H-1B Visa Tips For FY2011 Application Filing on April 1, 2010

Now that the Fiscal Year 2010 H-1B cap subject visa quota has been filled (as of December 21, 2009), it is time to focus on H-1B cap-subject visa filings for Fiscal Year 2011, which will start being accepted by USCIS on April 1, 2010. If you are thinking of filing an H-1b visa application on April 1, 2010, now is the time to get started with the process. Please see below for some common tips in preparing to file an H-1b visa application.

Tip #1 – You must have a job offer: If you do not already have a job offer for a position that meets the H-1b visa requirements, you must find one before filing your application. You cannot submit an H-1b visa application without the sponsorship of an employer who wants to employ you in an H-1b caliber position. There is no way around this rule.

Tip #2 – Make sure your job offer meets the H-1b specialty occupation requirements: The position you are seeking to fill must require at a minimum either a bachelor’s degree in a specific field or the equivalent.

Tip #3 – You must have the right background: You must meet the minimum requirements for the H-1b position being offered to you. This means you must have the right bachelor’s degree or the equivalent through work experience or a combination of work experience and education. Likewise, if the position requires a certain credential or licensing, you must have this as well.

Tip #4 – Find an immigration lawyer well-versed in the H-1b visa process to work with: This is one of the most important tips! Filing an H-1b visa is highly complicated and nuanced. The slightest error or oversight can result in a rejection or denial. Furthermore, with increased scrutiny being applied by USCIS, the application process has become even technical.

Tip #5 – Work Closely with your immigration lawyer: It is important to understand that your immigration lawyer is your advocate and that he/she has the same desired goal as you, which is the approval of your application. With that said, it is important for you to provide your immigration lawyer with all requested information and details concerning all aspects of your application.

Tip #6 – Understand that your start date cannot be any earlier than October 1, 2010: If you’re applying for a cap-subject H-1b visa on April 1, 2010, you cannot request a start date earlier than October 1, 2010. This means that you must figure out what you’re going to do until that time. If you will remain in the U.S. it is imperative that you maintain lawful nonimmigrant status.

Tip #7 – Understand that you may not apply for a cap-subject H-1b visa until April 1, 2010: The 85,000 H-1b visa quota (65,000 regular cap and 20,000 master’s cap) for Fiscal Year 2011 does not start until April 1, 2010.

Tip #8 – Understand that there are a limited number of H-1b cap-subject visas available: Every year there are only 65,000 regular cap and 20,000 master’s cap H-1b visas available. Last year the cap remained open for the regular cap from April 1, 2009, to December 21, 2009 (about 7.5 months). In the years’ prior to last year, the quota remained open for a day or two with lotteries being conducted right away because of the large number applications received. It is anyone’s guess as to what the situation will be like on April 1, 2010; however, the demand is expected to be higher than what it was on April 1, 2009. As such, you should plan on being prepared to file your H-1b visa application by April 1, 2010.

Guest Author

Douglas Lightman

33 thoughts on “H-1B Visa Tips For FY2011 Application Filing on April 1, 2010

  1. Hi,
    I stumbled on your website just today and I have it to be very useful, so thank you for all the information. I have a question about the H1B requirements. I have an undergraduate degree with 1 year work experience both from outside the US. I am in the US presently on an F1 visa studying in graduate school. Will my masters degree make me eligible to apply for the H1B visa (after getting employment)?

  2. Hi Omo,
    Sorry for the delay in reply and thanks for the kind words. Yes your Master’s degree in the US will make you eligible for the 20,000 US advanced degree additional quota as well as the general 65,000 general H1B visa quota. Even without your Master’s degree you were still eligible for the H1B visa but having it should certainly make your job search and your resume more attractive to prospective US employers.
    Good Luck,

  3. Hi, This was the best no nonsense write up I have read so far. I have a question- if my prospective employer files a new h1B petition on April 1st , 2010 and under normal processing , what is the expected estimated approval time? Thank you s much.

  4. HI Vidhya,
    Thanks for the kind words. Under normal processing time is received in the first week following April 1, you could probably expect to receive feedback by mid May. Especially given that the current amount of applications is not too high this season at this point.
    Good Luck,

  5. Hi,
    i am an undergraduate with 3+ years of experience in bpo and technical recruiting. Can I apply for H1B. If yes then when should I apply, if no then please mention why.

  6. Hi Sidharth,
    Yes I see no reason why you ware not eligible for the H1B visa and you should find sponsor employers now that H1B visa season open and their are plenty of visas left in the annual quota.
    Good Luck,

  7. Hello,

    I want to agree with the previous poster: this is a great website.

    And here my question: I will graduate in July from a German university with an equivalent to a masters degree (and NO batchelor before) and right now I am in contact with a US company who might be interesting in hiring me for a positoin in the US.

    Do I understand it correctly that I /we can only start filing my visa application after my graduation in July and that my earliest start date will be October 1st? (what is the source for that?) And would it make sende to pay the fee for faster processing or will I have enough time anyways?

    Thanks and keep up the great work,

  8. Hi Jonas,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Yes your earliest start date is October 1 as that is the start of the US Immigration year and thus when new H1B visas become current. Given the slow take up of H1B visas thus far (https://visacoach.org/2010/05/22/h1b-visa-news-may-2010/), premium processing may not be necessary unless you want an answer very quickly. You could start doing your application now and then when you go to your US consulate visa interview later, take you degrees with you then.
    Good Luck,

  9. This is the best website i have ever come across. My husband’s H1 B is applied by his employer on April 1st 2010, but till now he didnt receive any receipt number. Will the employer inform us the receipt number ? When can it be expected ?

