USCIS reports that the agency has received approximately 36,700 H-1B cap-subject petitions as of May 11, 2012.
They also report that they have received approximately 14,800 H-1B petitions for the US Master's degree cap.
The annual H-1B cap is 65,000, plus an additional 20,000 available for US master's degree holders. This means that over half of the "regular" H-1B slots have been used, and almost three-quarters of the US master's degree petitions have been used.
What's an employer or would-be H-1B holder to do? File now! Historically, the H-1B numbers have been used up at a faster rate the closer we get to meeting the cap. Depending on your particular situation, you may consider filing without an end client letter, or perhaps without other documentation that would be nice to have, but it is not critical to filing. In some instances, it's better to have a request for evidence than not to meet the cap at all.
Worried the US master's degree cap will be met soon? If the H-1B beneficiary holds a US master's degree, that petition will be counted against the US master's degree cap, if petitions remain in that cap. However, if the US master's degree cap is met before the "regular" cap is met, any US master's degree beneficiary will be counted in the regular cap.
File early and beat the cap!
If you need assistance with H-1B petition filings, please feel free to contact attorney Emily Sumner at firstname.lastname@example.org.