US H-1B Petition Filing Period Is Just Around The Corner

19 Feb 2015


Immigration News

The filing period of H-1B visa petition is fast approaching for employers who wish to sponsor a first-time H-1B worker during the period of 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016. USCIS (U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services) will start accepting new H-1B petitions from 1 April 2015.

Sources stated that employers need to file application for H-1B visas by the given deadline as the available H-1B visas for the year will be claimed during the first week itself. USICS issues 65,000 new H-1B visas each federal fiscal year to employers who recruit for designations that require minimum a bachelor’s degree in particular field. An extra 20,000 new H-1B visas are available for employees holding master’s degree from US educational institutions.

Reportedly, USICS will receive more H-1B applications than the available slots within the first few days, pressing for a random selection process to decide on which petitions to be accepted for processing. It is highly recommended that employers can examine carefully their workforce and potential recruitment pool to define who is likely to require H-1B status in the coming fiscal year.

However, the filing period is not applicable to employees holding H-1B visa status either with existing employer or a former employer. It is also not applicable to “cap-exempt” H-1B employers such as higher educational institutions, nonprofit research organizations and nonprofit organizations associated with higher educational institutions. And, Physicians with Conrad 30 J-1 waivers are also excluded from the H-1B cap irrespective of the nature of their employer.

Apparently, employers and physicians with waivers and who are exempted from H-1B cap can acquire H-1B status at any time throughout the year irrespective to the annual cap of H-1B visas. For individuals who are not familiar with the H-1B visa program, USICS will grant H-1B visa status in three-year increments for maximum six years to eligible overseas nationals. And, employers must offer a pay in line with the current wage for the designation in the particular region and must abide by all federal, state and local employment safety laws. 

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