USCIS will begin to accept H1B Petitions for FY2012 on April 1, 2011

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to accept H-1B petitions for the FY 2012 cap on April 1, 2011 for employment beginning on October 1, 2011 . Cases are considered accepted on the date USCIS receives a complete application with the fee enclosed, not on the postmarked date.

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. Frequently, employers interested in utilizing the H-1B visa program contact an experienced Immigration Lawyer for a consultation about the process, determine eligibility, discuss applicable lawyer’s fees and filing fees, and so forth.

If an individual works at any of the below entities, their H-1B petition will be considered EXEMPT from the CAP:
• Nonprofit research organization • Government research organization • Institute of higher education
• Nonprofit organization related to/affiliated with an institute of higher education
Until December 21, 2014 individuals who file of behalf of beneficiaries from Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands are also EXEMPT from the CAP.

The H-1B cap does not apply to foreign nationals who already hold H-1B status and are seeking to change their H-1B employer and/or extend their H-1B stay in the United States.

Employers looking to hire new H-1B professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process immediately as in prior years, the H1B CAP was reached on the day it opened, April 1.

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 2011, that individual’s employment authorization card will be valid through the end of May 2012. After May 2012, 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, 2011 asking the USCIS to change their status to H-1B from October 1, 2011. H-1B status grants such an individual up to three years of employment authorization from October 1, 2011.

Because immigration law is federal in nature (i.e., no state or provincial law is involved), our firm is able to provide U.S. business immigration services to clients located anywhere in the United States and around the world!

Contact MVP Law Group to begin the process now!

MVP Law Group, P.A.
9192 Red Branch Road, Suite 110
Columbia, MD 21045

Local – 240-390-0600
Fax – 240-390-0603 Toll free – 1-800-447-0796

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