The H-1B visa is the standard working visa used by foreign nationals to work in the United States with a U.S. employer. The H-1B “specialty worker” visa is available only to foreign nationals who have obtained a job offer in a position that customarily requires someone with a Bachelor’s degree. With a few exceptions, foreign nationals who have completed 6 years of time in the United States in H-1B status, will be required to return to their home country.
H-1B visas are available in a limited number (the “H-1B cap”) on October 1st of each year, the beginning of the fiscal year of the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“CIS”). Applications for the up-coming fiscal year tranches of H-1B visas can be made starting April 1st. While we expect that the FY 2013 H-1B cap may not be reached for several months after April 1st, we cannot of course be certain. The demand appears to be greater this year and we expect that CIS’s apparent bias against granting L-1B “specialized knowledge” work visa petitions will cause U.S. multinational corporations to rely more heavily on the H-1B visa program.
As a result, we are advising all employers who expect to sponsor an employee for an H-1B visa to plan to file in the early part of April of 2012.
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