Spring Cleaning and the H - 1B Visa Cap

With comprehensive immigration reform on the horizon and the economy rebounding, the number of H-1B visa filings for foreign temporary professional workers is likely to significantly increase this year. American businesses recognize that to compete in the global economy,smart, competitively trained, and diverse talent is critical. In many industries, foreign workers, including H-1B degreed professionals, are an integral part of such a workforce. There are only a limited number of new H-1B visas issued each fiscal year, and how quickly they are utilized is tied to the economy and market demand. For the 2013 fiscal year, the H-1B cap was reached on June 11th2012, five months earlier than in FY 2012 when it was not reached until November 23, 2011.

Employers hoping to apply for one of these coveted FY2014H-1B visas that will allow for an October 1, 2013 start date should immediately consider initiating a petition to ensure a visa number. Filings for H-1B applications subject to the yearly cap begin on April 1, 2013--six months prior to the start date of the 2014 fiscal year. It should be noted that filing on April 1st or as close to that date maximizes an employer’s ability to secure one of the limited number of H-1B visas available. While considering whether or not your company will be sponsoring any individuals for H-1B visas, the time is right to review compliance in all aspects of immigration related matters including Department of labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services filings. For those charged with immigration responsibilities now is the time to dust off the Form I-9 binders, PERM Audit files and Public Access Folders to ensure they are being maintained properly and discarded at the appropriate time.

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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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