The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, as of June 11, 2012, it had received enough H-1B cap-subject petitions to reach the annual 65,000 “regular cap” limit. On June 7, 2012, USCIS also exhausted the 20,000 H-1Bs reserved for foreign nationals with U.S.-earned advanced degrees. USCIS will reject H-1B cap-subject petitions filed and received after June 11, 2012.
The H-1B category is still available for nationals of Chile and Singapore, and the numerical limit on the E-3 specialty occupation category for citizens of the Commonwealth of Australia has not yet been depleted.
USCIS will continue to process certain H-1B petitions already counted towards the cap, including requests to extend current H-1B validity and change an H-1B worker’s employer or terms of employment. In addition, USCIS will continue to accept petitions exempted from the cap and DOD cooperative research worker H-1B petitions. Otherwise, USCIS will accept cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2014 on April 1, 2013 for employment with a start date of October 1, 2013 or later. Employers with petitions that were not accepted should explore alternative visa options with their Ogletree Deakins attorney.