The H-1B season is well underway and we have received the sixth update on the FY2013 cap-subject H-1Bs filed since April 2 for both the Vermont and California Service Centers. As of May 11, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 36,700 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap. This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 4,000 regular cap cases per week. Similarly, as of May 11, there were approximately 14,800 H-1B visas filed subject to the U.S. Masters cap (which has 20,000 limit). This suggests a rate of filings of approximately 1,200-1,500 master’s cap cases per week.
This report suggests a relatively steady rate of filings of about 3,000-4,000 per week in the regular cap and 1,200-1,500 per week in the U.S. master’s cap. We expect that a similar rate of weekly filings will continue for a few more weeks.
Comparison to the Last H-1B Season (FY2012)
Our office keeps detailed statistics of the previous H-1B filing seasons, and we are able to make comparisons with prior H-1B years in an effort to estimate demand and when the H-1B caps may be reached. Considering the estimated rates of filings for the regular and master’s caps, all indications are that the cap would remain open for a few more weeks. Please note that historically, the rate of H-1B filings increases towards the end of the H-1B cap.
Last year, during the FY2012 H-1B filing season, by May 11th, there were 11,200 regular cap H-1B petitions filed. Last year’s May 11th count of Master’s H-1B cap filing was 7,900. This year’s 36,700 and 14,800 filings for the regular and master’s caps, respectively, for the first six weeks of the H-1B filing season suggests that there is a very significant increase in the number of H-1Bs filed early in the H-1B season. Based on this information, and assuming there is no significant increase in the rate of filings, we anticipate that this year’s H-1B season would extend for another few weeks.
H-1B Quota Trends and Predictions
Throughout every H-1B cap filing season, we provide timely updates on the H-1B numbers and we draw predictions and conclusions based on the numbers and our experience. More than halfway through the H-1B cap season, we believe that the H-1B cap will remain open for only a few more weeks.
H-1B Cap to be Reached Within Few Weeks – Prepare and File H-1B Cases As Soon As Possible
It should be noted that the current weekly rate of filings (about 4,000 for the regular and up to 1,500 per week for the master’s cap) is likely to increase dramatically once the H-1B cap is about to be reached. Another consideration is that it takes at least 2-3 weeks to prepare and file an H-1B case (including the FEIN employer verification, if necessary, the LCA and the preparation and filing of the H-1B documents). As a result, we strongly recommend employers and employees who are considering filing under the H-1B cap this year to start the process as soon as possible to avoid being left out of this year’s H-1B cap.
Contact Us to Start Your H-1B Case
If you are considering filing a cap-subject H-1B petition as part of the FY2013 quota, please contact us as soon as possible — it is never too early to file a cap-subject H-1B petition. We also invite our clients and readers to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.