The H-1B quota for Fiscal Year 2011 (October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011) continues to remain Available. The regular quota for Fiscal Year 2011 is limited to 65,000 (minus approximately 550 number being used by the H-1B1 category for nationals of Chile and Singapore). The exemption from the quota for individuals who have earned U.S. Masters or higher degrees is limited to 20,000. As of December 31, 2010, which is the latest update provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the USCIS has received 53,900 petitions against the regular H-1B quota and 20,000 petitions filed requesting the U.S. Master's Degree or higher degree exemption. The USCIS announced on December 31, 2010 that the U.S. Master's or higher degree exemption has been met. Because this exemption has been exhausted, all quota petitions will now be counted against the remaining numbers in the regular quota. The USCIS is currently receiving approximately 2,000 petitions a week against the regular H-1B quota. It is assumed that the number of filings will increase because the U.S. Master's degree or higher degree exemption has been exhausted. Therefore, we are anticipating that the regular H-1B quota for fiscal year 2011 will be met by mid-January. Last year, the H-1B quota was met on December 23, 2009. After the USCIS announces that the H-1B quota has been met, employers will not be able to file initial H-1B petitions subject to the quota until the quota Fiscal Year 2012 opens on April 1, 2011 (for petitions requesting a start date of October 1st, 2011 or later).