USCIS has released a statement today confirming that as of yesterday, April 7, 2008, more than enough H-1B petitions were received to use up the entire cap of 58,200, plus approximately 6,100 “recaptured” numbers from this year’s Chile/Singapore H-1B1 cap.
USCIS has also received more than enough petitions that will count against the exemption cap of 20,000 for employees with a Master’s or higher degree from a U.S. college or university.
As announced in a prior Client Alert, USCIS will now log in all received H-1B petitions, and will conduct a random selection process for which H-1Bs will be considered “selected” to be processed toward this year’s caps. USCIS is not yet able to provide a date by which the random selection will be done, and is not yet able to tell us how many petitions were received.
Now that the cap is reached, employers (other than cap-exempt institutions, such as universities and nonprofit research centers) cannot file H-1B petitions for employees who have not previously held H-1B status. The soonest a “new” H-1B will be able to start will be October 1, 2009 (the first date of the 2010 cap), and filings will not be accepted until April 1, 2009. Employers also cannot file petitions for employees to switch their H-1B status from a cap-exempt institution to a cap-subject institution with a requested start date during FY08 now that the cap has been reached.