By Turid Owren, Alan Perkins, and Melany Savitt
U.S. employers that wish to pursue new H-1B visas on behalf of prospective or existing employees should do so as soon as possible, and contact counsel for assistance if desired. April 3 through 7, 2017 is the anticipated deadline for filing new H-1B petitions under the USCIS H-1B quota for FY2018. The quota provides for 65,000 regular 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. At present, no changes have been enacted by Congress or the Trump Administration that would affect the H-1B visa category.
We expect the demand for H-1B visas to continue to be high this year as in past years and recommend that employers review upcoming hiring needs to determine as soon as possible if the company wishes to file any new H-1B petitions under the FY2018 quota (for employment start dates on or after October 1, 2017).
In your review, we recommend considering the following:
- Determine whether the company employs any foreign nationals who will need (or may benefit from) a change to H-1B status. Examples include: F-1 and J-1 students, TN NAFTA professionals, L-1B specialized knowledge transferees, E-3 Australian specialty occupation professionals, and individuals with certain types of employment authorization documents (EADs).
- Determine if there are any prospective employees the company wishes to employ beginning October 1, 2017 or later who require a new H-1B petition. Example: recruiting someone outside the United States who requires an H-1B visa to work for the company.
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.