As of September 24, 2010, 39,600 of the 65,000 H-1B numbers have been used from the “regular” H-1B cap, while 14,400 of the 20,000 H-1B numbers allotted for the U.S. Master’s degree (or higher) category have been used.

If you currently employ any recent graduates who are in F-1 optional practical training (OPT) status and wish to continue to employ them beyond the expiration of their employment authorization card, you should consider filing H-1B petitions for them now, while there is still H-1B availability. If you wait for next year’s H-1B numbers (FY 2012), for which we are permitted to file beginning on April 1, 2011, you may be out of luck. If the economy picks up, the demand for H-1B numbers will surely increase, and we may be back in that untenable position where all the numbers are used up by the first day of filing.