Plan early to meet Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B numerical cap

   Newsletter   

Jan 8 2014

Our Law Office suggest that H-1B petitioners keep in mind that USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2014 for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 H-1B  quota cases. If the petition is approved the H-1B beneficiary can start working on October 1, 2014 or earlier if he/she is eligible for H-1B cap-gap. It is very important to start the H-1B sponsorship process as soon as possible to make sure all the petitions are timely filed. 
 
FY 2015 H-1B Cap and Cap Amounts 
 
Last year, USCIS received 120,000 petitions in the first five days and a lottery was conducted to randomly accept cases for adjudication. Considering the trend of the increased number of filings for the last several years, we anticipate that the same will happen this year as well. Even though the USCIS Regulations allow first five days in April however it is critical to ship the entire cap subject H-1B petitions on the first day in April to allow for any delivery delays by courier companies. 
 
The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000, and out of this up to 6,800 visas are set aside each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B speciality occupation workers for the next fiscal year. There is another quota of 20,000 for alien beneficiaries with a U.S. Master’s degree. 
 
USCIS will continue to accept H-1B petitions that are not subject to annual numerical limitations, (e.g. H-1B amended petitions, H-1B extensions for individuals who have already been counted against the cap within the last six years, etc.), DOD petitions and Chile/Singapore H-1B1 petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2015.
 
Please note the following tips to ensure that your petition is filed timely: 
 
– Get all supporting documents ready (letters of support, end-client letter, necessary fees, etc.).
 
– Before filing the H-B petition the employer has to receive a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor (DOL). It typically takes about seven business days for the DOL to certify an LCA, so the LCA should also be filed as soon as possible, and this can be filed in the month of March or earlier.  
 
– Evidence of Beneficiary’s Educational Qualifications:  

  • A copy of beneficiary’s final transcripts.
  • Petition has to include evidence of the beneficiary’s educational degree at the time of filing.  If all of the requirements for the degree have been met, but the degree has not yet been awarded, the following alternate evidence may be submitted:
  •  A copy of the beneficiary’s transcript and a letter from the Registrar confirming that all of the degree requirements have been met (if the educational institution does not have a Registrar, such letter must be signed by the person in charge of the educational records where the degree will be awarded).
  • If you are indicating that the beneficiary is qualified based on a combination of education and experience, we would have to include substantiating evidence to show that.
  • If the benefciary has a foreign academic degree and professional experience letters then we may need to obtain a credential evaluation, a process that can also take a few days.

 
Please give us a call at 703- 230- 6800 or write us an email if you have any questions about the H-1B quota cases.

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