USCIS Reaches FY 2012 H-1B Cap

On November 23, 2011, USCIS announced that it had received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY 2012 as of November 22, 2011. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption as of October 19, 2011.  USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY 2012 that are received after November 22, 2011. 

However, USCIS continues to accept cap-exempt petitions, DOD petitions and Chile/Singapore H-1B1 petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2012.

If your petition is exempt from the cap, then take your time since you may file it at anytime.

According to the I-129 form, there are several situations where your petition may be exempt from the cap: 

A.         The petitioner is an institution of higher education as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act, of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 1001(a).

B.         The petitioner is a non-profit entity related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education as defined in section 101(a)of the Higher Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 1001(a).

C.         The petitioner is a non-profit research organization or a governmental research organization as defined in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C).

D.         The petitioner will employ the beneficiary to perform job duties at a qualifying institution (see a - c above) that directly and predominately furthers the normal, primary, or essential purpose, mission, objectives, or function of the qualifying institution, namely higher education or non-profit or government research.

E.         The petitioner is requesting an amendment to or extension of stay for the beneficiary's current H-1B classification.

F.         The beneficiary of this petition is a J-1 non-immigrant physician who has received a waiver based on section 214(1)(1)(B) or (C) of the Act (commonly called a Conrad Medical Waiver).

G.         The beneficiary of this petition: (1) was previously granted status as an H-1B non-immigrant in the past 6 years, (2) is applying from abroad to reclaim the remaining portion of the six years, or (3) is seeking a 7th year extension based upon AC21 and the beneficiary's previous H-1B petitioner/employer was not a CAP exempt organization as defined above in a., b., and c.

H.         The petitioner is an employer subject to the Guam-CNMI cap exemption pursuant to Public Law 110-229.

I.          The petitioner is requesting a change of employer and the beneficiary previously worked as an H-1B for an employer subject to Guam-CNMI cap exemption pursuant to Public Law 110-229.

If the H-1B petition is subject to annual cap and cannot be filed since the eligible cap runs out, the petitioner must wait until April 1, 2012 to file for the employee’s H-1B status.