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H-1B Season is Rapidly Approaching – Plan Now for Filing New H-1B Petitions on April 1, 2016

13 Jan

In less than three months, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions filed under the Fiscal Year 2017 (October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017) H-1B quota. No more than 85,000 new H-1B visa numbers, which include 20,000 Master’s exempt numbers, are available for the fiscal year.

The annual quota will likely be reached in the first week that new petitions are accepted, and a lottery will be applied to select petitions that will be allocated an H-1B number. Because of the volume of filings anticipated, employers should initiate all new H-1B petitions now for filing on March 31st and receipt by U.S. CIS on April 1st.

File April 1st for F-1 Students, TN Professionals, and L-1B Specialized Knowledge Professionals

Employers should evaluate their current workforce and consider proceeding now with H-1B petitions for qualifying F-1 students and TN and L-1B professionals who will be employed long-term with the company. Because more petitions are expected than visa numbers are available, the CIS will implement a “lottery” to award the visa numbers. Petitions that do not receive an H-1B visa number this year may be filed again next year. By filing in the earliest year possible, employers can increase their odds of getting H-1B visa numbers for existing employees. Employers should consider H-1B petitions for their employees even if their employees have several months or even multiple years remaining of their current employment eligibility.

Initiate New Cases Now

To initiate a new H-1B petition for April 1st filing, contact your Foster immigration attorney. Your Foster attorney will assist you in evaluating a candidate’s eligibility and will be able to provide you with case-specific strategies and document checklists. For additional information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), please visit the Foster website at