If you have not already started preparing, it’s time to get ready to file an H-1B work visa petition if you have foreign employees who need sponsorship for long-term work authorization in the U.S.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B work visa petitions on April 1, 2014. With an annual limit of 65,000 H-1B spots available each year for foreign nationals with bachelor’s degrees and an additional 20,000 for those holding U.S. master’s degrees, it is critical to have your application in on April 1. Why so soon? In 2013, the available H-1B spots were filled within seven days, and with the economy rebounding, there is reason to believe this year the spots will be filled even faster.
As an employer, before you file an H-1B petition with USCIS, you must register the company with the Department of Labor (DOL), post required notices, and obtain DOL certification of a Labor Condition Application. If not already in place, these prerequisite steps can take up to three or four weeks, so the time to act is now! And, make sure you work with an experienced business immigration attorney to ensure all prerequisites and application requirements are met.
The full application process and legal requirements are outlined on USCIS’s website.