On June 1, 2012, USCIS posted an update regarding the amount of applications received for standard cap-subject and master’s exemption H-1B visas for Fiscal Year 2013. According to USCIS, a total of 18,700 H-1B Master’s Exemption visas have been filed, and 55,600 standard cap visas have been filed. Each fiscal year, a total of 20,000 master’s exempt H-1B visas are available; up to 65,000 standard cap visas are available. These numbers are remarkably higher than petitions received by USCIS at the same time in recent years.
Petitions continue to be filed for available H-1B visas at an average of 1,800 per day, which means the annual cap will soon be filled. USCIS began accepting petitions for H-1B visas for Fiscal Year 2013 (starting on October 1, 2012) on April 2, 2012. Petitions may be filed no more than six months in advance of the requested start date. Please note that up to 6,800 visas from the 65,000 cap-subject visas are set aside each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program.