April 1 through 7, 2015 is the deadline for new H-1B petitions to be filed under the USCIS H-1B quota (assuming, as in the past, that the H-1B quota will be immediately exhausted).
We recommend that employers review upcoming hiring needs and determine as soon as possible if the company needs to file any new H-1B petitions under the FY2016 quota (for start dates on or after October 1, 2015). The quota provides for 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 additional H-1B visas for individuals who have a master's degree (or higher) from a U.S. university.
In your review, please consider the following:
Determine whether the company employs any foreign nationals who will need to change to H-1B status. Examples: F-1 and J-1 students, TN NAFTA professionals, L-1B specialized knowledge transferees, E-3 Australian specialty occupation professionals, and individuals with EADs.
Determine if there are any individuals the company wishes to consider for employment beginning October 1, 2015 (or later) who require a new H-1B petition. Example: recruiting someone outside the United States who would require an H-1B visa to work for the company.
Please contact our office if your company is considering filing a new H-1B petition. We would like to collect all necessary information in February to allow sufficient preparation time to meet the April 1-7 filing deadline.
This client alert is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this update, or for more information about this topic, please contact any of the attorneys in our Business Immigration practice group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.