The improving economy is expected to put pressure on U.S. employers seeking to hire highly skilled foreign graduates and professionals who need an H-1B visa. The H-1B visa cap of 65,000 (plus 20,000 for applicants who possess a U.S. Master’s degree, or higher) is expected to run out shortly after the April 1st start date.
The filing period for H-1B visa petitions counted against the cap begins on Friday, March 29, 2013. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept H-1B petitions starting Monday, April 1, 2013, for employment with a start date of October 1, 2013, or later.
Once the cap is reached, companies must wait for the next fiscal year to apply. In 2011, the cap was reached in November. In 2012, the cap was reached in June. Predictions for 2013 are that the cap will be reached in April.
In 2012, the top 10 job occupations for H-1B visa spots were:
1. Programmer Analyst 6. Senior Systems Analyst
2. Project Manager 7. Consultant
3. Computer Programmer 8. Lead Engineer
4. Systems Analyst 9. Senior Consultant
5. Software Engineer 10. Manager
We recommend that employers immediately identify potential employees for which H-1B sponsorship will be needed. This will allow sufficient time for petition preparation, including the time required to file. It typically takes 30 days to properly identify, prepare, and file an H-1B visa petition.
Should you have any questions regarding this Alert, or if you require assistance preparing an H-1B visa petition, please contact Michael Serotte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-504-5717.