Tag Archives: h1b season

H1B Visa News April 2010

The Fy2011 H1B visa season which began on April 1, 2010 has just passed the one and a half week mark and the USCIS has released it first update regarding the H1B visa quota numbers.

So as of April 8, 2010, the USCIS has received 13,500 petitions to count towards the general 65,000 H1B visa cap. Additionally 5,600 petitions have been received for the US Advanced Degree exemption quota portion of 20,000. It should be noted that if the advanced degree quota fills up, then those petitions go into the pool for the regular 65,000 cap.

So it would seem that there is plenty of visas still available and judging by the moderate amount of applications received thus far, traditional H1B visa sponsor companies are still nowhere the levels of hiring they were in 2006-8,

This would seem to agree with the economy at large whereby, that while layoffs have in the main ceased and economic growth occurring, the levels of unemployment are still high with only certain sectors really aggressively hiring like Technology, Education and Health. Finance is certainly in a better place than any time in the last 18 months to 2 years in terms of openings.

As an additional note from the USCIS;

Should USCIS receive the necessary number of petitions to meet the cap, it will issue an update to advise the public, that the FY 2011 H-1B cap has been met as of a certain date (the “final receipt date”). The final receipt date will be based on the date USCIS physically receives the petition, not the date that the petition has been postmarked. The date USCIS informs the public that the cap has been reached may differ from the actual final receipt date.

To ensure a fair system, USCIS may randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit from the petitions received on the final receipt date. USCIS will reject cap subject petitions that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date.

For cases filed for premium processing during the initial five-day filing window of April 1-7, the 15-day premium processing period began April 7. For cases filed for premium processing after the filing window, the premium processing period begins on the date that the petition is physically received at the correct USCIS Service Center.

Also it is good to note the change of address for sending applications here.
Finally for the official USCIS link about FY2011 H1B visa season, click here.



H1B Visa News Update & Issues

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.

Good Luck,