"USCIS is hereby notifying the public that December 21, 2009 is the final receipt date for new H-1B speciality occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2010," an official media release said.
This comes after a slow response to the visas over the last few months.
In the past, the cap was reached within a couple of days of the USCIS starting to accept H-1B applications. However this time USCIS received just 45,000 applications till the middle of May 2009.
Therefore it took nearly seven months for the cap to be reached. Most of the remaining 20,000 slots were reportedly filled during the last few weeks.
Besides this, there are more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the 'advanced degree' exemption, USCIS said.