United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced that, as of April 15, 2010, 13,600 H-1B petitions filed under the regular cap and 5800 H-1B petitions filed under the Master’s exemption cap have been received. As explained in our article on the H-1B category, the annual cap on H-1Bs is 65,000, with an additional 20,000 available to aliens with U.S. Master’s (or higher) degrees.
USCIS has also announced that, as of April 16, 2010, USCIS approved 62,622 H-2B petitions of the 66,000 allocated per fiscal year. Currently, the H-2B cap set by Congress is 66,000 per fiscal year, with 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 1st half of the fiscal year (October 1 – March 31) and 33,000 to be allocated for employment beginning in the 2nd half of the fiscal year (April 1 – September 30). Any unused numbers from the first half of the fiscal year are made available for use by employers seeking to hire H-2B workers during the second half of the fiscal year. There is no “carry over” of unused H-2B numbers from one fiscal year to the next.