LawFlash

Employers Urged to File H-1B Petitions Without Delay

May 09, 2012

Increased demand over previous years could see H-1B visas exhausted by June 2012 or earlier.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of April 27, U.S. employers have filed for 29,000 H-1B visas subject to the regular cap of 65,000 and 12,300 H-1B visas subject to the U.S. Master's degree cap of 20,000 for FY2013. USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2012. Approved petitions would authorize the employment of H-1B workers starting on October 1, 2012, or thereafter.

H-1B visas for this fiscal year are being used at a significantly increased rate from previous years. By comparison, for FY2012, 8,000 regular cap H-1B visas and 5,900 U.S. Master's degree cap H-1B visas had been allotted by April 27, 2011. This increased rate of usage reflects the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy, as the demand for H-1B visas rises and falls in response to current economic conditions.

Type Cap Amount Cap Petitions Filed Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 29,200 04/27/2012
H-1B Master's Degree Exemption 20,000 12,300 04/27/2012

Implications

We recommend that employers contemplating the hire of an H-1B worker file the petition with USCIS as soon as possible. Although it is not possible to predict the exact date that either H-1B cap will be reached, at the current rate of usage, H-1B visas in either category will likely be exhausted much earlier than last year, perhaps as early as this summer.

Contacts

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the issues discussed in this Immigration Alert, please contact any of the following attorneys:

Washington, D.C.
Eleanor Pelta
Eric S. Bord

San Francisco
A. James Vázquez-Azpiri
Lance Nagel

Boston
Lisa Stephanian Burton