Skip to main content

The H-1B Cap Season is Here, Get Your Case Prepared Early

We are rapidly approaching that time of year when the scramble for the coveted H-1B visa begins.  As a reminder, the H-1B visa is the only work visa available to most foreign workers.  It requires that the person have a U.S. Employer, a position with that employer that requires a specific bachelor’s level (or higher) education (a professional position), and that the person being applied for actually have that specific bachelor’s level (or higher) degree. Every year, Congress has limited the number of new H-1B visas for bachelor’s degree holders to 65,000, with an additional 20,000 H-1B visas available to those whose job requires a Master’s degree, or higher.  In 2013, USCIS received more than 124,000 applications for the 85,000 H-1B slots.  USCIS held a “lottery” for both the master’s degree and bachelor’s degree H-1B categories.  Initially at least, whether you received your H-1B was entirely based on luck in 2013.  It will be the same in 2014. 
If you want to hire a foreign professional worker in the U.S. this year (starting on October 1, 2014), now is the time to get ready and act.  Typically, it will take 3-4 weeks to prepare the H-1B visa package, because of government processing delays prior to the filing of the H-1B.  Now is the time to select qualified immigration counsel who has handled thousands of H-1Bs in all categories of  professional jobs and has the experience to both timely prepare the application, and to prepare a winnable application.  The denial rate for H-1Bs has averaged more than 30% between 2009 and 2011, the last years for which we have numbers.
Because of the recent upsurge in private sector job growth, it is crystal clear that there will be an even greater number of H-1B petitions filed in April 2014, compared to 2013, and that the “cap” will again be reached in the first 5 days of April.  After the lottery process selects the winners by mid-April (and the losers are unceremoniously notified by the return of their entire application), the USCIS will then adjudicate the cases in random order, with non-premium processing times exceeding five months. 
To maximize your and your employee’s chances of obtaining one of the newly available H-1B visas, employers should plan to file their H-1B petitions long before April 1, 2014.  If you don’t know whether you will have H-1B needs in 2014, or whether any of your employees may need to file for this visa (such as those on OPT, J-1, or other non-immigrant categories which are reaching their time cap), you should seek guidance from experienced immigration counsel as soon as possible, and certainly several weeks before April 1.  


Popular posts from this blog

If You Are An Immigrant (even a US Citizen), Here Are 9 Things You Should Know

Are you a Naturalized U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, Visa Holder, or an Undocumented Immigrant? We recommend you take the following steps to protect yourself in our current version of America.
The last couple of weeks have reminded immigrants, even naturalized U.S. citizens, that they were not born in the United States. Our office has received countless phone calls, emails, and social media messages from people worrying about what their family’s future in the United States holds.
Most people want to know what they can do now to protect themselves from what promises to be a wave of anti-immigration activity by the federal government. Trump's Executive Order on Interior Enforcement has some provisions that should make most Americans shiver.  We recommend the following actions for each of the following groups:
Naturalized U.S. citizens. In particular if you have a foreign accent, and you are traveling within 100 miles of any US Border (including the oceans), we strongly rec…

Why is USCIS Taking So Long to Renew DACA Work Permits?

If the calls to our office are any indicator, there are thousands of DACA recipients whose work permit applications were filed at least three months prior to expiration, who are still waiting for their renewed work permits.  Without renewed permits, these individuals lose the right to work legally, the right to drive, and may once again accrue unlawful presence.

The DHS published a notice in October 2014 advising DACA recipients that they could file their request for extension up to 150 days (5 months) prior to expiration.  As with all things government, very few of the DACA recipients, who tend not to frequent government websites, knew about the memo and many did not file so far before expiration perhaps thinking that extending a work permit was a like extending a drivers license, its is done in a few minutes.  As an experienced immigration lawyer will tell you, the USCIS does nothing quickly, and certainly does not worry that a person may lose their job or their driver's licens…
Si usted es inmigrante (incluso un ciudadano de los EE.UU.), aquí hay 9 cosas que usted debe saber.

¿Es usted un ciudadano estadounidense naturalizado, residente legal permanente, titular de una visa o inmigrante indocumentado? Le recomendamos que tome los siguientes pasos para protegerse de nuestra versión actual de América.
Las últimas semanas hemos recordado a los inmigrantes, incluso a los ciudadanos estadounidenses naturalizados, que no nacieron en los Estados Unidos. Nuestra oficina ha recibido innumerables llamadas telefónicas, mensajes de correo electrónico y mensajes de medios sociales de personas preocupadas por el futuro de su familia en los Estados Unidos.
La mayoría de gente quiere saber qué puede hacer ahora para protegerse de lo que promete ser una ola de actividad anti-inmigración por parte del gobierno federal. La orden ejecutiva de Trump sobre la aplicación de la ley interior tiene algunas disposiciones que deberían hacer temblar a la mayoría de los estadounidenses. …