According to the USCIS, as of November 18, 2011, the agency had received 61,800 out of 65,000 available cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY-2012 and 20,000 out of 20,000 available petitions under the H-1B Master’s Cap Exemption.

When the Master’s Cap Exemption has been exhausted, petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries with Master’s or higher degrees from US universities will be counted towards the general 65,000 H-1B limit for the fiscal year.

Given that it takes a week for Labor Condition Applications to be certified by the Department of Labor, and that these are required in order to file an H-1B petition with the USCIS, it is unlikely that a cap-subject employer starting the process now would be able to file before the cap is exhausted.  By the end of next week, it is safe to predict that the FY-2012 H-1B cap will be reached.

Alternatives for those who miss the deadline include determining whether the employer can qualify as exempt from the numerical limitation or examining alternative non-immigrant categories for foreign nationals.

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Author: Bradley Maged

I'm Brad Maged, an immigration lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts. I help people who want to live and work in the United States and companies that wish to employ them. This blog provides opinion and information on developments in immigration law. Thanks for reading!

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