As of October 30, 2009, approximately 53,800 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been filed. USCIS has approved sufficient H1-B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees to meet the exemption of 20,000 from the fiscal year 2010 cap. Any H1-B petitions filed on behalf of an alien with an advanced degree will now count toward the general H1-B cap of 65,000. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.
USCIS indicated that the jump in the H-1B count from the last update on September 18, 2009 (46,000) to the current number (53,800) is due more to the reaching of the Masters cap and the placing of the remaining Masters cap cases into the regular cap pool then any significant increase in H-1B filings over the last month and half. Petitioners, as always, should be advised to file H-1B cap cases as quickly as possible.