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Deadline for Filing New H-1B Visa Applications for FY2015 is April 1st. Prepare Applications ‎Now.

February 19, 2014

Overview

A brief reminder of an important deadline:

April 1, 2014 is the beginning of the application period for the Fiscal Year 2015 (FY2015) H-1B program. Employers that would like to petition for new H-1B workers should prepare their applications now to have them ready for submission on April 1st.

The H-1B visa is the most commonly used immigration solution for companies seeking to hire foreign nationals for professional specialty occupations. There are only 65,000 new H-1B visas available per year due to an arbitrary cap imposed by Congress and demand regularly exceeds supply. In the past three years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has reached the annual cap on new H-1B visas long before the end of the fiscal year. Last year demand was so great, the cap was reached within the first five days of the filing period and approximately twice as many H-1B applications were submitted as there were visas available. Further, for the first time ever, all 20,000 additional H-1Bs reserved for holders of U.S. earned Master's degrees were also used up during the first week of the application period. By April 5, 2013, USCIS announced that it had received more than enough new applications and closed the application window. It then conducted a random lottery to select the applications it would adjudicate. Applications that were not selected in last year's lottery were rejected and returned to the petitioning employer (approximately one out of two applications submitted).

Demand for this year's program is expected to be as high or higher than last year due to the strengthening economy and tech sector in particular. It is anticipated that all 85,000 new H-1B visas available for FY2015 will be spoken for by April 5, 2014. Because there are only a limited number of new H-1B visas available and the application window will again close quickly this year, we advise employers to have their H-1B petitions prepared and ready to file on April 1, 2014.

If you have questions about the H-1B program or any other immigration matter, contact Schwabe's immigration attorney Bradley D. Maier for more information. Brad can be reached at 503-796-2440 or bmaier@schwabe.com.

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