United States: FY 2011 H-1B Usage Continues to Climb Toward Annual Limits
Though H-1B cap numbers remain available for Fiscal Year 2011, the total number of filings is moving closer to annual limits. USCIS has received 47,800 H-1B filings against the standard cap of 65,000 and 17,400 filings against the cap exemption of 20,000 for holders of U.S. advanced degrees.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that as of November 12 it had received 47,800 H-1B filings against the 65,000 annual standard cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and 17,400 filings against the 20,000 cap exemption for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. Though cap numbers are still available, usage continues to increase steadily and is approaching the annual quota for the year.
Over the last few months, USCIS has received approximately 2,000 total cap filings each week, with occasional spikes of over 4,000 filings. The pace of filings could accelerate in the coming weeks, however, as employers start to file cases for December graduates and with the possibility of hiring increases generally.
For these reasons, employers should assess their H-1B needs for the remainder of the fiscal year, and prepare to file petitions as soon as possible to minimize the risk of being foreclosed by the cap. It is also not too early to begin planning for the FY 2012 filing season, which begins in just a few months, on April 1, 2011.
If you have any questions about this alert, please contact your designated Fragomen professional.