March 16, 2010
Employers are reminded that USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2011 cap on April 1, 2010.
The fiscal year cap (numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2011 is 65,000. Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a U.S. master's degree or higher are exempt from the H-1B cap.
USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and will notify the public of the date on which USCIS received the necessary number of petitions to meet the H-1B cap. If needed, USCIS will randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit from the petitions received on the final receipt date. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date.
Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap also do not count towards the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will always process petitions filed to:
allow current H-1B workers to change employers;
change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States; or
allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
The H-1B cap for fiscal year 2010 was reached in seven-months (December 2009). For fiscal year 2008 and 2009, the H-1B cap was reached in the first month (April 2007 and 2008).