H1B Visa Quota Update – November 2011 – Less Than 5,000 Visas Left

The FY2012 H1B visa season commencing on April 1, 2011 has accelerated the H1B visa quota numbers throughout the post Summer period from September and is now getting close to being filled. At one stage it didn’t even look like we would get there before the end of the 2011 calendar 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 November 18, 2011, which is the most recent H1B quota update the USCIS has announced. There are currently 61,800 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.

This equates to about another 5,500 increase in the main cap since the last USCIS update on November 14 which is a light slowing of the H1B visa approval acceleration of September to mid October. The Advanced Degree Exemption category which is now fully exhausted for this H1B visa season cycle as at October 21 for the 20,000 visas.

In the last weeks the main cap has gone up by over 10,000 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.

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 61,800 11/18/2011
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 20,000 10/21/2011 (completed)

(It should be noted that the related H-1B1 visa for Chilean and Singaporean citizens are not included in this cap which is about 6,800 set aside each year but is rarely filled and unused from the previous year are used in the current year)

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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