The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is reporting that USCIS informed participants at the CSC/VSC stakeholder engagement in Laguna Niguel, CA, on April 5, 2012, that 22,323 cap-subject H-1B petitions have been received as of April 4, 2012.  (AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12040553 (posted Apr. 5, 2012).)

Approximately 25% of these cases are for U.S. advanced degrees. According to USCIS, the number of filings received in the first few days of the H-1B season is almost double the number of filings received by USCIS during the same time last year.

Please be reminded that 20,000 H-1B visas are available for US advanced degrees beneficiaries, and 65,000 visas are available for general H-1B visa filings.

The good news is that this means the cap won’t be exhausted during the first week of April, as some had feared. The bad news is that this surely means the cap will be exhausted much earlier in the year, as Michael Hammond of the Hammond Law Group had predicted, rather than late in the summer or early in the fall.

This initial news should serve as a wake-up call for those employers who have been putting off their decisions about whether to file for H-1B visas. The golden days of 2009, 2010, and 2011, when we had a supply of visas available well into the fall and early winter are over. It’s time to get in gear and get your cases filed before the visa supply dries up.

If you haven’t already done so, contact the Hammond Law Group as soon as possible to begin making plans to file your cases.