According to a recent report from Business Line, demand for H-1B visas may be on the rise for the coming fiscal year, the filing period for which will open on April 1. While demand will most likely pale in comparison to that of the pre-financial crisis years (when quotas were reached in the first days of the filing period), a turnaround in business sentiment -- and an increased demand from Indian IT companies in particular -- may result in the cap being reached well before the protracted filing period of nearly 8 months during the last fiscal year. While we cannot predict with any certainty, since economists seem to agree that unemployment has peaked in the U.S., we think it is more likely than not that the H-1B quota will be reached within a few months after the filing period opens on April 1. Of course, post April 1, as the reports start filtering in, a clearer picture will emerge. In the interim, the most conservative advice is to start preparation of “cap subject” H-1Bs sooner rather than later. This is especially so in light of the delays in getting an LCA certified by DOL’s new iCERT Portal.
While premium processing does not provide an advantage, per se, in a cap case filing, premium processing certainly does present the advantage (over and above receiving an adjudication or RFE in 15 calendar days) of being able to reach a Service Center representative on the phone to verify that a case has, in fact, been receipted and to otherwise check on the status of a matter.
As most H-1B followers are aware, there is an annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas (6,800 of which are reserved for citizens of Chile and Singapore), with an additional 20,000 available for those who possess an advanced degree from a U.S. college or university.
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Post Authored By: Anthony F. Siliato, Esq. and Scott R. Malyk, Esq. of Meyner and Landis LLP