It is H-1B season again. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services officially announced today that they are accepting H-1B applications for FY2012. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

Cases will be considered accepted on the date USCIS receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted; not the date that the petition is postmarked. Similar to last year, we do not expect the H-1B quota to be fully utilized until late 2011. However, employers should start looking to initiate cases for employees who might be subject to the quota in order to assure themselves a visa before the cap hits.