The number of new H-1B visas that the USCIS may grant each year is limited to 65,000, plus an additional 20,000 for advanced degree professionals. This is what is known as the cap, which can be reached rather quickly. In 2007, the cap was reached in only a single day.
Our firm tracks the progress of H-1B consumption each year. Since 2009, the H-1B visa consumption has drastically slowed when compared to prior years, indicating a sluggish economy and an abundance of US workers to fill highly skilled jobs. This year, however, there is a definite acceleration of the H-1B usage indicating a much hoped for economic recovery. Look at the trend in recent years. The cap was reached in 297 days in 2010, in 225 days in 2011, and in only 72 days last year in 2012.
The H-1B visa cap was reached this year on June 12, 2012. It is anticipated that the visa cap will be reached even more quickly next year due to a large turnout resulting from the improving economy and decreasing unemployment. Our statistical analysis shows next year’s cap is likely to be reached in April 2013, leaving only a small window of time to file a petition.