The H-1B specialty occupation quotas are filling a bit quicker, as of this month. H-1Bs are one of the most common immigration vehicles for qualified professionals to work for employers in the United States.
On October 21st, USCIS reported that it has receipted 46,200 regular cap H-1B petitions. The total annual cap for approvals is 65,000. A month earlier, on September 23rd, the agency reported 36,300 petitions receipted. Based on this rate of use, the annual numbers may well be gone some time in December, particularly if businesses rush to pursue the remaining slots.
The 20,000 annual quota for graduates of U.S. schools with Masters degrees or higher is now full for the year, as of the October 21st report. Those who were qualified for this pool of H-1B numbers are still eligible to fit under the regular cap. The filling of this cap will now only accelerate the push to fill the 65,000 cap.
Once the H-1B cap is filled, the agency will not accept cap-subject petitions until April 1st, 2012, for start dates of October 1st, 2012.
H-1B applications require at the very least a labor condition application filing with the Department of Labor, as well as the primary petition with the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Labor filing process can take several days, and should be accounted for in any planning of rushing an H-1B for submission before the cap fills for the fiscal year.