As of October 25, 2009, USCIS has received approximately 52,800 H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2010 bachelor’s degree cap, of which there are 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Also, USCIS states that any petitions filed on behalf of aliens with an advanced US degree will be counted toward the general 65,000 H-1B cap.
Employers can continue to file H-1B petitions for a start date before October 1, 2010, so long as H-1B numbers are available. However, the start cannot be more than six months in advance of the date of preparation on the Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA), which is filed with the Department of Labor. The employer must file a certified LCA in support of the H-1B petition with USCIS. Currently, the DOL is taking 7 days to certify an LCA, unless it requests evidence verifying the employer’s information.