On March 30, 2012, employers can start filing new H-1B petitions for FY2013. The new fiscal year for USCIS does not begin until October 1, 2012, but employers can submit H-1B petitions requesting an October 1st employment start date since they are allowed to file an H-1B petition six months in advance. The H-1B category is subject to an annual cap of 65,000 new visas with an additional 20,000 for individuals with U.S. Master’s degrees. New H-1B cases subject to the cap typically include applicants seeking initial H-1B entry, F-1 students seeking a change of status upon the expiration of their optional practical training (OPT), H-1B holders who previously worked for cap-exempt organizations, or individuals in other visa classifications such as L-1Bs, TNs, or H-4s who are seeking a change of status to H-1B. In the past, the demand for H-1B visas have been so great that the H-1B cap for the new fiscal year was met on the first available filing date. Although this has not been the case for the last 3 years, we still encourage employers to file new H-1B petitions on March 30, 2012 or soon after to ensure that their employees are granted an H-1B number under the FY2013 cap. For assistance in filing a timely FY 2013 H-1B petition, please contact our office.