H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions should be filed on April 1, 2010 for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins on October 1, 2010 and ends September 30, 2011. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B visa petitions for professionals that count against the FY2010 cap on April 1, 2010. These professionals will be eligible to begin H-1B employment on October 1, 2010. In past years, the H-1B cap has been exceeded on the first day, April 1st.
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H-1B nonimmigrant visas are for professional foreign workers with a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Congress allows 65,000 visas to be issued annually to qualifying foreign workers. An additional 20,000 H-1Bs are reserved for professional foreign workers who receive U.S. Master’s degrees. Employers petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the professional foreign worker beginning six months prior to the beginning of the upcoming fiscal year. Frequently, employers interested in utilizing the H-1B visa program contact an experienced Immigration Business Lawyer for a consultation about the process, determine eligibility, discuss applicable lawyer’s fees and filing fees, and so forth.
Employers looking to hire new H-1B professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process now.
Employers should review their employment needs and determine whether any foreign national employees will be requiring H-1B visas. This is extremely important where employers are planning to hire foreign nationals who will soon graduate from U.S. universities. While many of these individuals may already have an employment authorization card, you may still have to file an H-1B petition for them. For instance, if you plan to hire an individual that will graduate in May 2010, that individual’s employment authorization card will be valid through the end of May 2011. After May 2011, this individual will no longer be able to work for you unless you have already filed an H-1B petition for them on April 1, 2010 asking the USCIS to change their status to H-1B from October 1, 2010. H-1B status grants such an individual up to three years of employment authorization from October 1, 2010.
The H-1B cap does not apply to foreign nationals who already hold H-1B status and are seeking to change/transfer their H-1B employer and/or extend their H-1B stay in the United States.
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