UPDATE! USCIS announced that on June 11, 2012, it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013.
USCIS will consider properly filed cases as received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers if they arrive after June 11, 2012 and seek an employment start date in FY 2013.
As of June 7, 2012, USCIS already received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption.
USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap, as in the case of (1) change of employers, (2) change in terms of employment, (3) or extensions of H-1B status, and to file for concurrent employment with another employer.
UPDATE! As of May 25, 2012, 48,400 visa petitions have been received against the annual cap of 65,000 and 17,000 have been filed against the 20,000 annual limit in the Master’s Degree exemption.
The federal fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30. Accordingly, H-1B visa petitions are now being accepted for fiscal year 2013. This means that the earliest they will become useable is October 1, 2013. During each fiscal year, the USCIS may issue a maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas plus another 20,000 to those with U.S. advanced degrees.
As of April 27, 2012, the USCIS has received nearly 29,200 petitions, counting toward 65,000 cap & approximately 12,300 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemptions for those with advanced degrees.