Immigration news – New H-1B visa petitions to be accepted on April 1, 2014

As most employers and potential specialty employees will already know, the filing season for new H-1B visas begins on April 1, 2014 for Fiscal Year 2015.

“On April 1, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for employment commencing on October 1, 2014. New H-1B petitions are subject to an annual limit of 65,000 new visas, plus an additional 20,000 visas for foreign workers with an advanced degree from a U.S. academic institution. The annual quota only applies to new H-1B visas, not to individuals who already hold H-1B status, and universities and non-profit research organization are also excluded from the H-1B cap.”

Source: Mondaq

Employers should make sure to file immediately, as USCIS is expected to reach its statutory cap within a matter of days.  Here is what happened last year:

“U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2014 within the first week of the filing period, which ended on April 5, 2013. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency conducted the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first. All advanced degree petitions not selected were part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.”

Source: USCIS

Should you have any questions or if you would like to schedule a consultation, please contact me by submitting the form or by calling me at (917) 426-8227.