USCIS is reporting that as of Friday, January 21, 2011, approximately 2200 H-1B visas remained available from the 2011 Cap Count. If you have something to file, do so immediately. We strongly believe the visas may run out by the end of the week.

For those interested in how USCIS handles the last few visa cases accepted at the end of a cap, this is our understanding of what they do. Once USCIS reaches a point at which it believes it will run out of visas by the end of a given day, it then accepts every visa case filed that day. All visa petitions received after the final day are returned to the petitioners. USCIS then figures out exactly how many visas are left, and holds a mini-lottery to distribute all of the visas among the petitions received on the final day.

For example, if 213 petitions are received on the final day, and USCIS then determines only 56 visas are actually available, a lottery is held to determine which of the 213 petitions received on the final day are given visas.

Unfortunately, since we do not know when the final day is going to be, it is extremely important that you file any case you have ASAP.

Finally, all USCIS filing fees for any case filed but not accepted are refunded in full. Which means that any of the 213 cases in the example above which does not receive one of the 56 visas also receives all of its filings fees back.