H-1B Season is Here

H-1B Season is here, and now is time to prepare your H-1B case and have it ready to file with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on April 1, 2016.

An H-1B classification is for foreign nationals who will be employed in specialty occupations, which are occupations that require bachelor’s degree or higher, or its equivalent, as a minimum to enter the fields. New H-1B petitions are subject to a numerical cap of 65,000 per fiscal year. An additional 20,000 are available to people who graduated with a master’s degree or higher from certain U.S. institutions. H-1B allows employees to be employed for a total of 6 years. Employer can request for an employment period for up to 3 years at a time.

USCIS begins accepting new H-1B petitions on April 1st of each year, for the employment start date of October 1st. It is expected that the 65,000 cap will be reached on the first days of filing. The cap was reached on the first days of filing in 2015, 2014, and 2013. It is expected that the same will happen in 2016. In the event that there are more than 65,000 H-1B petitions filed on the first days, USCIS will randomly select 65,000 petitions to fall under the cap. The unselected petitions are returned to the petitioners.

Certain new H-1B petitions are exempt from the annual cap. H-1B workers who will work at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations are not subject to the cap. H-1B petitions filed for H-1B workers who have been counted against the cap are also excluded from the cap.

H-1B classification is a great solution for employers seeking to employ professional foreign nationals. It allows for part-time employment, as well as employment with multiple employers. In certain cases, business owners may also qualify for an H-1B classification.

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