To      : Clients of Law Offices of Rakesh Mehrotra
From   : Rakesh Mehrotra
Date   : November 2, 2009
Re      : USCIS updates H-1B Cap Count

This memo is being issued to provide update about the current situation of the H-1B cap filings for the fiscal year 2010.

PRIOR UPDATE: The last cap update was released by USCIS on September 25, 2009. As of that date USCIS had received approximately 46,700 petitions against the regular cap (65,000) and approximately 20,000 petitions towards the master’s cap. However, USCIS continued to accept both cap filing cases. The lack of many filings was attributed to recession in the US economy. Thus, it has been more than a month since USCIS last released the cap updates to the general public

RECENT UPDATE: As per update provided by USCIS on October 30, 2009, as of October 25, 2009 USCIS had received approximately 52,800 cap-subject petitions (a surge of 6100 filings in 1 month time). USCIS had reached the 20,000 US master’s cap. Any H-1B petition filed for a beneficiary with a US master’s or higher degree will now be counted towards the general regular H-1B cap (65,000). USCIS continues to accept H-1B petitions until the statutory limit (65,000) is reached.

NOTE ON ANNUAL CAP: The H-1B annual cap is 65,000. However do note that 6,800 visas from this cap are assigned to Citizens of Singapore and Chile (under the H-1B1 free trade agreement). Therefore, the practical annual cap is 58,200. If any of the 6,800 visas are not fully utilized, they are added back to H-1B cap pool. In this regard, there remains approximately 5,400 numbers left before USCIS reaches the annual cap for FY 2010.

RECOMMENDATIONS: If you have any new hire on whose behalf an H-1B petition is required to be filed, please make sure that it does get filed as soon as possible. Under the above circumstances, it is unpredictable when USCIS may announce that FY 2010 cap has been reached. Based on the surge of filings seen in the last month USCIS announcement is imminent.

We can help you with the timely filing of H-1B petitions towards this quota. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have about this memo by writing to us at