On Apr 21 2009 by William A. Stock

The H-1B Cap Watch Begins

Today, USCIS provided an updated cap count stating that, as of last Friday, 44,000 of the 65,000 available H-1B petitions (and 20,000 petitions claiming the additional 20,000 Master’s Degree exemptions) have been received.  Based on comparison of today’s announcement with yesterday’s that 43,000 petitions were received as of April 13, it appears that, for the moment, anyway, H-1B availability may continue into the summer for the first time in several years.

Those of us with years of experience in the immigration field will recall the frustrations of advising clients during this “cap watch” – employers need to understand that the cap could be reached at any time, so hiring decisions need to be accelerated and petitions need to be prepared quickly.

Fortunately, it also means that employers can make hiring decisions for the next few weeks without the worry that their petitions will be rejected for lack of available H-1Bs.