain one of the 20,000 H-1B masters exemption, which are not counted towards the 65,000 regular cap H-1Bs.