August 15th, H1B visa 2012 – 3500 filings in 2 weeks. Bad US Economy !

In H1B Visa by KumarUpdated : 75 Comments

If you were wondering why there wasn’t an update on H1B visa FY 2012 cap numbers last week, the fact is that USCIS did not update them. Anyways, just now, USCIS updated H1B cap count numbers, here are the numbers since last update by USCIS. They have released cap count considering all petitions filed until August 12th,  2011.

  • New 2,600 cap eligible petitions were filed for Regular quota (in past 2 weeks)
  • New 900 cap eligible petitions were filed for MS/Advanced degree quota.


August 12th,  H1B cap count updates by USCIS :

Regular H1B Cap filings25,300 of total 65,000
Advanced degree cap filing
14,700 of total 20,000
Total H1B visa petitions received40,000 of total 85,000

History of the Cap count Updates are tracked on our H1B Visa 2012 Cap Count Tracking page as well.

H1B filings Normal pace . US Economy Outlook Bad ?

Folks, the pace of the H1B filings have not changed much since last update, August 3rd H1B cap update. We had about 1,100 H1B petitions filed under regular quota in the last two weeks of July. The same trend continued in August. We had about 2,300 petitions filed the last two weeks, which averages to about 1150 per week.  More or less, the same trend continued in Advanced degree quota cap filings as well. We had about 900 petitions filed under Masters quota in the past two week, which averages to about 450 petitions per week. As we look at prediction graphs below, we are in line with last week’s prediction…i.e., we can expect the regular quota to last well beyond February 2012, unlike the Masters quota may be exhausted by early October, 2011.  The prediction graphs may not be giving us accurate prediction, because they do not consider the macroeconomic factors. Some of you may wonder if the trend would hold despite all the economic turmoil…the fact is that, for us to see the impact it would take at least 2 weeks, as it takes a week or so for LCA and other week for attorney to file the petition… We would have to wait and see…
As we look at US economy, the outlook is very bad. Based on data released on Friday, consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest level in 3 decades, which was caused by high unemployment, stagnant wages and US Debt ceiling issue. Last week economists were worried about the direction of US economy with US credit rating downgrade by S&P (which was announced after the debt ceiling was raised) and stocks sliding on Wall street…All these concerns were eased slightly with the positive jobs report by Department of Labor on last Thursday, which reported that the claims for new jobless benefits fell to a four-month low…Also, the Fed promised to keep interest rates near Zero until Mid-2013…Some fear a double dip recession, some do not….My perspective after listening to many analysts is that we are at an inflection point and the data in next few months will decide it…In any case, there will be federal spending cuts going forward and companies may be conservative on hiring due to the US economy outlook, it can be a little challenging for international students and professionals  seeking employment to find a H1B Sponsor…

What are your thoughts on current state of US economy and impact on H1B jobs ?

Regular H1B cap Count 2012  Graph

August 15 H1B visa 2012 Regular quota cap count update 

Advanced Degree H1B cap count 2012 Graph

Advanced Degree H1B filings August 15 2011


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Comments ( 75 )

  1. Vaibhav

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have few questions too…
    My Petition is filed in April 2012 by a s/w company who gave me offer to work in US… but still status is on initial review…. but after reading your above replies it seems USCIS is not processing any petition filed on April… is there is any chance that my petition will approve for next step..? or it is rejected already..?


    1. administrator

      It’s not that they are not processing, it’s just that it is delayed. And this is a normal trend over the years.

  2. Nitin

    Hi Saurabh,

    What is your prediction for this year’s H1B quota, when it will be finished?

    If my present company file for H1B and then i shift the organization, H1B will be scrapped or can be transferred before stamping.


    1. administrator

      I think it will get exhausted by Sep this year. Once your H-1 has been approved, you can use it to transfer to another employer in future. If it is pending or has been denied, then you cannot use it for transfer.

        1. Nitin

          Hi Saurabh,

          Normally after filing the petition, how much time it would take to get the application approved.

          Nitinjit Singh

        2. administrator

          By approval I am referring to petition approval. One is assume to have made through the quota based on petition approval and not visa stamping. Regular processing takes 2-6 months, while premium processing will be done within 15 calendar days. If RFE is issued, then it can take longer.

  3. Durgesh

    Hi Saurabh,
    By googling, i came accross ur very informative blog. I must say you are doing a great job. Keep it up.
    I have a few quest…
    I am in US on H1:
    1. I want to get some information about some reliable consultant (India/US) who can sponsor H1 for my wife. If reqd, i can pay for the visa fee.
    2. I am planning to bring my wife on H4. How tuff is to get the H4 converted to H1.
    3. Is there any rule that the person on H4 has to be in US for around 6 months before he/she can start working.

