H-1B Quota Filled: Some Options Remain

Without notice, the H-1B filing window for the year has closed. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced the day before Thanksgiving that on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, it had received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2012 (“FY2012”). This means that petitions for first-time H-1Bs received November 23 or thereafter will be rejected and mailed back to the petitioner unprocessed.

Under immigration law, the H-1B program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals in “specialty occupation” positions, which require a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. Under current law, there is a cap on the number of new H-1B petitions that will be granted each federal fiscal year. As in prior years, the cap for FY2012 was filled with several months remaining in the fiscal year.

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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.

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