Published:  February 25, 2015

Whether you are a prospective H-1B visa employer or employee, those thinking of taking advantage of the new batch of H-1B visas for the coming fiscal year are advised to get their plan in order immediately.  That’s because fiscal year 2016 starts on October 1, 2015 for U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Services and other federal government agencies.  Starting on April 1, 2015, interested employers and foreign workers can initiate the process by filing for one of 85,000 H-1B visas that will become available, with 65,000 visas in the general supply and 20,000 designated for individuals receiving advanced degrees from U.S. universities.

If accepted and approved, an H-1B petition allows the foreign worker to commence work in the U.S. come the ensuing October.  With April 1, 2015 – the first day an H-1B petition will be accepted for the coming fiscal year (again, which starts on October 1, 2015) – just weeks away, those thinking of filing a petition, and should start setting the table – especially with regard to the U.S. Department of Labor component (Labor Condition Application) – so that the petition and supporting documents are ready to be filed as of April 1, 2015.

As is well known by now, the annual allotment of H-1B visas is exhausted within a matter of days, and employers/employees, who fail to file on April 1, or in the days thereafter, lose out at a chance of facilitating H-1B visa issuance for the coming fiscal year.

As a reminder, H-1B visa eligibility is generally premised upon a bona fide job offer in a “specialty occupation” (where the attainment of a university degree is usually required by the position), and the prospective employee must possess a degree or experiential equivalent in the field at issue.  Also, positions with a government agency, a not-for-profit organization focused on research or a not-for-profit organization affiliated with an institution of higher learning (e.g. university) are among the type of jobs that are not subject to the H-1B cap described above.  Further, the H-1B visa cap does not impact those who already have an H-1B visa and are otherwise eligible to extend their status or change H-1B employers


PUBLISHED February 25, 2015– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2015, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois