Immigration regulations permit the filing of an H-1B petition as early as six months before the intended start date of the employment. Therefore, it will be possible to file H-1B petitions seeking an October 1, 2007 start date for “new” petitions on April 1. Prompt filing is recommended to secure an H-1B visa numbers for the coming fiscal year beginning October 1.
This is particularly relevant in those situations where an individual is currently employed in F-1 Practical training status, J-1 status, or on the basis of any other form of employment authorization of limited duration and who wishes to secure H-1B status using next years numbers before the “cap” is reached again.
For the current year which began last October, the supply of the “regular” 65,000 H-1B visa numbers ran out in June, 2006 before the fiscal year even began. It is widely expected that the supply of numbers for the coming year next year will also be exhausted quickly.
There is an additional, separate allotment of 20,000 H-1B numbers available to applicants who posses at least a Masters Degree earned in the U.S. Last year, those numbers remained available until July, 2006. They are expected to be used up more quickly this year as well.
Once the new numbers are gone, it will no longer possible to obtain “new” H-1B status prior to October 1, 2008 unless one of the following exceptions apply.
Note carefully: this does not exempt all nonprofit organizations; only those affiliated with an institution of higher education
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
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