On Monday, April 2, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting FY 2013 H-1B cap-subject petitions for employment starting on October 1, 2012.
U.S. businesses use the H-1B visa to employ foreign workers in “professional” or “specialty occupation” positions. The H-1B visa allows for 6 years of employment in the U.S., which is extendable if the company sponsors the individual for permanent residence.
Why Apply on April 2nd?
The law allows for 65,000 new H-1B visas to be issued each year, and an additional 20,000 visas are available to foreign workers with an advanced degree from a U.S. academic institution. Because there is a cap on the number of available visas each year, employers should take advantage of the April 2 filing opportunity to ensure they obtain an H-1B for any foreign workers they wish to employ in H-1B status as of October 1, 2012.
Certain employers are exempt from the H-1B cap, and can apply for an H-1B visa year-round. These include institutions of higher education such as universities, non-profit entities related to an institution of higher education, and non-profit or government-affiliated research organizations. In addition, foreign workers who have already been counted against the H-1B cap are not subject to the H-1B cap.
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