USCIS Releases H-1B Cap usage for the first quarter of FY04

News Release from Jewell & Associates - January 22, 2004

In a brief statement issued January 21, 2004, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, based upon tabulations for the first quarter of fiscal year 2004 (October 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004), 43,500 H-1B cases that could count against the 65,000 cap on new H-1B approvals for FY 2004 either have been approved or are in the queue for adjudication.  Based on these numbers, we believe that the annual limit on new H-1B approvals may be reached with petitions filed only through mid-February 2004, and that later-filed petitions may be rejected.  The new fiscal year, which will bring another allotment of 65,000 new H-1Bs, will not begin until October 1, 2004.  During the interval between the exhaustion of the H-1B cap and October 1, 2004, new H-1Bs will not be approved.

It is important to note that only “new” H-1B petitions are subject to the annual cap.  H-1B petitions for an amendment, an extension-of-stay or a change-of-employer are not subject to the cap.  Employers planning to file “new” H-1B petitions should consult with their immigration counsel as soon as possible on the appropriate strategy for such cases.

© Jewell & Associates 2004