Published: March 25, 2014
On April 1, 2014, U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) will begin to accept H-1B petitions with start dates of October 1, 2014, the first day of the U.S. government’s Fiscal Year 2015.
As has been the case in years past, the start of the fiscal year brings a new supply of 85,000.00 highly sought-after work visas, with 65,000 allotted for all petitions, and another 20,000 designated especially for workers with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.
Like in recent years, CIS expects requests for H-1B visas to far outnumber the annual supply, and that the supply will be exhausted within the first week of availability. Like in previous years, CIS will pool together all requests received by April 7 and randomly select filings from this pool until the supply is exhausted.
Also, CIS recently announced that review of petitions filed pursuant to the expedited, 14 day premium process – where employers pay an additional $1225.00 filing fee – may be delayed, although processing, along with the 14 day expedite clock, is set to begin NO LATER than April 28, 2014.
As a reminder, H-1B visa eligibility is premised upon a bona fide job offer in a “specialty occupation” (where the attainment of a university degree is usually required to carry out the duties of the position), and the prospective employee must possess a university degree or equivalent in the relevant field. 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 exempt from 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 March 25, 2014 “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2014, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois