With the arrival of April flowers and Major League Baseball’s Opening Day, the nation’s collective mind is very much on the season of Spring. But the 1st of April has always brought to mind another season for immigration attorneys and our clients: H-1B filing season.
Speculation about how long the cap-subject numbers will last for fiscal year (FY) 2013 has been swirling around the immigration community for months. The fact that the numbers for FY 2012 lasted only until November 22, 2011 (running out earlier than the two previous FYs) and signs of an improving economy have led most of us to believe that the numbers will go even more quickly this year. It appears this belief is justified as earlier today the American Immigration Lawyers Association announced that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has advised receipt of more than 22,300 cap-subject H-1B petitions as of April 4 for the 65,000 cap-subject petitions available each FY. Approximately 25% of these petitions were filed for the 20,000 advanced degree cap. These petitions represent almost double the number of petitions received at the same point in the filing season last FY.
Foreign nationals who receive offers of H-1B employment from institutions of higher education, a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, or nonprofit research organizations, as well as those who have already been counted against the cap within the last six years, are exempt from the cap. Although it is impossible to predict if this filing trend will continue, private and for-profit companies interested in sponsoring students and scholars currently in F-1 or J-1 status are nonetheless urged to initiate and complete the H-1B preparation and filing process as soon as possible in order to secure a number. Please contact a Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group attorney to learn more about or commence the process.