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USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the 2015

08:02 02 October in News Updates
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April 1, 2014 marks the opening date of the filing window for H-1B petitions seeking a FY2015 cap or quota number.  USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions for the 2015 H-1B cap starting Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

The H-1B quota limitations are as follows:

Regular cap (Bachelor’s degree):    58,200

Regular cap, Citizen of Chile:           1,400

Regular cap, Citizen of Singapore:   5,400

Master’s cap (Master’s degree or higher from a U.S. University):   20,000

Background:

You may recall that on the first day the filing window opened for 2013 (FY2014), the H-1B quota limitations were met which triggered the lottery provision.  This provision requires the USCIS to allow employers to continue to submit H-1B cap-subject petitions for five business days.  All of those petitions are then placed in a random lottery to determine which petitions will receive a cap number.  As the economy continues to improve, it is anticipated that FY2015 H-1B cap-subject filings will again exceed the quota limitations.  Thus, we encourage you to open any H-1B cap-subject cases as soon as possible so that our firm will have ample time to prepare the cases for filing in early April.

If you anticipate a need to file an H-1B petition under the FY2015 cap (beginning April 1st), please contact our office as soon as possible.  We recommend initiating H-1B cap cases at this time, although please note that filing with USCIS cannot occur until April 1st.  Again, please note that by law the effective date (date that H-1B work authorization will take effect) for these petitions cannot be any earlier than October 1, 2014.

Individuals who may need a cap-subject H-1B visa

1.  F-1 students currently working pursuant to Optional Practical Training

2.  Individuals in TN status (pursuant to the NAFTA Treaty)

3.  Individuals who are nearing the end of their L-1B status

4.  Individuals who are nearing their first L-1B extension.  Based on the increased scrutiny by USCIS of the L-1B classification (i.e. increased RFEs and denials), switching to H-1B status rather than filing for an L-1B extension may be a better option depending on the particular case

5.  Individuals who are in their 4th or 5th year in L-1A status and do not qualify as multinational managers for the permanent residency process

6.  Candidates coming from abroad or not currently work authorized

7.  Candidates seeking to transfer an H-1B from a cap-exempt to a cap-subject employer (such as a university to a for-profit company)

Cases which are NOT subject to the H-1B cap

1.  H-1B amendments (filing to change a term or condition of employment for an employee who already holds H-1B status)

2.  H-1B extensions (filing to extend the stay of an employee who already holds H-1B status)

3.  H-1B transfers (filing to transfer an H-1B from Employer A to Employer B)

4.  H-1B petitions for someone who has held an H-1B in the past 6 years

5.  H-1B petitions filed by cap-exempt employers, such as universities or non-profit research institutions

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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