After USCIS starting accepting H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2012 (Starting on October 1, 2011) as of April 1, 2011, it just issued an H-1B count update. As of April 7, 2011, it has receipted 5,900 petitions subject to the regular H-1B cap plus 4,500 petitions subject to the H-1B Master’s degree cap. As widely anticipated, the H-1B usage by employers still remains low as the H-1B was just hit in January 2011 for the last fiscal year. However, if the economy rebounds in a big way, the numbers will not suffice for long. As government shutdown is feared as of next week, the Department of Labor will cease processing labor certificate application (LCA’s) in connection with H-1B petitions, even though USCIS will continue to work as normal. However E-Verify will not work in case of a government shutdown.
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