USCIS will begin accepting H-1B cases subject to the annual cap on Monday, April 3, 2017.
It is certain that all cap-subject H-1Bs for the entire year will be fully-subscribed by the fifth business days of April, as it was in each of the last 4 years. If so, all cases received during the first 5 business days of April will undergo a random selection process to determine which cases will be processed and which will be returned. This is often referred to as the H-1B “lottery.”
What should companies do now?
If you have not already done so, send an email to your ILG attorney or paralegal listing the individuals your company will be petitioning for this year. Include each beneficiary’s name and email ID so that ILG can start sending case initiation emails.
If you have not identified the beneficiaries, but know the job title(s) and worksite(s) your company will be filing for, send an email containing the approximate number of petitions you plan to file for each position and worksite, and the wage range for each position. 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.
F-1 Status Employees
Because ILG’s service is not needed when your company hires F-1 students with valid EADs, we do not know of such employees unless you have explicitly informed us. Therefore, be sure to list F-1 employees in your email to your ILG attorney or paralegal. We need their names and email IDs to initiate their H-1B case.
Finally, even for F-1 employees who are eligible for OPT work authorization beyond October 2018, we highly recommend petitioning for H-1B this April in order to have multiple tries in the “H-1B lottery” (i.e., in April 2017 & April 2018). Demand for H-1B will exceed availability not only this year but also in the foreseeable future.