Based upon first quarter INS figures released on the number of H-1B applications, the number of H-1B approvals and applications still awaiting a decision total over 43,000. This means that by mid- February of this year, the H-1B cap of 43,500 applications will be reached and no new applications can be approved in this fiscal year (01 October 2003 to 30 September 2004).
INS had released a statement confirming that 43,500 H-1B applications are currently "in the queue" or have been approved during the first quarter of this fiscal year, which comes to 14,500 applications per month. For foreign nationals seeking a work permit for the US, this means that if your H-1B petition is not submitted by your employer by mid-February, then it may not be approved during FY2004.
If you do indeed have a job offer in the US please do not hesitate to contact us for immediate advice and assistance.