  10. Hi Maha,
    You should be getting this very soon if you applied in April. Normal processing seems to be taking for some 2 months which would be around now for you.
    Thanks for the kind words and good luck.

  11. Hi.

    This is an excellent website. I’d like to ask whether I would be eligible for an H1B. My sister – a US citizen- applied for a green card for me last year. It is my understanding that due to the backlog in the 4th preference group it will take 10 years till I get my green card.
    My brother-in-law has offered a job for to work in his business. I have a Master’s Degree. Would I be able to obtain an H1b with my I-130 being processed?

    Thanx in advance.

  12. Hi, this website is definitely very interesting.
    My husband has been offered a job in the US and the H1B application went in around the beginning of June. The HR department has told him that processing is on hold for H1B visas and that they don’t start processing till 1st October. We were under the impression that the visas were being processed but that he just couldn’t start work until 1st October. Can you tell me which is correct, how do we get a receipt number and when approval is likely to come through.
    Many thanks,

  13. Hi ..
    excellent website . I need some info .. I am on work permit to Canada … can I apply H1 from here .. without going back to my home country I would like to have stamping done in Canada … is it possible ..suggest me …

  14. Hi,
    I went through all the comments in this website.i think i would get need ful information in my case.
    Iam on H4 ,i had my MSC from one of the GOOD university campus.I worked for 4 years in INDIA.Iam planning to apply for H1.
    i have spoken to many consultancies.they are not ready to file H1 without a real job.
    i have capability to get a job but companies are not ready to wait till Oct.
    some consultancies are ready to file H1 but asking money from my packet.I do not have trust on them.

    If i get a job on Oct,i would be able to file H1 but H1 quota is still open till Oct 2010?

    Thanks in advance

  15. i want know about h-1b visa process format , and fee , i got a offer letter from , grand queen hotel ,dalls, so now i am applying for h-1b visa by maxnic travels

  16. Hi CJ,
    I am currently on my H1B visa sponsored through a university (non-profit organization) which expires in Jan2011 (with a definite possibility of extension). I have my masters from a US university and 2.5years work experience. What are the chances of getting green card through the EB2 visa and how long would it take to get the visa? Also any other alternative you would suggest to get a quick green card (except marrying a US citizen, ofcourse!)
    BTW, this website has very very good information on visas.
    Good job CJ!
    Thanks in advance

  17. I have a total of 4years work experience (2years at the university i am working at present) and 1.5yrs in India and also a masters degree from india. I forgot to mention it in my previous email.

  18. hi , iam a under gradguate person my job is safety officer i have 5 years experience in my job i wish to know h-1b visa process and fee details also , i can apply the visa in now .

  19. I am undergraduate(10+2) with 9 years of experience in software development(AS/400 technology). I have visited twice to US on B1 visa to the client company. Though I opted for BCA course through correspondence, but was not able to complete it. Can I get an L1 or H1 visa if my company in India is ready to sponser me.

  20. Hello Mr.Prabhakaran i am Niyas

    Me too got an offer letter from the grand queen hotel? But are you sure it is not a fake? . But i am confused . I think its a fake one? Before sending money to them you must correctly enquire about all those things.. If it is not fake plz inform me

  21. Hi.

    This is an excellent website. I’d like to ask whether I would be eligible for an H1B. My sister – a US citizen- applied for a green card for me last year. It is my understanding that due to the backlog in the 4th preference group it will take 10 years till I get my green card.
    My brother-in-law has offered a job for to work in his business. I have a Master’s Degree. Would I be able to obtain an H1b with my I-130 being processed?

    Thanx in advance.

  22. @ Mr. Prabhakaran and Mr. Niyas.

    I would like to ask about regarding your apply in grand queen hotel. I got offer also from this hotel. pls inform me about your latest apply.


  23. I am on OPT and my employer is filing for my H1B this month. My wife is on F2 and she is starting grad school in January 2011.She is applying for her transfer from F2 to F1 within United States in December first week. Therefore both the visa processings take place simultaneously. If my H1B gets approved before her F1 gets approved, can she stay in the country till her F1 is approved, or she has to leave the country and reenter with her F1 visa stamped? Thanks in advance.

  24. Hi Zsolt,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Yes in theory you should be eligible for an H1B visa given your background and the job and company being fine.

  25. Hi Linda,
    I am unsure if you are applying in the US or what country you are applying in. The earliest issue date for H1B visas is October 1, however a US consulate can issue the visa in advance of that date. You just can’t start working until that date. As for USCIS processing within the US, their processing has not paused and is ongoing until the quota is exhausted.

  26. Hi Rakesh,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Yes it is possible to do your visa processing at a US consulate in Canada.

  27. hi. i am bachelors graduate with 5 years core telecom voip implementation exp am i eligible to apply h1b? i. am currently in india and can i. fond a sponser from india itselfs.

  28. I like your article but I have doubts ,is that I am a dot net developer I want to go USA for job but I dnt have any vissa .this is my first time to think to go USA for job .how can I get h1 vissa ?can I applied for h1 vissa now else after get job .. How can apply for a job in USA.
    Please give a suggestion.

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