April 5, 2012

FY2013 H-1B Cap Update: 22,323 Filed as of April 4th

Officials at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) California Service Center announced "unofficially" in a liaison meeting today that approximately 22,323 Cap Subject H-1B petitions have been filed for fiscal year 2013 (FY2013) as of yesterday, April 4, 20121. Each year, a total of 85,000 new cap-subject H-1Bs are made available. Of this total amount, 6,800 numbers are reserved for nationals of Singapore and Chile pursuant to free trade agreements with those two countries, and 20,000 are reserved for graduates with a master’s or higher degrees from U.S. universities.

The first day that employers were eligible to begin filing cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY2013 was April 2, 2012. Due to overwhelming demand for new H-1B petitions in years past, the highest volume of cap-subject H-1B filing occurs during the first week of April. According to USCIS, the number of filings received in the first few days of what is often referred to as the "H-1B cap filing season" is almost double the number of filings received by USCIS during the same time last year. It appears unlikely, however, that the H-1B cap will be reached in the first few weeks of the season.

Note that approximately 25% of the cap-subject H-1B petitions filed so far were for advanced degree petitions.

Also note that H-1B petitions are not subject to the cap where one of the following applies:

  • The individual has been granted H-1B status within the last six years;
  • The petitioning employer is a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization; or
  • The petitioning employer is an institute of higher education.

Please contact our office if you have further questions about the cap, and whether it applies in a specific case.

We will provide further information as soon as it becomes available.

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