News Update: File H-1B Petitions For Fiscal Year 2014 on April 1, 2013

CBP plans to eliminate use of the paper Form I-94…

This alert is a reminder that the filing period for H-1B petitions subject to the annual H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2014 begins on Monday, Abril 1, 2013.

As the economy continues to improve, we expect the H-1B cap to be reached quickly, possibly by mid-April, 2013. There is a remote possibility that if the number of applications on the first day exceed the total cap, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services may use a lottery system as they did in the past. This means that even though an H-1B petition is filed on April 1, 2013, it may not receive a 2014 H-1B number unless the immigration laws are changed. Once the cap is reached, employers will need to wait till April 2014 to file cap-subject H-1B petitions with an employment start date of October 1, 2014 or later.

We encourage employers to immediately identify current and future employees who need to be sponsored for the H-1B classification such as those who are currently in F-1, J-1, L-1, or TN status. As each H-1B petition requires preliminary preparatory steps including obtaining a certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor, which may take up to 7 days to process an LCA application, we recommend employers make sponsorship decisions and contact our office no later than March 1, 2013 to allow sufficient time for petition preparation.