As of April 5, 2010, the Vermont Service Center of USCIS has received a total of 9,525 cap-subject H-1B petitions. Of these petitions, 6,971 were subject to the bachelor’s cap and 2,734 were subject to the advanced degree cap. There are a total of 65,000 visas each fiscal year for the bachelor’s cap and an additional 20,000 for the advanced degree cap. If the advanced degree cap is filled, these petitions can be counted toward the general 65,000 H-1B cap.
Employers can continue to file H-1B petitions for a start date on or after 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. Also, the employer must file a certified LCA with USCIS in support of the H-1B petition. DOL has been denying many LCAs based on its inability to verify the employer’s FEIN. This can delay the certification another two weeks. USCIS had waived the LCA certification requirement but such policy has expired. However, USCIS should allow the employer to file the H-1B petition as soon as the LCA is filed in light of the looming H-1B cap.