Immigration Alert: The H-1B "Cap Season" Is Upon Us

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We are sending this alert to advise clients to plan now for the April 1, 2009 “deadline” for the filing of H-1B worker petitions. As you may already know, Congress has placed a numerical “cap,” or limit, on H-1B visas of 58,200 each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 reserved for applicants holding U.S. master’s degrees or higher. Last year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 163,000 H-1B visa petitions in the first five days of April, far exceeding the numerical cap, thus causing USCIS to conduct an H-1B “lottery” and to choose the 78,200 winners. Thus all H-1B visas are gone for this current fiscal year ending September 30, 2009, and employers may file for FY 2010 H-1B visas commencing April 1, 2009 (for validity beginning on October 1, 2009). Those not selected for this year’s H-1B lottery will “miss the cap” and not be eligible for an H-1B for FY 2010. In each of the last several years, the cap has been exhausted in the first few days of April and, despite the current down economy, we predict the FY 2010 H1-B quota to be exhausted soon after the April 1, 2009 opening day for filing H-1B petitions.

Please see full alert for more information.

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Mintz Levin - Immigration Law on:

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