New H-1B visas for fiscal year 2015

As of April 1, 2014, USCIS will allow petitioners to submit cap subject H-1B visa petitions; these are petitions for foreign nationals who are not currently in H-1B status such as recently graduated F-1 students or workers abroad seeking initial employment in the U.S.  The H-1B cap does not impact individuals currently in H-1B status seeking extensions of status or changes such as a transfer to a new employer.

The H-1B cap is set at 65,000, with an additional 20,000 visas for individuals who have earned a Master’s degree or high from an accredited U.S. educational institution.  When the H-1B cap has been reached, employers will be unable to file new cap-subject H-1B petitions until April 1, 2015.

We advise employers to make their H-1B sponsorship decisions within the next few weeks.  There are steps that must be completed before an H-1B petition can be filed, such as a review of the foreign national’s academic credentials as well as the certification of the Labor Condition Application (LCA).  The LCA is a form that must be certified by the U.S. Department of Labor before the H-1B petition can be filed with USCIS on April 1st.  LCA certifications typically take 5-7 business days.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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