'Tis The H-1B FY 2010 Cap Season!

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 H-1B cap begins on October 1, 2009. The earliest an employer can file an H-1B application for an October 1, 2009 start date is April 1, 2009. That date is fast approaching. For the past two years, the number of H-1B applications received by the USCIS far exceeded the cap of 65,000 visas for regular H-1B cases and 20,000 visas for persons with advanced U.S. degrees

It is difficult to predict the volume of filings this year.  The slow economy could impact the number of H-1B applications filed by employers.  However, prudence is sometimes more important than a prediction.  So if you are an employer who wants to hire a foreign professional worker, please plan accordingly.  The earliest an employer can file a new H-1B application is April 1, 2009.  Our office recommends that all employers make plans to file their cases on this date.

The H1B cap only applies to ‘new employment’ H-1B applications or applications to change an employee’s status to H-1B. An example of the latter would be filing an application to change an employee’s status from TN (NAFTA) to H-1B or F-1 (student OPT) to H-1B. A person who has already been counted against the cap and applies for another H-1B with another employer is not considered to be applying for new employment and is not subject to the H-1B cap. Furthermore, the cap does not apply to H-1B extensions.

Our law firm is currently accepting H-1B applications for the FY 2010 cap.  If you have an H-1B application that needs to be filed, please contact our office to speak with an attorney.

We will also be providing information on H-1B usage once filings begin on April 1, 2009. Please stay tuned to www.bashyamshah.com for additional updates.