When Immigration Matters

Making the H1-B Visa Quota

Posted by Michael Pollak on Jan 18, 2008 3:04:00 PM

On April 1, 2008, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin accepting "H-1B" visa applications for the 2009 fiscal year. Last year, the USCIS reached its H-1B visa quota in one day. By late afternoon on April 2, 2007, the USCIS received approximately 150,000 H-1B applications and had to resort to a random selection process to select applications which fell within the quota. All applications which were not selected or applications filed after April 3, 2007 were returned.

H-1B visaIt is likely that the USCIS will also reach its H-1B cap for the 2009 fiscal year soon after April 1, 2008. The H-1B visa program enables U.S. employers to hire highly educated foreign professional workers for "specialty occupations" - jobs that require at least a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in the field of specialty. These foreign workers provide needed specialized or unique skills, fill a temporary labor shortage and/or supply global expertise. Holders of these visas can stay in the United States for up to six years.

Prudent employers should start considering and planning their H-1B visa needs for the upcoming fiscal year. It is also advisable for employers to start making contingency plans for bringing temporary professional workers to the United States if the H-1B cap is reached.

Tags: Non Immigrant Visas, H-1B Visa

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