The H-1B cap is approaching fast, and early planning and processing is recommended!
The filing period for new H-1B visa petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) for FY (“Fiscal Year”) 2016 begins on April 1, 2015. To ensure timely receipt, and to have the best chance of your case being accepted under the cap, petitions must be submitted the first week of April 2015 for a visa that will begin on October 2015.
The annual limit for new H-1Bs is 65,000 , with an additional 20,000 visas available to H-1B applicants who possess a Master’s or higher degree from a U.S. academic institution. An applicant qualifies for an H-1B under the additional 20,000 allotment if he/she has completed all requirements for the advanced degree at the time the petition is filed.
In 2014, the annual FY-2015 limit for new H-1Bs was reached immediately, with USCIS receiving over 172,500 applications during the first week of filing. We anticipate that the FY-2016 cap may be reached at the same pace and increased rate of filings. Consequently, it is important that employers plan and process their FY 2016 H-1B petitions early.
What is an H-1B Visa?
The H-1B is an employer-sponsored nonimmigrant visa classification which allows foreign individuals to work for up to six (6) years in a specialty occupation. “Employer-sponsored” means that the employer must apply for the H-1B on behalf of the prospective H-1B employee through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). “Specialty occupation” means a position that requires specialized knowledge and skills, and at least a related bachelor’s degree in that specialty. The H-1B also requires that the H-1B employer pay the H-1B employee the same or higher wage than is paid to workers in similar occupations in the geographical area of the proposed employment.
Please contact our if you have any questions pertaining to the FY-2016 H-1B petition filing procedures or would like to begin the process.