LawFlash

H-1B Filings Advance Toward FY2013 CAP

May 30, 2012

Employers contemplating hiring an H-1B foreign national should act without delay.

As we announced in a previous Immigration Alert, H-1B visas for this fiscal year are being used at a significantly increased rate from past years—reflecting the gradual improvement of the U.S. economy and the continued shortage of workers in the IT industry.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of May 25, 2012, U.S. employers have filed for 48,400 H-1B visas subject to the regular cap of 65,000 and 17,500 H-1B visas available to foreign nationals holding a Master's degree or other advanced degree from a U.S. university. USCIS began accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2012, with the most recent usage figures as follows:

Type Cap Amount Cap Petitions Filed Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 48,400
05/25/2012

H-1B U.S. Master's Degree Exemption

20,000

17,500

05/25/2012

There is thus a significant likelihood that the annual quota on new H-1B approvals for FY2013 will be reached during June 2012.

Implications

We urge employers contemplating the hire of an H-1B worker to file the petition with USCIS as soon as possible. Although it is not possible to predict the exact date on which either H-1B cap will be reached, at the current rate of usage, H-1B visas in either category will be exhausted during June 2012.

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