It’s late-January, and now it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming H-1B filing season. Each year new H-1B visas are limited by quota to 65,000, plus an additional 20,000 for candidates who hold advanced degrees from U.S. universities. Because the quota will be reached in the first week filings are accepted in April, the CIS will apply a lottery to all petitions received by CIS in the first five business days of April.
- Reach out to managers and foreign national employees to identify H-1B candidates within your organization who may need H-1B status and work authorization.
- Initiate cases with your Foster attorney now.
- Begin documenting collection early.
- Diploma and transcript
- Document translations
- Evidence of maintenance of lawful status in the United States
- Personal documents of employee and dependent family members
- Detailed job descriptions with estimated breakdown of percentage of time spent on each job duty
4. Work with your Foster attorney to ensure F-1 students understand cap-gap coverage and travel restrictions after their petitions are filed.
At least that’s how it has worked for years. And it will probably work the same way this year. The CIS has proposed program and procedural changes that would include a pre-filing registration and lottery process, but time to implement changes for the upcoming H-1B cap season is running short. Accordingly, most practitioners expect the proposed changes will be delayed until next year. That means employers will need to plan for full petition filings in the first week of April to have a chance at H-1B numbers under the quota.
In order to be prepared to file H-1B petitions on April 1st, employers should take these steps starting now:
With so much to do in advance of filing on April 1st, you will want to get started now! Then, when it’s all said and done and the last H-1B petition is filed, you can sit back, cross your fingers, say a prayer, and hope all your employees win the lottery!