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H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Cap Season
The H-1B Program
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. For more information about the H-1B program, see the link to the left under temporary workers for H-1B Specialty Occupations and Fashion Models.
How USCIS determines if an H-1B Petition is Subject to the FY 2012 Cap
We use the information provided in Part C of the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (Form I-129, pages 17 through 19) to determine whether a petition is subject to the 65,000 H-1B numerical limitation (the “cap”). Some petitions are exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption provided to the first 20,000 petitions filed for a beneficiary who has obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Unless otherwise exempt from the cap, petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries who have obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher will be counted against the regular cap once USCIS has received sufficient petitions to reach the advanced degree exemption.
FY 2012 H-1B Cap Count
Cap Eligible Petitions
This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied.
The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.- Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.
When to File an FY 2012 H-1B Cap-Subject Petition
We began accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2012 cap on April 1, 2011. You may file an H-1B petition no more than 6 months in advance of the requested start date.
How to Ensure USCIS Considers Your H-1B Cap-Subject Petition Properly Filed
Please comply with the following to ensure that your petition is properly filed:
Complete all sections of the Form I-129 petition, including the H Classification Supplement to Form I-129 (pages 11 and 12 of Form I-129) and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption Supplement (pages 17 through 19). We accept Form I-129 with a revision date of November 23, 2010, or later.
Original signatures, preferably in blue ink, are required on each form.
Include a signed check or money order with the correct fee amount.
Ensure that all required documentation and evidence is submitted with the petition at the time of filing to ensure timely processing.
Note: It is your responsibility to ensure that Form I-129 is completed accurately. Failure to complete Form I-129 with the correct information and provide the required fees or documentation may result in the rejection or denial of the H-1B petition.
Additionally, be sure to file the petition at the correct USCIS Service Center. See section below on “Where to Mail Your H-1B Cap-Subject Petition.”
Additional Documents Required With Your Petition
Labor Condition Application (LCA)
You must submit a certified Department of Labor (DOL) LCA (Form ETA 9035) at the time of filing your petition. A copy of the LCA is acceptable.
Note: USCIS encourages petitioners to keep DOL LCA processing times in mind when preparing the H-1B petition and plan accordingly. If the LCA
certified by DOL is for multiple positions, you must provide the name and USCIS case receipt number of any alien who has previously utilized the LCA.
Petitioners should ensure that they have signed the LCA prior to the LCA being submitted with the petition to USCIS.
Please see Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification website for further information on the LCA process.
Evidence of Beneficiary’s Educational Background
Cap Type Cap Amount Cap Eligible Petitions Date of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 reached 56,300 as on 11/14/2011
H-1B Master’s Exemption 20,000 reached 20,000 as on 11/14/2011