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H-1B Season Starting Soon: What You Need to Know

H-1B visa filing season is once again almost upon us. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting applications for fiscal year 2015 on April 1st, 2014. The caps for this season have also been announced: 65,000 “traditional” H-1B visas will be granted in addition to 20,000 visas available to applicants who have a master’s degree or hold a doctorate from accredited American universities.

The filing season will continue until the cap is filled, which analysts believe will happen sooner than later. In the past, H-1B visa caps were filled in just a few days. A similar situation is expected this year due to improved economic conditions in the United States. To this effect, employers are strongly urged to contact their immigration legal specialists and start working on the application packages now. The idea is to have a complete and accurate request ready to be submitted on April 1st. Looking for a reliable immigration lawyer in San Diego? Click here for information about the professional immigration attorneys at Kazmi and Sakata Law.

The USCIS recommends paying close attention to Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker. Missing a section or making a mistake on this form can result in the application being rejected. This form has two important supplements that must be completed: The H Classification and H-1B Data Collection and Filing Fee Exemption. Other documents that must be included with the petition include:

  • Department of Labor Form ETA 9035, Labor Condition Application
  • Educational Background Evidence (school transcripts)

A duplicate petition packet must be submitted as well. The current fees are:

  • $325 filing fee. Premium processing service is available for $1,225.
  • $750 as required by the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 for employers with staffs up to 25 full-time workers. Employers with 26 or more workers must pay $1,500.
  • $500 if the H-1B visa is new or if the employee is changing employers.

This H-1B filing season is expected to be very competitive. The number of H-1B petitions received by the USCIS last year prompted a visa lottery, which is very likely to happen again this year, making early preparation key in this regard. Learn more about business and employment immigration or contact an immigration attorney directly at 858-874-0711 today.

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