The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is reporting that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received a total of 9,525 cap-subject H-1B petitions at its Vermont Service Center as of the close of business on Monday, April 5, 2010. It should be noted that these preliminary numbers do not include FY2011 H-1B cap-subject cases received by the California Service Center (CSC). For more info on what AILA has learned, see http://bit.ly/bBEZ5m
In the past few days, I’ve been prognosticating that the overall filings for the first few days of the H-1B cap filing “season” would total about 20,000 cases, and I’m beginning to regret that I did not check to see if Vegas was offering odds on this annual rite of spring. While I’m obviously kidding about Vegas, I’m definitely not surprised at how low the numbers are. In fact, even dating back to the late 1990s, I (and others) have been saying that H-1B usage ebbs and flows with the state of the U.S. economy. Assuming that the usage statistics released by the CSC are roughly commensurate with the number received at the VSC thus far, I’d say that this year’s initial numbers are further support for that proposition.