As of May 11, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has received a total of approximately 51,500 H-1B cap filings for employment in FY 2013: 36,700 petitions have been receipted against the “regular cap” of 65,000 and 14,800 H-1B petitions have been receipted against the “Master’s cap” of 20,000 for foreign nationals with advanced degrees from U.S. universities and colleges.
By this time last year, USCIS had received approximately 19,100 H-1B cap-subject petitions, while in 2010 it had received about 27,100 cases over a comparable period. The latest cap count reveals an increase of 5,300 filings in only a week since the agency’s last count on May 4, 2012. Based on the substantial increase in the 2013 H-1B cap filings, this year’s H-1B cap will be reached much earlier than in the past two years, possibly even by June 2012.
USCIS will continue to accept H-1B petitions until it has received a sufficient number of cases to meet the regular and advanced degree caps for the 2013 fiscal year. Employers should continue to identify persons for whom H-1B sponsorship will be needed, and contact the Ogletree Deakins attorney with whom you normally work to initiate any new H-1B petitions as soon as possible. This will allow sufficient time for petition preparation, including the time required to file and receive certification of the prerequisite Labor Condition Application (LCA). Ogletree Deakins is closely monitoring the availability of H-1B visa numbers and will provide further updates as the filing season progresses.