USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY2018 on April 1, 2017

*** Notice to Employers and New Corporate Clients***

If you are an employer or employer representative, such as an HR Manager, seeking more information and guidance about the H-1B process, please email us at hello@yourimmigrationfirm.com to schedule a complimentary 20-minute telephonic consultation. This offer is valid to all new corporate clients until March 1, 2017.

FY2018 H-1B Cap Petitions:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept new H-1B petitions subject to the annual quota for fiscal year 2018 (FY2018) starting on April 1, 2017. Employers are encouraged to begin identifying current and future employees for whom to file H-1B petitions as early as possible before March 2017. This includes foreign nationals who currently hold F-1 student or J-1 trainee visas, as well as individuals currently holding a different nonimmigrant employment-based visa such as an L-1, O-1, TN, or E. In addition, if employers seek to transfer an existing H-1B holder from a cap-exempt (certain non-profit organizations and institutions) to a non-cap-exempt organization, the petition must also be filed for receipt by USCIS by April 1, 2017.

H-1B Numerical Limitations

U.S. businesses use the H-1B visa program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require the theoretical or practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, including but not limited to scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. The H-1B visas are numerically limited to 65,000 per year, with an additional 20,000 visas to be allocated to foreign nationals who have attained a Master’s degree or higher from a university or college in the United States. In addition, up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the 65,000 each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore free trade agreements. Unused visas in this group become available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.

This year, as in years past, Nankin & Verma PLLC anticipates that the number of petitions received by USCIS will greatly exceed the annual allotment of H-1B visas available. For FY2017, USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions and stopped accepting new petitions, by April 7, 2016. At this time, there is every reason to believe that a similar circumstance will occur this year.

What this means is that if an employer seeks to sponsor an H-1B employee for the coming year, the company must contact us as soon as possible to analyze its case to determine if an H-1B is feasible, and then begin the process of collecting necessary documentation through our secure online system.

The Labor Condition Application

In preparing FY2018 H-1B petitions, employers must keep in mind the time required to file and receive certification of a Labor Condition Application (“LCA”). The LCA is a prerequisite to filing an H-1B petition, and requires employers to attest to the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) that they will pay the H-1B worker the higher of the prevailing wage or actual wage for the sponsored position in the geographic area of intended employment. The LCA must be submitted electronically to the DOL for certification, which process can take up to 10 days or longer during the month of March due to high usage of the online system employed by the DOL. Employers should keep this processing time in mind to ensure approval of the LCA in time to file the H-1B petition.

Contact us Today!

If you want to talk to an attorney at Nankin & Verma PLLC about this year’s H-1B cap, or any other immigration matter, contact us today at: hello@yourimmigrationfirm.com.

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