    1. administrator

      1. I don’t know any company that I can recommend you. You can find them:
      – through your network or friends and colleagues
      – on job sites like dice, monster
      – in list of past filers available on FlcDataCenter site
      Also, legally an employer should pay for the H-1 fees, not you.
      2. As long as you are able to find a good reliable employer, it should be ok. The biggest hurdle is finding a good employer, as USCIS is pretty strict w/ the approvals these days.
      3. There is no such rule.

  4. Lohitha

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have a couple of questions. I am a BE degree holder and having 2 years of experience.
    My H1B petition was filed on 14-Sep-2011, I also received receipt number within 10 days. I’m checking the status of my case in link. The case status is still in “Initial Review”. I don’t know why there is no updates in my case. I searched for FAQs, there I came to know that, the FY2012 cap is reached.

    My question is how exactly they will count for cap, whether its filed petition’s count or only approved petition’s count.
    My case was filed at CA center. How long it will take.? To which FY my petition will be considered.?

    Thank you in advance for your suggestion.

    1. administrator

      Once your petition has been filed and receipt number received, you are counted in the cap. You are not impacted w/ the cap reaching.

      At the moment, they are processing petitions filed in Sep. When was your petition filed?

      1. Lohitha

        My petition was filed on 14-Sep-2011. When I check in the link, there it is mentioned as, “On September 14, 2011, we received this I129 PETITION FOR A NONIMMIGRANT WORKER, and mailed you a notice describing how we will process your case.”

          1. Aditya

            Hi Saurabh,

            My petition was filed on Nov 15th. If they have just started with Sept petitions, I guess it will take 2 more months by the time they look into Nov petitions. Am i correct? Is there any link on USCIS website or any other website where it shows that which month’s petitions are in progress?

          2. administrator

            Yes, it might take another 2 months or more if your petition was filed at VSC. If filed at CSC, then it might get processed in less than 2 months. You can check the processing time on USCIS website (on home page they have the link in left nav), but those times are not always accurate.

          3. Aditya

            Thanks for your prompt response Saurabh, really appreciate your effort. Yes it was filed with VSC as it startes with EAC. Expected time which shows in USCIS website is 2.5 months for VSC and its nearing 3 months now. Actually I was looking that how you guys know that which month petition’s are being process currently in USCIS?

          4. administrator

            We rely on dates provided by other members on this forum to track it. There are members whose petition was filed in Sep (VSC) and Oct (CSC) and they have responded back w/ approvals or RFEs. That’s how we track it.

  5. Pratap

    Hi Saurab,
    I have a question regarding L1 to H1B COS.
    My employer has submitted petition on Nov 22, 2011. The last day of the cap limit.
    It is premium processing..Do you see my chance of getting the H1B?

      1. Pratap

        They is filed to USCIS on 11/22 . So how long it takes to get he receipt number on premium processing. If it is filed after 11/22, will ther be any immediate reply from USCIS saying that the petition is not through ?

        1. administrator

          If filed w/ PP and reached before 11/23, your employer/attorney should receive the receipt number by now (or by Tue/Wed). A lot of people who filed during the same time have started receiving the receipt numbers.

          If reached on or after 11/23, then USCIS will return the package and fees within a week or two. There first priority is to generate receipt numbers for the ones that made through the quota.

          You can ask your employer to be clearer as to when USCIS received the package.

  6. Shaan

    Hi Sourabh,
    Here is my story, Currently my wife is in India and having H4 and planning to come here in May or June. As she want to work here and one of consultancy is ready to process her H1 in the month of August or September 2012 (assume 2012 quota still not filled), as USICS ask client letter and no one will give the same if the joining date is too long. If She gets a job in August or September and able to get employment letter, will her status going to change (I mean able to get H1)?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

    1. administrator

      If she is able to get client letter, then there is a good chance that her H-1 would get approved. It would also depend upon employer credentials and your wife’s education/expertise. The employer can also file w/ premium processing so that the client doesn’t need to wait enough for her to join (normal processing may take 2-6 months).

  7. Aditya

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have a job offer from a company( Major Multinational). At this point my LCA is approved (9th of Nov) but for some reason the company and its legal office is not moving fast enough to petition USCIS for H1B. I am expecting the petition to go somewhere early next week. Considering that 50800 visas are already issued as of 2nd of Nov do you think I have a realistic chance to get my application in before the cap. Also note that of the remaining 14200 visas 6800 are reserved for H1B1, so that leaves around 7400 visas for everyone else as of 2nd of Nov.

