H-1B Filings Advance Toward FY2013 CAP


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

Employers contemplating hiring an H-1B foreign national should act without delay.

As we announced in a previous Immigration Alert, H-1B visas for this fiscal year are being used at a significantly increased rate from past years—reflecting the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy and the continued shortage of workers in the IT industry.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of May 25, 2012, U.S. employers have filed for 48,400 H-1B visas subject to the regular cap of 65,000 and 17,500 H-1B visas available to foreign nationals holding a Master's degree or other advanced degree from a U.S. university. USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2012, with the most recent usage figures as follows:

Type Cap Amount Cap Petitions Filed Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 48,400 05/25/2012

H-1B U.S. Master's Degree Exemption




There is thus a significant likelihood that the annual quota on new H-1B approvals for FY2013 will be reached during June 2012.


We urge employers contemplating the hire of an H-1B worker to file the petition with USCIS as soon as possible. Although it is not possible to predict the exact date on which either H-1B cap will be reached, at the current rate of usage, H-1B visas in either category will be exhausted during June 2012.

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.

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