Lexology (02/27/12) Debra Dowd
Immigration lawyers around the world will be readying H-1B visa petitions over the next month targeting the April 1 filing date. Federal law restricts the number of H-1B visas available each fiscal year to 20,000 for sponsored individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or Ph.D., and 65,000 for sponsored individuals with a bachelor’s degree (or higher) regardless of where earned. Once the master’s cap is reached, those with a U.S. master’s degree or Ph.D. will be considered in the regular cap.
As no one can predict with certainty when the cap will be reached, employers needing new H-1B visas for the 2013 fiscal year are encouraged to act immediately to ready their H-1B petitions for filing. A petition must be filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before it announces that the cap has been reached in order for the H-1B visa to be available for the fiscal year.