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Don’t Delay! H-1B Season is Upon Us

It’s that time of year again. H-1B season is once again upon us. H-1B petitions for the U.S. government’s 2015 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2014, should be filed by April 1, so don’t delay! Berardi Immigration Law assists numerous clients each year with the preparation and filing of these petitions and encourages any employers who wish to be ready to file by April 1 to start the process now.
What is the H-1B category?
The H-1B category is used by some U.S. businesses and other organizations to employ workers in specialty occupations. Specialty occupations require theoretical or technical expertise in a specialized field. For example, architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, college professors and doctors may all qualify under this category.
What is H-1B Cap Season?
Each year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services allots 65,000 regular H-1B cap numbers, plus an additional 20,000 advanced-degree cap exemptions for those with a master’s degree earned at a U.S. college or university. H-1B cap subject cases can be filed on the first business day of April; this year it’s April 1, 2014. If there are enough cases to meet or exceed the cap, the filing period ends after five days. If there are not enough cases to meet the 65,000 cap, the filing period remains open until the cap is met. The latter is very unlikely. Last year, 124,000 applications were submitted during the five-day filing period alone. That’s why it is of the utmost importance to have your petitions prepared as soon as possible.
What is the lottery?
The lottery occurs when the cap has been met or exceeded within those first five filing days. USCIS randomly selects the cases from that first week, via a computer-generated process, to determine which ones will be adjudicated. Those not chosen in the lottery will be returned without being processed. There is no way of knowing for certain whether there will be a lottery this year, although it is most likely. Since the economic recession of 2008, the number of cap subject filings has been steadily increasing each year. With 124,000 applications in 2013, the number of applications is expected to be even greater this year.
For more information on last year’s lottery, please visit our blog at
How soon should I retain Berardi Immigration Law?
While April may seem like a long ways away, the sooner these petitions are prepared, the better. Berardi Immigration Law is now accepting H-1B cases. Although these cases cannot be filed until April 1, starting this process early benefits all parties — the attorney, the employer and the employee. For the attorney, having the petitions in ahead of time gives us the necessary time to fully understand and review the case. It benefits the employer and the employee in giving them more time to acquire all the necessary documents for the petition. It also gives all parties more time to ask questions, make corrections and make sure that the current course aligns with any future immigration plans or goals.
How do I know who will need H-1B status?
It’s important for employers to identify current and future employees who will need H-1B status early on. These often include recent college graduates in F-1 status or J-1 trainee status. It also includes individuals looking to change to H-1B status from another work status, such as a TN, L-1 or an E-3. It’s also important for the employee to consider whether or not they would like H-1B status. Foreign national workers should approach their employer regarding this change, typically beginning in the human resources department.
For more information regarding H-1B season and who is eligible for H-1B status, please visit our blog at
Why choose Berardi Immigration Law to help file this petition?
The Berardi Immigration Law team is extremely well versed in the filing of H-1B petitions. We have a very high success rate in this area. Being represented by an experienced legal team and being well prepared for the H-1B cap season can mean the difference between an approval and having to try again next year. Once this H-1B cap is closed, it will not be open again until April 1 of 2015 for the 2016 fiscal year.
If you are an employer or employee looking to file H-1B status, please contact one of our immigration attorneys today!