On May 18, 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 16,000 H-1B Master’s Exemption visas have been filed, and 42,000 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.
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.