Thursday, April 10, 2014

H-1B Cap for Fiscal year 2015 Met

On April 7, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received enough H-1B petitions to account for the annual quota for fiscal year 2015.  In fact, USCIS announced that it had received enough petitions to account for the 20,000 H-1B visas set aside for alien holding advanced degrees from U.S. schools.

H-1B visas are also known as specialty worker visas.  They are visas that allow a person to come to the United States temporarily to work for a U.S. employer.  To qualify, the alien worker must be coming to perform a job that requires the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher.

H-1B visas are initially granted for three years.  The visas begin on October 1, the start of the fiscal year.  Application can be submitted up to 6 months before the start of the fiscal year, or April 1.  There are 65,000 H-1B visas available every year.  Another 20,000 H-1B visas are available for alien workers who hold an advanced degree from a U.S. institution.

In some years, the annual quota is not met until later in the year.  However, when U.S. employers need skilled foreign workers, the H-1B quota can be met early in the H-1B filing season.  If more than enough H-1B petitions are received by USCIS before April 7, a lottery is held to see which applicants receive the available visas.

By:  William J. Kovatch, Jr.
(703) 837-8832