H1B VISA – employers and employees getting ready to file

As most of our readers of you are aware, there is an annual cap on the number of new H-1Bs that USCIS can approve. The cap opens up each year on October 1, the start of the government’s fiscal year. However, because H-1B petitions can be filed 6 months in advance of the employment start date, H-1B petitions for those subject to the cap can be filed as early as April 1, 2007.

Every year, since the cap was reduced to 65,000 H-1Bs per year, the cap has been filling up sooner and sooner. Last year, the cap was reached on May 26, creating a window of less than 2 months during which any new H-1B petitions could be filed for that year. There are 20,000 extra visas for applicants with Masters degrees from US Universities.

For those of you looking for work and a US sponsor, now is the time to update your resume and start networking.

Any of our readers who wish to change status to H-1B or otherwise to obtain their first H-1B should contact an attorney immediately so that preparation of the petition can start in February for filing on April 1. Missing the deadline means no work authorization until October 2008.