    1. administrator

      I expect the quota to remain open until early-mid December. Even though they have 6800 petitions reserved for H1B1, but they do add unused H1B1 petitions from last year to the current pool. So it comes out close to 65K only.

  8. SM

    Hi Saurabh,

    I work for a large Indian IT company. I am a B.Tech + MBA with a total of 4.5 years of experience.

    My husband has a similar profile and his employer has filed his H1B and he should be travel-ready by Feb end.

    I asked my employer for H1B but it is not happening anytime soon. In that case, what are the other options I can exercise so as to join my husband at the earliest in the US and not sacrifice on my career as well. We are not filing for H4 since H4 is not allowed to work. Please help!

    1. administrator

      You can come to US on H-4 visa and then apply for H-1 through another employer. If your employer has a L-1 eligible job for you, then that would also allow you to travel to US and work here. Those are the only 2 employment based visa options.

      1. SM

        If I travel on H4, what are the chances of conversion to H1, i.e. what is the chance of finding a sponsor employer, how long it may take and how long does it generally take before one can start working? Also, pls let me know how to go about on this search to find a sponsor employer. Pls note, I will be looking for jobs in the IT industry in the role of consultant/ business analyst.

        I have been applying for jobs through careerbuilder but have not got any response till date. Does the chance of finding an employer increase if I am applying from the US?

        1. administrator

          I won’t sugarcoat – It won’t be easy. It is really tough to find a good credible employer especially one is currently on a status like H-4. There might be lot of employers willing to file H-1, but finding the right credible one may be a tough thing to do.

          You can search for employers either through job sites like dice, monster, career builder or get in touch w/ your network of friends and family. You can also go through list of employer who have filed H-1 in the past years (database available at flcdatacenter website) and start contacting them.

  9. Raju

    Hi Saurab,

    In my organization they have started H1-B premium visa for me. i have handed over all my documents to our travel team. and they are asking end client letter which needs to be get from US employer. but actually that employer wont give this kind of documents. Is it possible to submit SOW (statement of work) of my project instead of.
    please let me know.

    1. administrator

      You can try w/ SOW, but it would be up to the adjudicating officer whether he is fine w/ it or not (I would expect SOW to be acceptable). If not, they would issue 221g and that point your employer can again try to convince the client to issue a more formal letter.

  10. Ambu

    Hi Saurabh,
    I have a US Masters and currently on H-4.After I graduated in 2009 I worked on OPT for a year after which I discontinued working. Recently, I found an employer who is willing to sponsor me for a new position. I realize that the Masters’ cap is fully used up as on 10/21/2011. My employer hopes to sponsor me by the beginning of December, 2011.Will the regular cap be still open then?


    1. administrator

      It might be. However, as the Master’s cap has exhausted all those filing will also eat into regular cap now. You can see the numbers over next 1-2 week to see how much speed it is picking up.

  11. Jeet

    Hi Saurabh,

    I have an Engineering Degree with 7 Years of experience in Computer Networking filed across reputed IT organizations in India. A small Start up company ( 200 employees & 1 office in US) has approached me with Job offer & H1B sponsorship for their US office.

    My dilemma is that seeing the US downtrend what are the Chances of my H1B Application getting rejected for any unknown reasons. to put it it in Short, I am looking at the risks associated with quitting my current job in reputed MNC & joining a small organization for sake of H1. My concern is about the chances of my H1 getting rejected.


    1. administrator

      You don’t need to resign from your current job at the time of filing H-1. You can continue to work w/ current employer until your H-1 gets approved. Once your H-1 petition and visa stamp gets approved, you can then evaluate whether it is worth resigning from Indian employer or not. This way you can continue to work for Indian employer in case H-1 gets denied.

  12. S C kumar

    My Employer is saying they have upgraded my petition to premium on Sept 23rd,2011 itself. But till date i haven’t got the approval. Can you pls let me know what can i do in this case?.. Is there any way to find out if the petition is being processed in premium mode apart from checking with Employer.


    1. administrator

      USCIS would adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days of receiving premium processing upgrade request. If that doesn’t happen, your employer should call USCIS and follow-up.

  13. Mohan

    Hi Sourabh,
    I need your urgent help.
    My Employer has filed my H1B Petition under Premium mode and now i have received RFE last week.
    Please find the RFE below which i received for your information.

    Beneficiary’s Qualifications: Submit the following evidence to establish that the beneficiary is qualified to perform in the claimed speacility occupation:

    “College/University Transcripts: Submit an original of the beneficiary’s college/ university transcripts. Include all courses taken toward the degree.The transcripts must be signed and dated by the person in charge of the records. Additionally both sides of the sealed flap on the outside of the college of universitys envelope must be signed and dated by the person incharge of the records, Include the phone number and address for the office of the person in charge.”

    by looking at the above RFE, Can you please suggest me whether i need to submit my original engineering certificates to my employer so that he will submit those to USCIS or photo copies of originals with attestation from my college.

