What is the current H-1B cap count?

USCIS reports that as of April 13, they have received approximately 20,600 H-1B cap subject petitions. They have also received an additional 9,700 H-1B petitions for the U.S. master's cap of 20,000.

What does this mean? A little less than one third of the H-1B petitions for FY 2013 have been used, and a little less than half of the U.S. master's degree cap cases have been used. The rate at which H-1B petitions are being used is faster than it has been in recent years, meaning that the cap will likely not last as long as it has in recent years. Further, the fact that almost half of the U.S. master's degree cap has been used tells us that many companies are filing petitions for U.S. master's degree holders. This could be in part due to the difficult visa processing especially for India. Some employers could find it easier to file a change of status for U.S. master's degree holders already in the U.S. than to try to have an employee visa process in India to enter the US.

Bottom line: if you are an employer or employee who is planning to file a cap-subject H-1B petition this year, the time to do it is now while the H-1Bs are still available! Don't delay - file today!