T’is the Season: to Plan for the H-1B Cap
Filing of H-1B cases subject to the annual cap will begin in less than 4 months, on April 1, 2014. As the US job market continues to strengthen, 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 this past April.
What do I do?
In case of another federal government shutdown (a possibility in mid-January), or processing delays at DOL due to heavy demand, securing a certified LCA in advance is especially critical this year.
Therefore, 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 can prepare the Labor Condition Applications (LCA) in advance.
Employees With OPT Work Authorization
If your company employs recent graduates in F-1 status, you should begin contacting ILG to alert the firm of these employees. Because ILG is not involved with F-1 students obtaining EADs, the firm does not know about such employees.
Even for F-1 employee who can obtain OPT work authorization through October 2015, 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 2014 & April 2015). Without immigration reform, demand for H-1B will exceed availability this year and next year, and companies need to maximize their chances 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.