News - December 2011

H-1B Cap for Current Fiscal Year Exhausted

USCIS has stated that as of November 22, 2011, a total of 65,000 cases had been filed against the fiscal year (FY) 2012 cap. According to the report, the 20,000 H-1B visa numbers that were available during FY2012 for foreign nationals holding Masterís degrees from U.S. universities had also been depleted.

Note that the cap does not affect H-1B employees who (1) change employers; (2) apply for extensions of stay; and, (3) change jobs where the employer files to amend a previously approved petition. The cap also does not apply to employees of institutions of higher education and related non-profit entities or non-profit research organizations.

Employers who have missed this yearís cap will have to wait to file new H-1B petitions for employment dates to commence in Fiscal Year 2013, which starts on October 1, 2012. Petitions for those H-1B numbers cannot be filed yet, as employers may file only up to six months in advance of the H-1B visa or status start date, and should plan their case strategy accordingly.


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