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H-1B Filing Season To Begin April 1, 2014, Lottery is Anticipated

January 6, 2014

Employers are reminded to identify new candidates who will require H-1B sponsorship as soon as possible, to ensure that these applications are accepted for processing.  April 1, 2014 is the first date that an employer is able to file an H-1B petition on behalf of a foreign national who has not possessed H-1B status before.  Employees with approved H-1B petitions will be able to begin work in that status on October 1, 2014.

The H-1B is a frequently used temporary work visa for professional positions.  Generally, there are only 65,000 H-1Bs available per year.  There are an additional 20,000 H-1Bs available for candidates with a Master's Degree or higher from a US university.  If USCIS receives more than enough petitions in the first five days of processing, there will be computer generated random selection process to choose which H-1B petitions will be accepted for processing.  In 2013, USCIS received 124,000 applications in the first five days of processing and a lottery was held to select the 65,000 H-1B visas and additional 20,000 H-1B Master's Degree visas.  It is anticipated that a lottery will occur in 2014 also.

Foreign nationals who work for a non-profit research organization, an institution of higher education, or work furthering the purposes of either of these, or have used a cap subject H-1B, are exempt from the H-1B quota.  For more information on H-1Bs, see the Clark Hill website .

Visa Priority Dates – January 2014 Visa Bulletin

The January Visa Bulletin has been posted. The priority date for employment based second cases (EB-2) for China is at December 8, 2008 and EB-2 India is at November 4, 2004.  Priority dates for employment based third cases (EB-3) for China and the Worldwide limit are both at April 1, 2012.  EB-3 India is at  September 1, 2003.  For a summary of priority dates, retrogression, and how these dates impact US green card processing, please visit the Clark Hill website.

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