USCIS to Accept H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2011
Beginning April 1, 2010
WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will
begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2011 cap on April 1, 2010. Cases
will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS takes possession of a properly filed petition
with the correct fee; not the date that the petition is postmarked.
The fiscal year cap (numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2011 is 65,000. Additionally, the
first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a U.S. master’s degree
or higher are exempt from the H-1B cap.
USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and will notify the public of the date on which
USCIS received the necessary number of petitions to meet the H-1B cap. If needed, USCIS will
randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit from the petitions
received on the final receipt date. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions that are not selected, as
well as those received after the final receipt date.
Petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the beneficiaries will work
at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research
organizations or governmental research organizations. Petitions filed on behalf of beneficiaries
who will work only in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands are exempt
from the cap until Dec. 31, 2014. Employers may continue to file petitions for these cap-exempt H-
1B categories seeking work dates starting in FY 2010 or 2011.
Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the
cap also do not count towards the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will
continue to process petitions filed to:
extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
allow current H-1B workers to change employers; or
allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
H-1B petitioners should follow all statutory and regulatory requirements as they prepare petitions
to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence. USCIS has developed detailed
information, including a processing worksheet, to assist in the completion and submission of a
FY2011 H-1B petition, which can be found on our website.
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that
require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or
For more information on the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and current Form I-129 processing
times, visit www.uscis.gov or call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.