H-1B Season

It is important for United States foreign worker employers and foreign employees in specialty occupations (such as engineers, scientists, computer programmers, medical workers, pharmacists, accountants, etc.) that require theoretical or technical expertise that is time to prepare for H-1B Cap Season.  In previous years the USCIS reached the statutory H-1B limit with the first week of the filing period.  In 2013 the USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1Bs during the filing period, including petitions for the advanced degree exemption.  By comparison, in 2016 there were 233,000 petitions received from the April 1 to April 7 window that petitions were accepted.  Given the current state of United States Immigration Law and the United States economy, it is likely that there will be even more competition for the next several years and the window to accept applications may shrink.   Under a regular cap (which may be subject to change) 65000 petitions will be selected, along with 20,000 petitions for persons with advanced degrees. It is important to remember that 6,800 selections will be set aside for citizens of Chile and Singapore due to Free Trade Agreements.  Persons who wait too long, or who do not plan ahead, do so at their own detriment.  It is important to note that the information in this blog may change at any time, and it is not a substitute for receiving advice from an experienced immigration lawyer, such as Attorney Sufen Hilf.

It is never too soon to start preparing.  Hiring the right immigration law attorney will help ensure that your H-1B petition is properly and timely filed, including the Form I-129 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, including the H Classification Supplement to Form I-129 and the H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption.  An experienced immigration lawyer will help provide additional documents required with your petition, such as the Labor Condition Application (LCA) and evidence of the Beneficiary’s educational background.  Your immigration lawyer can also file a Form-I-907 Request for Premium Processing on your behalf that might might all the difference.  It is not advisible to self represent concerning a H-1B petition in as much as mistakes can prove very costly to both the employer and employee.

It is important to remember that H-1B visa is intially granted for up to 3 years, but may be extended to a maximum of 6 years.  Even though it is a non-immigrant visa, the beneficiary may have dual intent, which means that the H-1B visa holder can apply for a green card under the right circumstances. The benefits of an H-1B visa (except for the ability to work) also extend to the spouse of the beneficiary and children that qualify as dependents as H4 visa holders.
If you are an F1 student and will graduate in the near future, you may want to consider an internship or job with a company in the United States.  Finding a company to work for is half the battle.  The company must be willing to sponsor you.  It is important to note that if you withdraw from school while on F1 status, you do not have the 60 day grace period that other visas provide.  This could result in your needing to depart the United States immediately.  The lesson is that you should seek the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer to plan the road ahead.  Contact Attorney Sufen Hilf of the law firm Hilf & Hilf, PLC for outstanding immigration law representation.