As of November 14, 2011, USCIS has received approximately 56,300 H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2012 bachelor’s degree cap, of which there are 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Also, USCIS has received 20,000 H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2012 US master’s degree cap, of which there are 20,000 visas each fiscal year. When the master’s cap is reached, USCIS has stated that any petitions filed on behalf of aliens with an advanced US degree will be counted toward the general 65,000 H-1B cap. These numbers are starting to move very quickly and it appears that the cap will be reached by the end of the year.
Once these numbers are exhausted, then new petitions subject to the cap can be filed as early as April 1, 2012, requesting a start date of October 1, 2012.