U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that as of October 25, 2009, it had received all of the available 20,000 master’s cap petitions, and approximately 52,800 petitions under the regular cap.  Although a total of 65,000 petitions are allowed each fiscal year, this figure includes 6,800 petitions that are reserved under treaties between the United States and Chile and Singapore.  Thus, less than 5,500 regular H-1B petitions are remaining for Fiscal Year 2010.  With more than 6,000 petitions filed during the four week period leading up to October 25th, it seems that the H-1B cap could be reached before November 25, 2009.  In light of new Department of Labor procedures that can result in preliminary steps taking several weeks to complete before an H-1B petition may be submitted, companies must identify workers that require H-1B sponsorship and commence the process as quickly as possible.