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Only 10,000 H-1B Visas Remain for FY2013 - ACT FAST!

June 2012

By: Ryan M. Helgeson, Esq.

On June 4, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") issued an updated H-1B Cap Count for the current fiscal year. As of June 1, 2012, the numbers of petitions "receipted" by USCIS are:

Cap Type

Cap Amount

Petitions Received

H-1B Regular Cap

65,000

55,600

H-1B Master's Degree Exemption

20,000

18,700

As the data show, only 10,700 H-1B visas remain for the current fiscal year. Petitions for next fiscal year cannot be submitted until April 1, 2013. Because so few visas remain, and because the petition process has certain steps that must be completed prior to filing, companies considering petitioning for an H-1B visas on behalf of one of its employees must act now.

The number of petitions received includes those approved and those that are still pending, it does not include petitions that have been denied. Some petitions are exempt from the Regular Cap under the Master's Degree Exemption. This exemption is provided for the first 20,000 petitions filed on behalf of a beneficiary who has obtained a U.S. master's degree or higher. Once 20,000 Master's Degree Exemption petitions have been received, further petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with a master's or higher degree will be counted against the regular cap.

Only certain H-1B petitions are subject to the annual cap. Petitions from institutions of higher learning and certain non-profit organizations are not counted against the quota.

Questions about this or other business immigration issues? Please contact Ryan Helgeson at 630-377-1554 or email him at ryhelgeson@wesselssherman.com.