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The Race to File H-1B Work Visas on April 1, 2017

Executive Summary: We are releasing this Alert to remind employers of the fast-approaching April 1, 2017, opening date for filing H-1B work visa petitions on behalf of foreign employees who need sponsorship for work authorization in the U.S. Since April 1, 2017, falls on a Saturday this year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H-1B petitions on Monday, April 3, 2017.

Background

Although USCIS normally accepts applications on April 1, 2017, since that date falls on a Saturday this year, it is our best estimate that USCIS will begin accepting H-1B work visa petitions on Monday, April 3, 2017. The H-1B visa classification is designed for foreign workers who will fill professional occupations that require at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. There is an annual limit of 65,000 H-1B petitions available each year, with an additional 20,000 reserved only for those holding U.S. master’s degrees. In light of recent trends, we fully expect that the annual H-1B cap will be exhausted within the first week. All petitions received the first week will then be entered into a lottery to select which ones will be adjudicated and which will be rejected without being reviewed.

Who Needs an H-1B Visa?

We urge employers to consider for H-1B sponsorship any current or future employees who are present in the U.S. under the following categories:

  • F-1 student visas;
  • J-1 exchange visitor visas;
  • TN visas for Canadian and Mexicans professionals;
  • L-1A/L-1B visas for managerial and specialized knowledge workers;
  • E-3 visas for Australian professionals;
  • L-2/H-4 dependent visas; or
  • E-1/E-2 treaty visas.

Prospective professional employees who are residing overseas require visa sponsorship in order to work for a U.S. company. In many cases, the H-1B visa is the best vehicle to achieve this.

Continue reading here.
Source: JD Supra

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