|February 10, 2014|
Previously published on February 6, 2014
In less than two months U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions filed under the Fiscal Year 2015 (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015) 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 allocated an H-1B number. Because of the volume of filings anticipated, employers should initiate all new H-1B petitions now for filing 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 this year may file again next year. By filing in the earliest year possible, employers can increase their odds of getting H-1B visa numbers for existing employees, even if they have several months or even multiple years remaining of their current employment eligibility.