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Employer Alert: H-1B quota for Fiscal Year 2014 opens on April 1, 2013 and will go fast

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2013

On April 1, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for an employment start date of October 1, 2013.immigration attorney lawyer chicago h-1b employer fiscal year 2013 2014 quota cap bachelors masters phd petition

The H-1B regular quota (for professional positions requiring at least a U.S.-equivalent bachelor’s degree) is 65,000. There are 20,000 additional slots for professional positions requiring U.S. Master’s degrees or PhDs. When the number of petitions received reaches the quota limits, the H-1B program will be closed until April 1, 2014.

If you are planning to add one or more H-1B employees to your staff between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, you must begin preparations now to ensure that your petitions are filed while visas still remain. Timing is especially critical if you currently employ J-1 trainees or F-1 students on OPT who need to move to H-1B status in order to continue their legal employment with you.

During the recessionary H-1B seasons in fiscal years 2010-2012, employers were able to petition for new H-1B workers as much as 8-10 months after the filing period opened in April. However, many employers found themselves shut out in fiscal year 2013, when the regular and Master’s caps were reached on June 11 and June 8, respectively. immigration attorney lawyer chicago h-1b employer fiscal year 2013 2014 quota cap bachelors masters phd petition

As the chart above shows, H-1B visas became unavailable after only a few days in fiscal years 2008 and 2009. In fact, so many petitions were received during the first week of April that USCIS created a lottery to select petitions to process.

While we don’t expect an H-1B lottery in fiscal year 2014, we do know that prudent employers are readying their H-1B petitions now for immediate filing on April 1.

It takes knowledge, expertise and painstaking effort to prepare high-quality H-1B petitions with all of the accompanying evidence that USCIS is now looking for. With a strong, well-established H-1B practice, Immigration Law Associates is your ideal partner for facing today’s H-1B challenge and getting the approvals you need to keep your business growing. Call us at (847) 763-8500 now to ensure that your H-1B petitions for employees starting in October can be filed as early as possible.

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