Fiscal 2011 H-1B Cap Filing Starts on April 1

April 1, 2010 marks the opening of the filing period for cap-subject H-1B employment in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, which begins on October 1, 2010. Though the FY 2010 cap filing season ended only recently, many employers are assessing their H-1B needs for the coming year and are asking: When will the cap be reached? When should cap petitions be filed?

Because the FY 2010 cap was met just a few months ago, there may be less pent-up demand for quota numbers than usual in the run-up to April 1. At the same time, the pace of quota usage is more unpredictable this year than in the past. Improvements in the economy and in some business sectors could mean more cap petitions than last year's generally slower filing rate would suggest. The rapid usage of FY 2010 numbers in November and December of last year could indicate a resurgence of demand. Because of these uncertainties, filing petitions on April 1, or at least during the first five business days of the filing period, is still the best option to ensure that H-1B hiring needs can be met for the coming fiscal year. Institutions of Higher Education and non-profit organizations are exempt from the H1-B cap.

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