Filing of H-1B cases subject to the annual cap will begin in less than 3.5 months, on April 1, 2015. In this strong tech job market, it is highly likely that all of next fiscal year’s H-1B numbers will be over-subscribed before the first week of April is over, as it was in each of the two past Aprils.
What should I do first?
Provide your best estimate now to your ILG attorney regarding the positions you need to file H-1Bs for. Specifically, provide the approximate number of petitions for each position(s), the worksite(s), and approximate wage for the petitions. With this information, ILG will prepare the Labor Condition Applications (LCA) in advance. The LCA is a required document for every H-1B and must be prepared in advance of filing an H-1B.
Employees With OPT Work Authorization
If your company employs recent graduates in F-1 status, you should begin contacting ILG to inform the firm about the existence of these employees. Because ILG is not involved with F-1 students obtaining EADs, ILG does not know about such employees until you inform the firm.
Even for F-1 employee who can obtain OPT work authorization through October 2016, it is best practice to petition for H-1B change of status this April in order to have two tries in the “H-1B lottery” (i.e., in April 2015 & April 2016). Demand for H-1B will exceed availability not only this year but also in the foreseeable future, and companies need to maximize their opportunities or face the risk of having employee run out of work authorization.
In conclusion, we advise clients to contact their ILG attorney with questions or requests concerning your company’s H-1B needs.