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USCIS Continues to Accept FY 2011 H-1B Petitions

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) cap. USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received for both the 65,000 general cap and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher educational exemption.

USCIS has received approximately 13,500 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap. The agency has received approximately 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degrees.

USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY 2011 H-1B petitions. These updates and helpful filing information can be found at USCIS’ Web site. Should USCIS receive the necessary number of petitions to meet the cap, it will issue an update to advise the public, that the FY 2011 H-1B cap has been met as of a certain date (the “final receipt date”). The final receipt date will be based on the date USCIS physically receives the petition, not the date that the petition has been postmarked. The date USCIS informs the public that the cap has been reached may differ from the actual final receipt date.

To ensure a fair system, USCIS may randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit from the petitions received on the final receipt date. USCIS will reject cap subject petitions that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date.

For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window of April 1-7, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7. For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the premium processing period begins on the date that the petition is physically received at the correct USCIS Service Center.

Petitions filed by employers who are exempt from the cap or petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap within the past six years will not count toward the congressionally mandated H-1B cap.

Therefore, USCIS will continue to process all petitions filed. For more information on USCIS and its programs, visit www.uscis.gov.

H-1B in General: U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/08/2010