“Act Now for FY 2017 H-1B Visa Filing Season”


SHRM, 01/20/2016 –

"Prepare your H-1B visa petition now and be ready to file with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on the first day petitions are accepted—or you may not stand a chance of having the submission processed, much less approved.

"On April 1, USCIS will begin accepting fiscal year 2017 cap-subject H-1B petitions for employees starting work on Oct. 1, 2016.

"…There are 65,000 H-1B visas in the general category and 20,000 in the advanced degree category…The cap levels for both categories are expected to be surpassed within the five-day filing period.

"…'We expect an H-1B lottery again, which is always a challenge for employers, especially with no significant legislative or regulatory relief in sight for this fiscal year's cap,' said Rebecca Peters, director of government affairs for the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI), based in the Washington, D.C. area. Only 19 percent of CFGI and Society for Human Resource Management member employers subject to the cap agree there are enough H-1B visas to meet their workforce needs in recent years, she added.

"…Employers should have analyzed workforce needs at the start of the year to determine their H-1B hiring plan…

"…Conduct a full-scale data analysis to ensure that any current employees on temporary visas are at least considered for H-1B visas…Employers will need to ascertain whether the individuals qualify for H-1B visas, which are meant for jobs in 'specialty occupations' that require at least a bachelor's degree.

"…HR will also have to figure out whether prospective hires are subject to one of the H-1B visa caps.

"…The process for completing an H-1B petition can take several weeks and requires both the employer and the visa beneficiary to provide information and documentation.

To read the full article, please click here. ​