USCIS announces FY2011 H-1B cap count

Iowa Employment and Labor Law Dickinson Law Firm Des Moines, Iowa

Posted on 05/07/2010 at 09:24 AM by The Newsroom

On April 1, 2010, USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) began accepting applications for H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins October 1, 2010. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as science, engineering, or computer programming.  The statutory cap on the number of H-1B petitions that can be approved for each fiscal year is 65,000 Regular H-1Bs (for employees with a bachelor's degrees or the equivalent) and 20,000 Master's H-1Bs (for employees with a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution). 

In 2007 and 2008, USCIS reached the cap in April of each year. In 2009, however, the cap was not reached until December, arguably because of the recession. As of April 27, 2010, USCIS had received 16,500 petitions under the Regular Cap and 6,900 under the Master's Cap.  Some analysts opine that since the economy is picking up, the FY2011 cap will be reached sometime between early October and November.  Click here to see USCIS's current cap count. Iowa employers interested in hiring foreign nationals in specialty occupations should consult their immigration attorneys for more details regarding the H-1B program.  

The material in this blog is not intended, nor should it be construed or relied upon, as legal advice. Please consult with an attorney if specific legal information is needed.


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