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New H-1B Filings to Begin April 1, 2014

New H-1B Filings to Begin April 1, 2014

Courtesy of Bashyam Spiro

We'd like to remind our clients of the fast approaching April 1, 2014 filing date for new H-1B visa petitions for Fiscal Year 2015. Petitions for the new fiscal year, which starts on October 1, 2014, will be accepted by the government beginning April 1, 2014. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will continue to accept new H-1B petitions after April 1, 2014, but only until the H-1B cap is reached. We encourage you to identify any employees who may require H-1B sponsorship and let us know as soon as possible. Once the H-1B cap has been reached, employers will be unable to file new cap-subject H-1B petitions until April 1, 2015.

There is an annual numerical limit cap of 65,000 H1B visas each fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master's degree or higher are exempt from the cap.  H-1B workers who are petitioned for or employed at an institution of higher education or its affiliated/related nonprofit entities, or a nonprofit research organization, or a government research organization, are not subject to this numerical cap either.

Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have already been counted against a previous year's cap do not count towards it again.  Accordingly, even after the cap is reached, USCIS will continue to process FY 2013 petitions filed to:

  •  extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  •  change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  •  allow current H-1B workers to change employers; or
  •  allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

We will work with you to file H-1B petitions right up until April 1st, and afterward as long as H-1B visas are available. We strongly advise clients to finalize their H-1B petition decisions by February 20, 2014. Every case requires the certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA), which could take up to seven (7) days by the Department of Labor (DOL). In addition, companies that have never filed an H-1B petition before must get their FEIN verified by the DOL prior to filing an LCA, which could take an additional five (5) days. Therefore, it is imperative to start the process early to ensure an April 1st filing of your H-1B petition.

Please contact us at 919-833-0840 or info@bashyamspiro.com for additional information regarding the H-1B visa program, or if you'd like to begin the H-1B process for a potential employee.