Preparing Now for FY 2009 H-1B Visa Applications

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The Business and Global Immigration practice of Yormick & Associates is dedicated to serving the needs of our clients effectively and in a cost-efficient manner. We want to remind our clients and Friends of the Firm that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B applications for FY 2009 on April 1, 2008.

While there is continuing talk and some proposed legislation regarding an increase in the number of available visas, we urge employers and qualifying employees to initiate the filing process now to ensure completed applications can be submitted to the USCIS by April 1, 2008. Since 2003, Congress has established an annual H-1B visa cap of 65,000. The documentation required for an H-1B application can be extensive – particularly for employers and employees for whom we have not provided assistance previously – and may take some time to obtain and, in many instances, translate.

Organizations intending to file an H-1B petition for an employee or prospective employee, should note that for FY 2008 USCIS reached its filing cap in just two days. Any petition filed after the cap was reached, and not falling in one of the few available exemptions, was rejected with instructions to re-file in the next fiscal year. For many employers, this meant losing valued employees or candidates for a year or permanently as workers were forced to return to their home countries.

Many of our H-1B clients have submitted or will soon submit the necessary documents and payments to our firm. To ensure the visa application filed on behalf of your employee is accepted, we want to stress the importance of thorough and timely preparation and filing of H-1B applications.

USCIS continues to accept and process certain quota-exempt H-1B petitions for employment at qualifying institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities; at nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations; for certain former J-1 physicians; for employees already counted against the quota during the past six years; and for quota-exempt H’s seeking concurrent quota-subject employment.

Disclosure: This Immigration Law Alert is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as or provide specific legal advice regarding a particular matter. Should you have specific questions regarding an immigration matter, please contact Jon P. Yormick, Managing Attorney, or Andrew J. Behnke, Immigration Specialist., Yormick & Associates, Co., L.P.A., T: +1.216.928.3474, F: +1.216.566.0857, e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected].


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