Employers Urged to File H-1B Petitions Without Delay

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[authors: Eleanor Pelta, A. James Vázquez-Azpiri, Eric S. Bord, Lance Director Nagel, and Lisa Stephanian Burton

Increased demand over previous years could see H-1B visas exhausted by June 2012 or earlier.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of April 27, U.S. employers have filed for 29,000 H-1B visas subject to the regular cap of 65,000 and 12,300 H-1B visas subject to the U.S. Master's degree cap of 20,000 for FY2013. USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2012. Approved petitions would authorize the employment of H-1B workers starting on October 1, 2012, or thereafter.

H-1B visas for this fiscal year are being used at a significantly increased rate from previous years. By comparison, for FY2012, 8,000 regular cap H-1B visas and 5,900 U.S. Master's degree cap H-1B visas had been allotted by April 27, 2011. This increased rate of usage reflects the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy, as the demand for H-1B visas rises and falls in response to current economic conditions. 

Type    Cap Amount     Cap Petitions Filed     Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap      65,000     29,200     04/27/2012
H-1B Master's Degree Exemption    20,000     12,300     04/27/2012

Implications

We recommend that employers contemplating the hire of an H-1B worker file the petition with USCIS as soon as possible. Although it is not possible to predict the exact date that either H-1B cap will be reached, at the current rate of usage, H-1B visas in either category will likely be exhausted much earlier than last year, perhaps as early as this summer.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Morgan Lewis | Attorney Advertising

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