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H-1B Cap Opens April 1st

The H-1B cap for the 2015-2016 fiscal year will open on April 1, 2015. Timely filing is important because there are a limited number of H-1B visas issued each year. Application process is complex with no room for error. It's time for employers to identify the candidates for whom they wish to file H-1B visa, and start the paperwork.

H-1B visas are popular among employers seeking to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations in the United States. A specialty occupation is a position that requires at least a Bachelor's Degree. It follows that the H-1B visa applicants must possess a four-year bachelor's degree in a field related to the position; or the applicants must have relevant and required experience to qualify.

The H-1B cap refers to the limit the USCIS puts on the number of new H-1B applications it will accept for approval each year. This year there will be 65,000 applications accepted for consideration for the regular cap and 20,000 for the H-1B Master's cap. The Master's cap is reserved for applicants with a U.S. Master's degree or higher. Of the 65,000 applications accepted for the regular cap, 6,800 petitions are set aside for H-1B1 classification that is reserved for Singaporean and Chilean residents, per terms of US-Singapore and US-Chile trade agreements.

The National Law Review predicts this year the cap will close within five days of its opening. After the cap closes the USCIS will not accept any more H-1B applications. If USCIS receives more than 65,000 applications before the cap closes there will be a lottery to determine which applications will be selected for H-1B consideration. The lottery is a random drawing among all applications received before the cap closes.

Last year the USCIS received over 172,000 H-1B applications the first week the cap was open. Based on this number, immigration practitioners predict that this number could increase to 200,000 this year. Applications that are not selected in the lottery will not be considered for H-1B approval. All rejected petitions will not be able to apply again for H-1B status until the cap opens again the following year.

Filing an H-1B petition is a complex process. It is important to ensure your application is filed timely and correctly. Many additional documents, qualifications, and requirements must be met to ensure an applicant can be considered for an H-1B visa. Even the smallest error of checking the wrong box on the application formor a single typo in your application package can cause rejection without an opportunity to refile until the next year.

To ensure your application timely and correctly filed it is important to speak with an immigration attorney. The Law Offices of Sweta Khandelwal can help guide you through this process and ensure that your H-1B application has the best chance of being entered into the lottery and approved. Attorney Sweta Khandelwal is an expert in the field of immigration law and can also discuss any other visa options that may be available to you. Contact our offices today to get started on filing your H-1B for the 2015-2016 cap!

Cited Sources:

Fiscal Year 2016 H-1B Cap- You've Been Warned, Now Here Are This Year's Key Dates, The National Law Review, January 23, 2015

H-1B Fiscal Year (YR) 2015 Cap Season, USCIS, January 5, 2015

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