The USCIS has released the latest H-1B cap numbers. As of November 27, 2009, approximately 58,900 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been filed. USCIS has approved sufficient H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees to meet the exemption of 20,000 from the fiscal year 2010 cap. Any H-1B petitions filed on behalf of an alien with an advanced degree will now count toward the general H-1B cap of 65,000. USCIS 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to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

On December 1st, USCIS representatives shared some latest news on the H-1b cap usage. USCIS indicated that there has been a recent “uptick” in receipts in the last two weeks, including approximately 2000 petitions being received by their offices in the days before the Thanksgiving holidays. USCIS also confirmed that the demand for the H-1B1s for Chile and Singapore has been small this year, thereby resulting in some additional numbers being added back to the “general pool”. Despite these additional numbers, employers are encouraged to file any new H-1B petition quickly, particularly given the heightened demand for H-1Bs in the last few weeks.