    Your urgent help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. administrator

      What you should do is to request your college/university to issue duplicate transcripts and send them to USCIS. Remember, you don’t need to submit your degree but the transcripts.

      1. mohan

        Thanks for your quick reply.

        I am little confused with the transcripts you mentioned and marks memos which i received from university.

        Let me give you more details for your kind information to assist.

        Please find following information in more detail and assist me.

        I have completed my B.Tech(Engineering) in Electronics and communications which is 4 years graduation with 7 semesters in 2007.

        I have received following Marks memos and certificates from university.
        1. All 7 Semester Mark sheets, which shows credits gained and marks scored in that semester.
        2. Consolidated Marks Memo which includes all semesters marks and credits scored with overall percentage gained.
        3. Convocation received from university after completion of 6 months of my Graduation in sealed cover with university logo and address mentioned.

        So by looking at the above details could you please let me know what needs to be done now from my side for the RFE.

        Thanks in advance.

        1. administrator

          You can request the university to issue #2 again (w/ all the requirements mentioned in RFE) and then send those originals to USCIS.

          1. Abhaya

            Hi Saurabh,

            This is with reference to my H1B,RFE was issued on 10 August 2011

            My Employer responded to RFE on 30 september 2011,USCIS received the docs on 3 october 2011.While responding to RFE employer upgraded the case to premium

            Denial decision was made on 13 october 2011.We are waiting for Denial reason.

            How are the chances for reopening the case and getting petition approved.

            Kindly request for your inputs


          2. allan

            well, without knowing what the reasons for denial, it’s hard to tell. My case last year was first denied too (for different RFE) but my employer filed the the appeal (Motion to Reconsider) and was approved a month later. You just need to have a strong supporting documents for whatever USCIS asks for in the RFE. Everything should be explained once you have the decision letter.

          3. Abhaya

            Thanks a lot Allan for ur response..

            As my case is already upgraded to premium.

            After getting the decision letter my employer will submit the supporting docs to USCIS..Will this appeal will be considered as Premium or Regular..

            What I mean to say is after my employer filing (Motion to Reconsider) ..Will I get the response early as my case is upgraded to premium..or it takes months of time for decission.

            Thanks in advance Allan


  14. Rajesh

    Hi Saurabh/Kumar,
    First of all Tons of Thanks to All of you for the great work, right from Visas, Job preparations, leading life in America everything in your website, I have got my H1 stamped & landed here in US and joined the job few days back. I have been reading all your blogs since 2010. May god bless you all for this work.

    I have a question, I have H1 stamped till 2013. So now if I change the Employer & go out of country for Vacation to India etc..Do I need to go for again Stamping?

    Also during my present employer & present client, if the client changes(other state what it was mentioned in Petetion) & once I go out of country, while coming back to US, Will i need to go for satmping? Pls advise.

    1. administrator

      You don’t need to get H-1 stamped as long as your current visa stamp is valid. Once that visa stamp expires, you will have to go for stamping by carrying latest documents from the then employer.

  15. cheeka

    My employer has filed petition for H1B on september 15 2011, any idea how long will it take for getting the visa approved in normal processing ? and i have just one year of experience. what is the chance of getting H1B

    1. administrator

      It may take 2-6 months. In case RFE is issued, it can take longer. USCIS would evaluate how your experience makes you suitable match for the offered job, and if they find it satisfactory they would approve the petition (to be clear, they also evaluate bunch of things about the employer, client etc). Otherwise, they would issue RFE and you and your employer will have to show you technically qualify for the position.

  16. Karthik

    I got a job offer from an Indian MNC. They filed my H1B and got it approved. According to them the offer is for permanent full time employment at their US entity, But in the petition I see the validity period is just one year.

    This is my first H1B, so I have no idea on how I should handle this. Is this normal?. Should I accept the offer or reject it, What is your advise in this case?.


    1. Suresh Nalla

      Hi Karthik,
      Nothing to worry about the duration, that can be extended and nothing is permanent in IT so go ahead and accept the offer, base on your performance they will extend your visa.


    2. administrator

      Suresh is right. H-1 can be extended up to 6 years, and USCIS approves 1-3 year term depending upon job requirement and how USCIS evaluates your employer.

      Also, when on H-1, you have the option to change employer to another H-1 employer.

