Filing H1B Applications for Fiscal Year 2008

The fiscal year 2008 H1B cap begins October 1, 2007. The earliest an employer can file an H1B application for an October 1, 2007 start date is April 1, 2007. That date is fast approaching. Last year, the USCIS received a heavy volume of H1B applications between April 1st, 2006 and the end of May 2006. The regular cap of 65,000 visas were exhausted by the end of May 2006. The second cap of 20,000 visas for persons with advanced U.S. degrees lasted until mid-July 2006.

Due to pent up demand, we expect there to be a heavy volume of filings in April and May of this year as well. So if you are an employer, please plan accordingly and be prepared to have the appropriate employer and employee information/documentation to your immigration attorney as soon as possible so that a timely filing in April can be made. Once the cap has been reached, employers must wait until October 2008 to hire an employee in H1B status.

The H1B cap only applies to ‘new employment’ H1B applications or applications to change an employee’s status to H1B. One example of the latter would be filing an application to change an employee’s status from TN NAFTA to H1B. A person who has already been counted against the cap and applies for another H1B with another employer is not considered to be applying for new employment and is not subject to the H1B cap. The cap does not apply to H1B extensions either. Our office will be providing information on H1B usage once filings begin on April 1, 2007. Please stay tuned to for further updates.