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Processing Times for H-1B Visas in 2014

With the busy H-1B employment-based visa season just a week away, prospective employers seeking to employ skilled foreign workers are starting to factor application processing times so that they can adjust their business to their staffing projections.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H-1B visa application packets on April 1st. The time frame for submitting applications is only open for a few days; it is expected to close on either Friday, April 4th or Monday, April 7th of this year. H-1B visas are issued for the following fiscal year, which starts on October 1st.

Once H-1B visa requests are submitted, employers can expect processing times of about a month. Approval of application packets requiring additional research and investigation may be delayed for up to six months. Tech employers who hire H-1B workers generally know that they have to wait until October to add foreign employees to their payrolls. These employers should also have a contingency plan for staffing in case their visa requests are not granted.

As expert immigration attorneys in San Diego, we recommend that employers interested in hiring skilled foreign workers recommend getting an early start on the H-1B application process. This year, the entire application packet should be ready to be turned by Monday, March 31st. There are a series of prerequisites that must be completed before the application can be submitted. One of these prerequisites is the certification of Labor Condition Application (LCA), which is handled by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

In addition to the LCA certification, U.S. employers must also register their companies with the DOL and post a series of notices for compliance purposes. Time is of the essence when preparing H-1B visa application packets; we often suggest that clients being fulfilling the prerequisites and start working on paperwork in early March.

When H-1B visas are processed and approved in a timely manner, foreign workers residing abroad have plenty of time to make preparations and coordinate the endorsement of their passports by U.S. embassy or consular personnel. It is also a good idea to let workers know that their visas may not be approved until September so that they can plan accordingly before they move to the U.S.

For more information about business and employment immigration in San Diego, click here or contact Kazmi and Sakata immigration lawyers today at 858-874-0711 to schedule a free consultation.

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