So there hasn’t been to much extra news about the upcoming H1B visa season from either official channels like the USCIS or the news media in general. The opening date for accepting H1B visa applications is Thursday April 1, 2010.
The one important thing to note that has been noted by the USCIS in March relates to the approved Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor. This must be filed as a supporting document to your H1B visa petition to the USCIS in an approved status or the application will automatically be rejected. As a temporary measure late last year, the USCIS briefly allowed H1B visa petitions to be filed with this document still pending and then filed subsequently. That was a temporary measure and no longer applies.
There has been little indication from the general media and the hiring environment as to whether the H1B visa quota will be exhausted quickly or take longer as it did last year to fill up fully. However given that the US employment market has stabilized and may in the professional services sector (where the H1B visa is most prevalent) are seeing openings increase, this may well be the calm before the storm. It is definitely better to be prepared early.
Finally we just we would clear up a couple of common questions we are getting this H1B visa season. The H1B visa itself, work authorization period will begin on October 1, 2010. This is a fixed date and cannot be brought forward and relates to the start of the US Immigration year. So regardless of when you receive approval, if you are not legal in the US under another current status (i.e. F1 Visa OPT), then you have to exit the US, apply for the H1B visa overseas and then re-enter after October 1.
Also it is true in most cases, non-profit organizations, government organizations and higher education institutions do not count towards the 65,000 general H1B quota cap or the 20,000 US based advanced degree addition.
So we are now just over 3 weeks away till the FY2011 H1B visa season begins again in earnest on April 1, 2010 when the USCIS is open to receive applications. Since January we covered extensively on the upcoming H1B visa season as well a recent look back on the FY2010 H1B visa season which only recently concluded in December, 2009 to help everyone gain perspective on what is to come this year.
So to recap so far this year we have given all foreigners information on;
– H1B Application Filing Tips
– H1B Visa Quota Predictions
– H1B Visa Costs and Fees
– H1B Frequently Asked Questions and Common Misconceptions & Myths
– H1B Visa Statistics
– F1 Visa OPT Applicants hoping to transfer to an H1B visa
– H1B visa extension procedures with a pending Green Card PERM application
– H1B Important Supporting Documents for your Petition
– Review of an H1B Visa Support Site
Also in the past we have a couple of other posts that may be of reference for the upcoming season;
– Do you need a lawyer for your H1B visa process
– Top H1B visa employers from last year
– Green Card & H1B Visa Relationship
– H1B visa Deportation cases
We hope all the above information helps make the process as easy and successful as possible for you this visa season and you are starting work in the US without issue with your new employer on October 1, 2010.
There will be a lot of media stories regarding US Immigration leading up to the opening on April 1, 2010 as well as throughout the month and probably into May as well. This is due to Immigration reform slowly becoming a major topic in US political circles. Try not to believe all the hyperbole you hear as most of it is just hearsay or just plain myths as we highlight in the link above.
Finally during this time ensure you ask all the questions you feel you need too because in the end the only person completely caring about your total welfare and situation 100% is you. So follow up with your employer’s HR department, your immigration lawyers if you are using them and anyone else that is involved in your process. Ensure you fully understand concepts like H1B application premium processing and the F1 visa / H1B visa gap period as they may apply to your situation