Beginning April 1, 2010, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started accepting filings for cap-subject H-1B petitions, with employment start dates to begin October 1, 2010
As always, filings will be accepted until the annual limit (or cap) is reached. Until 2010, the trend was that the cap was usually exceeded in the first few days of April. In recent years USCIS stepped up its enforcement of regulations and interpretation of law. As such, more petitions were denied. Higher number of H-1B denials combined with the struggling economy resulted in cap numbers’ availability through December 21, 2009.
Since it is not possible to accurately predict how long the cap numbers will remain available for the 2011 (fiscal year) cap – it would seem prudent for those eligible to file for H-1B to do so as soon as possible. Those who wait will be unable to file once the cap is reached.
UPDATE– As of January 26, 2011, USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the statutory Cap for FY2011.