Home > H-1B Posts, USCIS > H-1B U.S. Masters Cap Reached

H-1B U.S. Masters Cap Reached

October 27, 2011

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that as of October 21, 2011, it has received sufficient number of petitions in the H-1B U.S. Masters cap of 20,000 for the fiscal year 2012.  The USCIS also announced that it has received 46,200 petitions in the H-1B regular cap of 65,000.  Thus, it will continue accepting H-1B petitions in the regular cap.

 Here are a few things to note:

–H-1B petitions will continue to be accepted under the regular cap until the USCIS receives 65,000 petitions.

–Even the U.S. Masters or higher degree holders could have their petitions filed in the regular cap.

–Individuals that were counted in an H-1B cap in the past six years will not be subject to the present cap.  In other words, they are exempt from the current H-1B cap.

–H-1B change of employer petitions or extensions are not subject to cap and are therefore exempt.

–H-1B petitions by non-profit research institutions are exempt as well.

–Australian passport holders may obtain E-3 visa (equivalent to H-1B) but a separate cap with 10,000 visas.

–Singapore or Chile passport holders may apply under a separate H-1B1 visa category that is set aside each year (6,800 visas).

Few more things:

–Between October 14, 2011 and October 21, 2011, USCIS received 3,900 petitions in the regular cap.  This is a big jump indicating that visa numbers are getting exhausted much faster than expected.

–Given that US Masters Cap is now exhausted, there will be a significant spillover of those petitions into the regular cap, thereby making the regular cap exhaust even faster.

–Once the regular cap reaches, the USCIS will not accept H-1B petitions until April 1, 2012.  Moreover, individuals whose petitions are filed in the next year’s cap (i.e. April 1, 2012 or after) cannot commence employment until October 1, 2012.

We therefore recommend that employers planning to file H-1B petitions in the current H-1B cap do so as quickly as possible.

%d bloggers like this: