Now that a full week has passed since the opening of the filing period for cap-subject H-1B visa petitions, USCIS has finally issued its first official tally of the number of filings received thus far toward the FY2011 H-1B visa cap.
The immigration agency has announced that as of April 8, 2010, it has received a total of 19,100 H-1B filings at its two designated filing locations. The total is comprised of 13,500 filings allocated to the “general” H-1B cap and another 5,600 filings applied to the “Advanced Degree” cap that is reserved for visa beneficiaries who have earned a master’s degree or higher from an accredited educational institution in the U.S.
USCIS notes that it “continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) cap,” and that it “will monitor the number of petitions received for both the 65,000 general cap and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher educational exemption.”
I think they will likely be monitoring things for quite some time to come. The one week total of 19,100 filings represents the lowest number of H-1B cases filed in the initial days of the filing period in the past several years. In fact, the current total represents a drop of almost 55% as compared to the same period last year, when 42,000 filings were received toward the FY2010 H-1B cap in the first week. Even more staggering is that over the same period, the FY2011 count reflects an astonishing 88% reduction as compared to FY2009 H-1B cap filings, when 163,000 petitions flooded into USCIS in just two days.USCIS Finally Issues Official H-1B Cap Count for FY2011