USCIS Reaches FY2012 H-1B Cap

Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The annual quota of 65,000 cap-subject H-1Bs available for fiscal year 2012 has been exhausted.

USCIS announced on November 23, 2011 that it had received a sufficient number of cap-subject H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY2012. November 22, 2011 is the final receipt date for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting new employment during FY2012. Cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS on or before November 22, 2011 will be receipted and accepted for processing. Cap-subject H-1B petitions received by USCIS after November 22, 2011 will be returned. USCIS has confirmed that all properly completed cap-subject H-1B petitions received for filing on November 22 will be processed and that there will be no lottery for petitions received on November 22.

Employers seeking a FY2013 H-1B may begin filing petitions for receipt by USCIS on April 1, 2012. The earliest date a FY2013 H-1B worker may commence employment is October 1, 2012.

Although still a far cry from the pre-recessionary days when the H-1B quota was exhausted by petitions filed on April 1, USCIS has reached the H-1B cap more than two months earlier for FY2012 than for FY2011, when the quota was not exhausted until January 26. This signifies a strengthening demand for H-1B workers and greater pressure against the cap.

USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1B petitions in FY2012 that are exempt from the cap, including petitions to extend the status of a current H-1B worker, petitions to change H-1B employers, petitions to allow a current H-1B worker to work concurrently in a second position, petitions on behalf of workers who have held H-1B status in the last 6 years, petitions on behalf of J-1 Conrad 30 waiver physicians, and petitions by certain non-profit employers.