Begin Your H-1B Applications Now!
By Kevin M. Mosher • Feb 16, 2018
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE H-1B PROCESS?
Do you have recent college grad on OPT or F-1, who you want to keep working for your company? Have you identified an overseas skilled worker for a position in the U.S.?
If so, then you will need to apply for an H-1B visa to even have a chance at obtaining work authority for this promising employee. Preparing applications can take weeks and the deadline for applications is April 1, 2018, so you need to start the process today.
TIMING IS IMPORTANT
This year the annual allotment of visas is 65,000, plus an additional 20,000 for prospective employees who obtained their Master’s Degree from a U.S. university. Note that 6,800 of the visas from the pool of 65,000 are set aside for residents of Singapore and Chile. The annual allotment begins to be distributed on October 1. Applications, however, begin on April 1. Timing is important, as applications received before April 1, 2018, are rejected.
LOTTERY SYSTEMS & YOUR ODDS OF SUCCESS
In the last decade applications for H-1B visas have exceeded the annual allotment within the first week. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) utilizes a lottery system to randomly select applications to be reviewed, and the chances of being selected in the lottery vary from year to year based on the number of applications. Commonly the odds are 1:2 to 1:4 of being selected. Nothing you do can improve your odds. If sufficient applications have been received during the first week of April, no further applications will be accepted and you will have to wait until the following April to apply.
Finally, the cap only applies for new H-1B visa applications. If you are looking to hire someone who has already been granted an H-1B visa (in the past 6-years), you can apply at any time.
Thompson Coe offers all immigration services. Please call with any questions or if you need assistance applying for any visa or green card.
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