20,000 H-1Bs Still Available
As of August 14, 2009, approximately 45,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 20,000 petitions qualifying for the "advanced degree cap exemption" had been filed. This marks the first year in many that the October 1 will come and go with H-1Bs still available. Almost a third of the H-1Bs available to employers for Fiscal Year 2010 have no takers. In the past this surplus would have been unthinkable. In fact, demand for H-1B professionals was so strong in 2007 and 2008 that a virtual run on H-1Bs depleted the entire annual allotment days after the filing period began each year in April.
Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.
*There is an annual allotment of 65,000 H-1Bs available for employers are not exempt from the numerical limitation. This means that approximately 20,000 H-1Bs are still available.
Another 20,000 H-1Bs are set aside for beneficiaries with Master Degrees from U.S. educational institutions. Although 20,000 Master Degree petitions have been received they have not all been approved and the government has indicated that it will continue to accept petitions in the Master Degree category until it has reached the 20,000 allotment in that category.
There are also certain non-profit employers, mostly educational and research institutions, that are not subject to the cap, i.e. for which there are an unlimited number of H-1Bs available.