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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently announced that it will continue to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions for the 2011 fiscal year cap. USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received for both the 65,000 regular cap and the 20,000 U.S. Master’s degree or higher cap. As of April 9th, USCIS received approximately 13,500 H-1B petitions towards the 65,000 general cap, and approximately 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degrees. USCIS has received a lower number of initial H-1B cap petitions compared to last year. It is believed, however, that the cap will be met sooner than last fiscal year due to improvements in the economy. Last fiscal year 2010, the H-1B quota was not met until December 2009. USCIS will provide regularly scheduled updates on the processing of H-1B petitions to be counted against the 2011 cap. The updates can be found at When USCIS receives the necessary number of petitions to meet the cap, it will issue an update announcing the “final receipt date” to the public. The final receipt date will be based on the date USCIS physically receives the petition, and not the date that the petition was postmarked. This means that the date the USCIS informs the public that the cap has been reached may differ from the actual final receipt date. For more information, please contact Jacqueline Lentini McCullough at, or 630-262-1435.