  17. Amar Gurung

    i m on f-1 and recently completed by bachelors in business management and applied for OPT. During the wait, i decided to rather go to graduate school and then look for job after graduating. I am starting MBA in management this septmenber. I have a friend of mine who owns a company and is willing to hire me and thus sponsor me for green card. it will take me about an year and half to 2 years to graduate. the question is Inorder for him to sponsor me through his company, should i wait till i graduate and wait till he hires me? or are there any other possible routes for him to sponsor me through his company so i do not have to wait this two year? And how long is the turnaround time since i am from Nepal.

  18. Kumar

    Hi Saurab,
    I had a H1B until last year SEP 15 2010. It got expired already. I came back to India from USA on 2009 July itself. I would like to apply for a new H1B. I heard that there are some changes made to H1B Visa on August 2nd. But I am not clear about it. Can you help me out by explaining the way I can start processing my new H1B, Whom should I contact and What should I do?


    1. administrator

      I don’t know of any change that went into effect on 2nd Aug. You should find a new employer willing to file petition for you. As you have spent more than 1 year outside US, it would be better to file fresh H-1 so that you can get 6 year term on H-1.

  19. Patel

    Hello Saurabh,
    I applied for H1B in May (Normal Processing) and Got RFE asking the details of my company, and why does the company needs me. I work as Market Research Analyst in a beauty salon. My attorney has answered RFE with most of the documents but she is saying the approval is not guaranteed. I am worried keeping my fingers crossed and waiting for the decision. Your thoughts will be helpful.

    1. administrator

      The final result would depend upon whether attorney’s response is able to provide enough justification to USCIS. It’s not possible to give a yes or no answer. You need to remain hopeful.

  20. Ben


    This question might have been already asked by someone earlier, but I do not know the answer. So, I may be repeating:

    I have found a H1 sponsor which is a consulting company. They already got LCA, education evaluation, etc. and submitted my petition in USCIS last week.

    Now, my current company (where I am working in Bangalore) is ready sponsor H1. My company does not know that I am already trying for H1 through some consultation firm.

    Is it fine for me current company to file petition for me in USCIS with different LCA etc. My company will go for PP. Will I get any trouble if both of my petitions are approved or one of them rejected.

    In what situation I can be trouble with two applications?

    1. administrator

      As you are filing from India, the other company can very well go ahead and file H-1 for you. You may end up w/ 2 approved petition. In that case, you can go for H-1 stamping through the employer you really want to join and who has better chance of approval. Later, you can enter US on that employer’s petition to work for them.

  21. vamshi

    Hi Saurabh/Raj,

    I have a valid H1 and i will be traveling to US this month end.

    My Marriage is also settled and will be in December. Is it possible for me to Apply H4 for my would be before marriage? We will be doing Engagement ceremony this weekend. Will that be sufficient for H4 applying or do i need to wait for marriage to complete for H4 visa applying?

    How many days does it take to get H4 visa? Will it take same time like H1 approval??

    1. administrator

      You may not be able to apply for her H-4 visa before marriage as they would ask for proof of marriage. A way out would doing a court marriage prior to actual ceremony and then submitting that marriage certificate as a proof. But it’s you guys decision whether you want to go that route or not.

      During H-4 visa stamping, they would question her about your job, your employer and proposed salary etc. If everything is genuine they would issue the visa and passport could be received within a week. If they need additional time for background check etc, then they would issue 221g which has no set timeline.

      Good luck!

  22. cdrin

    The number of students studying in USA has gone up 94,563 to 103,260 in year 2010-11. Most of the students choose either east coast or mid-west as their destination in US. About 80 percent of these students opt for Masters degree education which runs for a period of 2 years .

    Let us analyse possible Job possibilites.
    Assuming 80000 students are there at any time ,we can assume about 40000 students would complete every year Masters and look for job. I am leaving out all research types and phd students as they form the 20 percent population along with graduates.
    There are 20000 H1B for Masters students. We can assume that Indian students would form about 50 percent of the 20000 H1b Visas issued.
    This means that out of every 4 Masters student one will land up with a H1B visa sponsored job. The other 3 would be on OPT/STEM extended OPT etc and should be able to find some job (reduced pay or otherwise) within 3 months of passing out.
    Surely 40000 students would land in jobs but only 10000 among them with sponsorship and rest without sponsorship.
    As on today about 14800 out of 20000 is used up in Masters quota whereas the general H1B is filled up to 25000 out of 65000.

    The bottomline of this analysis is everyone will get a job. It is the H1B sponsored job with stability which has intense competition.

    The silver lining is that since regular H1B filing is very low ,Masters student can hope to do well in their OPT and convince the employer to sponsor them under general H1B quota ,even though the Masters Quota is filled up

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