REMINDER: H-1B Season Starts 4/1/2016

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Immigration Topics | 0 comments

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B visa petitions for professional workers that count against the 2017 Fiscal Year (“FY2017”) cap on Friday April 1 2016. These professionals will be eligible to begin H-1B employment on October 1, 2016. Employers and professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process now to ensure their cases are ready to be received by the USCIS on Friday April 1, 2016 , the earliest possible filing date for an October 1, 2016 start date. A high demand for H-1B cap numbers is expected. The annual H-1B quota is 65,000, with a cap exemption for 20,000 foreign nationals with advanced degrees from U.S. nonprofit educational institutions.

Employers should immediately start the review of their employment needs and determine whether any foreign national employees will be requiring H-1B visas. This is extremely important where employers are planning to hire foreign nationals who will soon graduate from U.S. universities. While many of these individuals may already have an employment authorization card, employers may still have to file an H-1B petition for them to ensure that there is no gap in their employment eligibility. Some categories to consider include foreign workers employed pursuant to F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), TN status or J-1 status.

NOTE: The H-1B cap does not apply to foreign nationals who already hold H-1B status and are seeking to change their H-1B employer and/or extend their H-1B stay in the United States.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about this communication.