On April 5, 2012, USCIS announced that in just the first week of filing, 22,323 H-1B petitions have been received for an Oct. 1, 2012 start date. According to USCIS, the number of filings received in the first few days of the H-1B season is almost double the number of filings received during the same period last year.

Approximately 75 percent of these filings will count toward the congressionally mandated quota of 65,000 H-1B petitions. The remainder will count toward the quota of 20,000 advanced degree professional petitions. Universities, nonprofit research centers, and certain related entities are exempt from the H-1B cap, as are H-1B extensions and H-1B change of employer petitions for persons already counted against the H-1B cap in prior years.

Because of this surge in demand for new H-1B petitions, employers who are thinking about filing an H-1B petition on behalf of a foreign worker for the 2013 Fiscal Year (which starts on Oct. 1, 2012) should consider filing as soon as possible as it appears that there will be greater demand for H-1B cap numbers this year than in recent years. 

For more information visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services page