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Immigration News

Sep 27, 2009

Employers Should File H-1Bs on April 1 for October 1 Work Start Date


Category: General

Employers Should File H-1Bs on April 1 for October 1 Work Start Date.  Don’t Delay!

Given the importance of H-1B status to employers and foreign workers alike, employers should know on April 1, 2010 US CIS will begin accepting new H-1B petitions from employers for their professional employees who will commence work on October 1, 2010.  Employers who have not already done so should identify immediately those employees and new hires that will require a cap-subject H-1B visa, so that a petition can be submitted to USCIS by April 1, 2010.  Employers filing for H-1B visas for those who have earned a Master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university also are urged to file by April 1, because there is a risk these visas could be quickly exhausted. (20,000 additional H-1B visas are set aside for these individuals, making the total of cap-subject H-1B visas 85,000).

Likely a sign of the struggling U.S. economy, the fiscal year 2010 H-1B cap was not reached until December 2009.  This was a departure from previous years, where the cap was reached on or shortly after April 1. Because there is no way to predict when the cap will be reached, employers are advised to submit cap-subject H-1B petitions by April 1, rather than run the risk of waiting another year to bring a key employee or prospective employee to the U.S. in H-1B status.

Planning is especially critical for the upcoming April 1 deadline as a required component of the H-1B application, the Labor Condition Application, filed with the U.S. Department of Labor, is taking up to seven days to complete, where in prior years it was typically instantaneous.  Additionally, with the Labor Department’s new system, a resubmission of the Labor Condition Application is often required, especially for employers who have never filed an H-1B.

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