H1B Visa Quota Update – October 2011 (Advanced Cap Finished)

This is an Fy2012 H1B visa season update that commenced on April 1, 2011. We have had slow growth in the overall H1B visa quota numbers throughout the year and again like FY2011, we are now already in the following US Immigration year.

As October 1st is the start of the new year otherwise known as FY2012. That means if you have already been approved for an H1B visa since April 1, 2011, your new visa has already taken effect and you can legally begin working for your sponsor employer now. It also means that if you are sponsored now, given how long the application process takes even with premium processing, you will be able to start working immediately which is a great selling point for foreigners to a prospective employer and sponsor as opposed to earlier in the year.

So as of October 21, 2011, which is the most recent H1B quota update the USCIS has announced. There are currently 46,200 petitions to count towards the general 65,000 H1B visa cap which only includes petitions that are approved or pending.
Anything that has already been denied is not included.

Additionally at October 21, 20,00 petitions have now been received for the US Advanced Degree exemption quota portion of the H1B visa cap which means the USCIS are saying that they consider all future application will go towards the main cap.

This equates to about a 2,900 increase in the main cap since the last USCIS update on October 14 which is probably been the fastest period of growth since the beginning and a 400 increase in the Advanced Degree Exemption category which is now fully exhausted for this H1B visa season cycle.

In the last 6 weeks, the main cap has gone up by almost 14,000 and the Advanced exemption quota is almost complete so if you are a foreigner looking work in the US and be sponsored by a employer, don’t delay because for whatever reason there is certainly an acceleration happening in recent times. (i.e. if this was the normal rate from the beginning, the full 85,000 H1B cap would have been exhausted in just over 6 weeks sometime in mid to late May following the April 1 opening)

Remember if you have a US graduate degree and eligible for the Advance Degree additional cap, that now that cap is exhausted your application just falls under the main H1B quota.

Cap Type Cap Amount Cap Eligible Petitions Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 46,200 10/21/2011
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 20,000 10/21/2011

(It should be noted that the related H-1B1 visa for Chilean and Singaporean citizens are not included in this cap)

So it would seem that there is plenty of visas still available and judging by the moderate amount of applications received thus far, traditional H1B visa sponsor companies are still nowhere the levels of hiring they were in 2006-8,

Good Luck to All Who Are Searching!


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