H-1B Fiscal Year 2012 Cap Hit

On November 22, 2011, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2012 (i.e., October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012). USCIS has stated that November 22, 2011 is the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2012.

The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determined that it had received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the 65,000 H-1B visas that the government is legally authorized to issue during each fiscal year. Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking employment start dates in FY 2011 that arrive after November 22nd.

A computer-generated random selection process will be applied to all cap-subject petitions received on November 22nd to select petitions needed to meet the cap. All remaining cap-subject petitions not randomly selected will be returned with the accompanying fee.

Petitioners filing H-1B cap-subject petitions may refile for the upcoming 2013 fiscal year starting on April 1, 2012. However, the earliest that a beneficiary may begin working on an approved petition filed under the FY2013 allocation is October 1, 2012. USCIS will also continue to process cases that are not subject to the cap, such as a petition for an H-1B worker requesting a change of employer or an extension of status or for employers who are not cap-subject (such as institutions of higher education or certain nonprofit research organizations).

For a copy of USCIS' announcement, click here.

Categories: Immigration Blog