Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) May 7, 2013 – The foreign worker H-1B visa applications are now being accepted, and the cap is expected to be quickly met.
On April 1, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began accepting H-1B applications for the fiscal year 2014, which would allow employment in the U.S. as of October 1, 2013. Employers recruiting foreign workers for fiscal year 2013 hit the cap on June 11, 2012. This year, the demand is expected to be even higher. Employers interested in H-1B employees are advised to petition early.
“The H-1B quota is expected to be reached quite early,” agreed Annie Banerjee. “Everyone should file their petitions as soon as possible.”
Employers who have identified individuals for whom an H-1B sponsorship is required should receive Labor Condition Applications and file the H-1B in a timely fashion.
The H-1B visa is capped annually at 65,000 per fiscal year. There are also an additional 20,000 visas for foreign nationals with a master’s degree or higher from a U.S college or university. If a U.S. employer wishes to hire a “specialty occupation” worker, they must have an H-1B visa. The H-1B visa is good for three years and can be renewed once for an additional three years. An H-1B visa holder may also apply for a green card, or permanent residency status, and may apply for an H-1B visa while waiting for the process to be completed.
Critics, especially high tech employers in the U.S., are pushing for the U.S to raise the cap on the number of H-1B visas granted annually. It has been at 65,000 since 2004, down significantly from 195,000 for many years prior.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting H-1B applications this month for employment starting in October. The cap of 65,000 is quickly met each year, and H-1B advocates have voiced concern that this year’s quota may be reached within a week.
The Immigration Innovation Bill was introduced by the Senate earlier this year, designed to raise the H-1B cap to 115,000 immediately with a gradual increase to 300,000.
Annie Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer specializing in helping people become United States citizens. The law offices assist in visas and other legal immigration requirements as well. To learn more, visit http://www.visatous.com.
Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
131 Brooks Street, Suite #300
Sugar Land, Texas 77478
Phone: (281) 242-9139