Employers who wish to obtain H-1B visa status for foreign national employees this year should begin the process now. Though a new administration is entering the White House in 2017, no immediate changes or reforms of the H-1B program are anticipated, and at least none that will impact this year’s H-1B “Cap”.
As H-1B visas are in high demand from U.S. employers and the numbers available remain low (65,000 plus an additional 20,000 for individuals holding a U.S.-based Master’s Degree), we anticipate another lottery for the available H-1Bs. This means that employers must submit all H-1B petitions for delivery with the USCIS on April 3 (note that the visa status will have a start date of Oct. 1, the beginning of the new government fiscal year).
Now is a good time to identify those employees who require H-1B sponsorship. These may be recent graduates working with you on an Optional Practical Training employment card, employees on other visa classifications that may be expiring or that do not support a Green Card Process as formally as an H-1B visa (TN, E-1, E-2, O-1), or hiring candidates residing abroad or working with a foreign affiliate who require an H-1B visa to work in the U.S.
We’re here to assist you with submitting your H-1B petition requests and encourage you to initiate these cases as soon as possible in order to get them into the filing queue. Please call FordMurray with any questions about this process.