Sunday, March 11, 2012

PREPARING FOR AND PROJECTING THE H-1B CAP

The Fiscal Year 2013 (FY2013) H-1B cap season will begin on April 1, 2012. Last year (FY2012), the H-1B cap moved very slowly -- only 8,000 H-1Bs were received in April 2011. The slow pace continued through the spring and summer. As the US economy improved, the H-1B pace quickened. The H-1B cap was reached in November 2011.

On a histocial basis, FY2012 moved very slowly. In FY 2011, which began April 1, 2010, the USCIS had receipted about 20,000 H-1Bs through May 1, 2010. In FY 2009, there were about 40,000 H-1Bs receipted in by USCIS through May 1, 2009. For the prior three fiscal years (FY 2006-08), the H-1B cap was reached on the very first day of filing.

It is unknown what the FY2013 H-1B demand will be. In speaking with some clients, MU expects the H-1B cap to move quicker than last year. However, MU expects that the H-1B cap will remain open until at least mid-summer.

If you are considering filing an H-1B cap-subject petition, MU urges you to begin that process now.

Many healthcare professions ordinarily qualify for H-1B status, including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, and some Registered Nursing positions.

International workers who are working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as “H-1B transfer” cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year.

Employees that need a "cap-subject" H-1B include:

* International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school

* International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case

* Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1

* H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization

* Prospective international employees currently living abroad


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