On April 5, 2012, USCIS let it be known, unofficially, that for the three business day period of April 2 through April 4, it had received 22,323 H-1B cap filings, of which roughly a quarter to a third were advanced-degree exemption cases. This appears to be more than double the number of cases filed at this time last year. On April 7, 2011 [last year's count], USCIS reported, for the five business day period of April 1 through April 7, 2011, that only 10,400 cases were received, of which 4,500 were advanced degree cases. The total allocation each year is 65,000 with an additional 20,000 for holders of U.S. Master's degrees or higher.
Last year H-1B Cap subject visas remained available into November. It looks like this year the cutoff date is likely to be considerably earlier. Those involved in hiring and visa processing decisions should contact our Immigration & Nationality Group, to facilitate the prompt filing of H-1B petitions where appropriate.