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H-1B Cap Season FY2020: Time To Prepare Petitions Now

On April 1, 2019, USCIS will begin accepting Forms I-129, Petitions for Nonimmigrant Workers, subject to FY 2020 H-1B Cap. This means that employers have less than three months to prepare for the filing period, which will last for five business days, from April 1 to April 5, 2019.

In order to prepare for the submission of H-1B application, contact your attorneys at Williams Global Law, and with their help follow these steps:

  • Identify employees who need H-1B sponsorship. Due to the fact that the H-1B cap “lottery” becomes available only once a year, it is crucial to identify all employees who need sponsorship, and determine their eligibility. For example, if you have employees currently working on Optional Practical Training (“OPT”), and their OPT expires after April 2019, you should file their H-1B applications before the deadline.

  • Collect supporting documentation. With the help of our attorneys, gather company documentation, as well as evidence needed from H-1B candidates, such as degrees, academic transcripts, family information, etc.

  • Be prepared for the possibility of receiving a Request for Evidence. In recent years, USCIS challenged an unusual number of H-1B applications, and it is expected that applications will be reviewed with the same high level of scrutiny, especially those applying for entry-level positions and wages. Be prepared for regulation changes of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”). Based on our experience from recent years, it is possible that DHS and DOL may provide last-minute changes to policies related to H-1B visas. Such proposals may include creation of a priority system for allocation of H-1B cap numbers to the most highly paid and highly skilled professionals, pre-registration of H-1B cap lottery numbers and further submission of cap petitions only after they have won cap numbers, etc.

While a few months may seem like plenty of time to prepare H-1B cap petitions, Williams Global Law strongly encourages all employers to start the process earlier to ensure the preparation of quality petitions and timely submission to USCIS!

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