By Edward Shulman (461 words)
Posted in Immigration Law on March 31, 2014

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For those hoping to come to the United States for certain jobs via a H1-B visa, the date April 1 means much more than April Fools’ Day. Rather it is the date, set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), in which H1-B visas offered each year become available subject to a cap of 65,000.  Foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields are eligible to apply for these particular visas. This foreign workers’ program attracts many scientists, engineers and computer programmers to the United States every year. 

Last year it took only until April 5, 2013 for the number of petitions to reach this statutory cap during the filing period.  Applications received before April 1 will not be considered so it is critical not to have such petitions filed too early. March 31, 2014 may be the ideal date to mail in these petitions for filing to the USCIS.   Some believe that the improving American economy will incentivize more companies to seek workers that fall within the H-1B visa category; hence, it is possible that annual allotment may be used more quickly than last year.

Last year the USCIS received 124,000 during the filing period. The USCIS employed a computer-generated random selection process (a “lottery”) to choose enough petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category of H1-B applicants. The law does provide for a special category of H1-B visas available to certain individuals with advanced degrees. Eligible applicants can apply for one of the additional 20,000 visas exempt from the cap.  In addition, another group of petitioners can apply for H1-B visas to comply with the 6,800 visas which are set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements.

Individuals seeking to work in the United States under any of these categories of H1-B visas need to consult with their immigration lawyer to ensure their application is filed correctly and in a timely fashion.

The Shulman Law Group, LLC has successfully prepared and filed many H1-B visa petitions on behalf of its clients.. Its comprehensive experience in the field enables the firm’s attorneys and professional staff to understand what information and materials needs to be produced in order to ensure petitions receive appropriate consideration. What distinguishes our firm from others is the commitment to present all relevant descriptive and contextual information about a certain position so that the chances for approval of a visa are maximized. The firm’s excellence is fortified by its rigorous determination to ensure that all procedural matters are properly addressed.

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