|February 10, 2014|
Previously published on February 5, 2014
With just eight weeks to go before the start of the FY 2015 H-1B cap season, employers should be working with their immigration counsel to gather necessary documents and submit required labor condition applications (LCA) so that they are ready to file cap petitions during the week of Tuesday, April 1 through Monday, April 7, 2014.
Demand for the 85,000 FY 2015 quota numbers is likely to be even greater than last year. Employers who are not prepared to submit their cap petitions during the first five business days of April could be shut out of access to the limited number of new H-1Bs available for employment in the next fiscal year. Missing the FY 2015 quota means that an employer would not be able to petition for cap-subject H-1B employment until April 2015 for FY 2016 start dates.
Gather Corporate Documents and Other Supporting Evidence
H-1B petitions typically require corporate records, academic transcripts, degrees and other essential documents. Because these can take time to assemble, make sure to gather them from your organization and from foreign beneficiaries as soon as possible.
Submit LCAs As Soon As Possible
Obtaining LCAs well in advance will help your organization avert cap-related processing slowdowns at the Department of Labor. It can help your organization facilitate non-cap H-1B employment needs that arise in the coming months as well.
Early LCA filing is also recommended because it can help safeguard your company against the effects of another federal government shutdown. Though a budget agreement was accomplished in January, Congress must still act to raise the debt ceiling, which the Treasury Department has indicated will be reached as soon as late February. In the unlikely event that there is no agreement, DOL and many other federal agencies could suspend operations. LCAs could not be submitted or certified during this time.
If your organization anticipates a genuine need for more than one H-1B worker in an occupation at a specific worksite, discuss a multislot LCA with your Fragomen professional. A multislot LCA can also provide greater flexibility to handle time-sensitive non-cap cases, such as the relocation of H-1B employees to new worksites and the onboarding of new hires porting from H-1B employment with another organization.
What This Means for Employers
If your organization has not yet begun to prepare for the FY 2015 cap filing season, contact your Fragomen professional soon to discuss your H-1B plans. There is still time, and starting now is the best way to maximize your organization’s chances of meeting its H-1B cap needs.