Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Petitions to be filed on April 2, 2018

The annual H-1B cap season will be opening April 2, 2018.  As usual, the application window period is 5 business days.  65,000 H-1B visas are allotted every year. An additional 20,000 visas are set aside for individuals with a U.S. Master’s or higher degree. In general, first time H-1B visa applicants, such as foreign students in F-1 visa status, are subject to the cap, unless the employer is a cap-exempt organization. To apply, one must have a U.S. job offer in a professional-level position that requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and the individual must also have such educational credentials. The cap will almost certainly be met this year within the 5 day window period (April 2 to April 6, 2018).  If an employer misses this window, no new H-1B visas will be available until the following year. The petitions that are timely filed are then subject to a government-conducted lottery. Last year, for 85,000 H-1B visas, around 200,000 applied.

Interested employers should initiate the application process as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for petition preparation by the end of March, 2018. H-1B preparation could take 4-6 weeks, which includes getting the Department of Labor’s certification needed for H-1B filing. In addition, President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order recently heightened the level of scrutiny on H-1B petitions, leading to a significant increase in the number of pushbacks (Requests for Further Evidence). H-1B petitions now need to be prepared with these added issues in mind.

Please contact us for further information.

Rebecca Bernhard

Rebecca's experience spans traditional labor and employment, immigration, and federal contract compliance and audits. She supports clients with their corporate transactions, advising on all aspects of labor and employment diligence, negotiating with new unions and conducting effects bargaining, and assisting her clients with post-acquisition or post-divestiture integration. Prior to joining the firm, she served as Senior VP of HR and Associate General Counsel at one of the nation’s largest student loan guarantors. She is a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment topics confronting HR professionals, including legal issues related to talent management, succession planning, and compliance.

Saiko McIvor

With 30 years of employment-based immigration practice and corporate law background, she represents business and individual clients with a variety of immigration projects, including temporary US visa applications, Permanent Resident applications, EB-5 applications, global mobility, and I-9 compliance and training, and merger and acquisition-related counseling. Saiko is a frequent lecturer and author of publications on employment-based immigration subjects.

Ieva Aubin

As an employment and business immigration attorney, Ieva represents management with respect to the full spectrum of workplace policies and practices, including drafting and negotiating employment, separation and non-competition agreements, handling workplace harassment and discrimination claims, and providing legal and practical advice on employee hiring, discipline and termination. In addition, Ieva advises corporate and individual clients on all aspects of U.S. immigration and nationality law, including non-immigrant visas, permanent residence petitions, citizenship and naturalization, expatriate assignments, and the immigration-related aspects of corporate restructurings.

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