U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Already Nearing 2011 Cap for H-1B Petitions

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that as of December 31, 2010, it has received 57,300 H-1B petitions out of the available 65,000 petitions for fiscal year 2011. In addition, USCIS announced that it has received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the H-1B master's-degree exemption. It is anticipated that the USCIS will reach the limit for cap-subject petitions soon, and all employers who wish to file new H-1B petitions should act promptly to do so.

H-1B petition extensions or petitions filed for a change of employer are not subject to the cap, unless the current H-1B employer was cap-exempt. H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have held H-1B status at any time during the last six years are also not subject to the cap, unless the H-1B employer was cap-exempt. Petitions filed by an institution of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, or by a nonprofit research organization or governmental research organization, are also exempt from the annual cap.

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