H-1Bs Quota Filled — Some Options Remain

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Without notice, the H-1B filing window for the year closed. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced on January 27, 2011, that the day before it had received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2011(“FY2011”). USCIS notified the public that January 26, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date up to September 30, 2011.

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 FY2011 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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