U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this afternoon that as of December 21, 2009, it has received sufficient H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for Fiscal Year 2010 (10/1/2009 through 9/30/2010).  The H-1B cap applies only to petitions for new employment, and generally does not affect H-1B sponsors who request extensions or a change of employers.  Petitions that were received by USCIS on December 21st are subject to a random selection process and some will ultimately be rejected.  Employers who wish to sponsor an H-1B worker should contact Hunton & Williams to determine whether an exemption from the cap may be available or to develop the best strategy for mitigating the effects of the cap being reached. 

H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2011 may be submitted as early as April 1, 2010, for employment beginning on October 1, 2010.