USCIS Continues to Accept FY 2011 H-1B Petitions
United States businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.
Fiscal Year 2011 Cap
On April 12, 2010 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will continue to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) cap. USCIS declared that it will monitor the number of petitions received for both the 65,000 general cap and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher educational exemption.
According to their internal records USCIS has received approximately 13,500 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap. The Service has also reportedly received approximately 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degrees.
USCIS promises to provide regular updates on the processing of Fiscal Year 2011 H-1B petitions. Should the Service receive enough petitions to meet the cap, it will issue an update to inform us that the Fiscal Year 2011 H-1B cap has been met as of a certain date (the “final receipt date”). The final receipt date will be based on the date
USCIS physically receives the petition, not the date that the petition has been postmarked.
The date USCIS informs the public that the cap has been reached may differ from the actual final receipt date. If too many petitions are received on the date that the numerical cap limit is reached, USCIS may randomly select some of those petitions and reject others. The teaching point here is to not wait until the end if possible.
For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window of April 1-7, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7. For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the premium processing period begins on the date that the petition is physically received at the correct USCIS Service Center.
Petitions filed by employers who are exempt from the cap or petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap within the past six years will not count toward the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. Therefore, USCIS will continue to process all petitions filed.
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