On April 1, 2014, USCIS will begin accepting new cap-subject H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2015. Because this opportunity to file new H-1B petitions is so important, and the filing period is limited, Davis & Goldfarb, PLLC is preparing now for FY 2015 cap-subject petitions. We encourage employers to plan ahead for the best results.

Identifying Appropriate H-1B Candidates

Employers should begin by identifying which employees would benefit from cap-subject H-1B filings.  For instance, employers may consider filing for employees in F-1 status, including those with curricular practical training, optional practical training or other work authorization, or employees in another work-authorized status, such as TN status, who benefit from the dual intent that applies to H-1B status, especially if they are considering pursuing permanent residence.  In addition, L-2 employees with employment authorization may wish to work in a status that does not depend on their spouse’s continued L-1 employment.  L-1B employees may also benefit from changing to H-1B status to get an additional year of work authorization (since L-1B employees have a 5-year limit and H-1B employees have 6 years), and to qualify for exceptions to the 6-year H-1B limit that apply to H-1B employees pursuing employment-based permanent residence process.

H-1B Quota Numbers/Importance of Planning Ahead

Advance planning is required because, if the past is any guide, the quota will be reached during the first week of April when USCIS begins accepting cap-subject petitions.

The annual H-1B quota is limited to 65,000 visas and another 20,000 visas for those with a U.S. master’s or higher degree.  If the number of filings during the first week of April 2014 exceeds the annual quota, USCIS will conduct a lottery to decide which petitions to consider.  Last year, during the first week of April 2013, USCIS received 124,000 cap-subject petitions.  USCIS returns petitions with filing fees if they are not accepted under the H-1B quota, but employers then need to wait for another year to file again.  Because of what happened last year, employers need to be prepared this year with all cap-subject petitions by Monday, March 31, 2014.

Start Now

Employers should start now because H-1B filings take time to prepare.   Preparing cap-subject H-1B petitions now at the start of the calendar year will help employers analyze cases, anticipate potential problems, compile required documentation, and review long-term immigration objectives, including possible H-1B alternatives.

To start preparing cap-subject H-1B filings, contact Alan Goldfarb at 612-630-2244 or alan@dgvisalaw.com.  We will send checklists, analyze cases, and prepare complete petitions to give clients the best chance under the FY 2015 H-1B quota.

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