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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