USCIS has released a statement late yesterday confirming that as of last Friday, May 26, enough H-1B petitions were received to use up the entire cap of 58,200, plus 6,100 “recaptured” numbers from this year’s Chile/Singapore H-1B1 cap.
USCIS has received 5,358 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 of May 25.
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, 2007 (the first date of the 2008 cap), and filings will not be accepted until April 1, 2007. 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 FY07 now that the cap has been reached.
We expect that H-1Bs for foreign nationals who received a Master’s or higher degree from a U.S. university will continue to be available through at least the first quarter of the fiscal year.
We recommend that all of our employer clients contact their Congressional Representatives and Senators to urge them to support the provisions of S.2611, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, which recently passed the senate, or S. 2691, the Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership Act of 2006, which was recently introduced in the Senate. Both would raise the H-1B cap to levels approaching market demand. You can send a message to your Representative and Senators at
For questions about particular cases, please contact the firm.