The Early Bird Catches the Worm – FY14 H1B Cap Season

It is that time of year again! The MVP Law Group has already begun accepting and working on H1B cap-subject cases. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H1B cap-subject filings for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) on Monday, April 1, 2013. We are advising employers and individuals who are in need of H1B cap-subject filings that it is time to start preparing for the H1B cap.

Many foreign nationals and their employers have asked when they should start working on H1B 2014 cap-subject cases. The cap filings may be filed as of April 1, 2013. It is vital to file on the first day. Last year, FY13, the H-1B CAP was reached by June 12, 2012. Since it is difficult to predict FY14’s outcome, our recommendation is to file as early as permitted under the law. The law allows H1B cases to be filed up to six months before the requested start date for employment. The first allowable date of employment is October 1, 2013, the first day of FY14.

In order to have a case ready to be filed with the USCIS on April 1st, it is necessary to prepare in advance. To facilitate this, as in past years, MVP Law Group begins accepting and preparing these cases months in advance. If there is an employer / employee match, it is best to start early to avoid the last minute rush and panic that inevitably sets in right before April 1st and lasts until the cap is reached.

For FY13, the cap was not reached immediately; but was reached on June 12, 2012, which was earlier than expected. In years past, the filings have far outweighed the available H1B cap numbers. In such events, where the USCIS receives more H1B petitions than the amount available provided under law, USCIS randomly selects the number of petitions to reach the numerical limit from the petitions received on the final receipt date. Petitions not randomly selected by USCIS and petitions received after the final receipt date, will be rejected.

Every year there is not one, but many different factors that can all, or in part, combine to influence what will happen during each year for H1B sponsorship employment demand, and for the volume of H1B visas that are filed by US employers. These factors determine the duration, and how quickly the H1B cap will be reached each year. There is no way to accurately predict the length of the H1B cap season, but the clear trend over the past few years is toward shorter periods of time to file an H1B cap-subject case.

The H1B cap-subject is complex in nature. Both Individuals and employers often make incorrect assumptions regarding the H1B cap. Because it is so complex, we advise you consult an experienced immigration attorney to help increase the chance of a petition approval.

The MVP Law Group has successfully handled H1B petitions for a variety of clients ranging from the straight forward to the complex. Please feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys to discuss your immigration needs and help you effectively with your H1B processing. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys can help you devise an appropriate strategy for the H1B FY14 cap season.

~ Article contributed by Stacey Bell, Senior Paralegal