Council for Global Immigration quoted in article – “Prep Now for H-1B Filing Season”

1/22/2014
Council in the News

​​SHRM, 01/14/2014 –

“Employers seeking high-skilled foreign talent must start identifying those who need sponsorship for new H-1B visa petitions now, well ahead of the April 1, 2014, start of the filing season.

“…‘Last year the H-1B cap was reached in the first week,’ said Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison at the Council for Global Immigration…‘In fact, USCIS received 124,000 cases that week for only 85,000 total new H-1Bs, meaning employers had about a 68.5 percent chance of having their case selected in the lottery even if they filed on time. With the economy continuing to improve, and since employers haven’t been able to file since April 5 of last year, I expect there will be even more filings this year—perhaps significantly more.’

“Storch strongly recommends that companies ensure that their petitions arrive at a USCIS service center on April 1…‘If there’s an issue such as a storm or event that prevents normal delivery, you want to ensure you have an extra day or two to get your petition to the service center within the first few days,’ he said.

“…The H-1B is the most popular visa category among employers seeking work authorizations for foreign nationals in a variety of professional occupations, including engineering, biology, computer science, accounting, teaching and sales/marketing. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available to U.S. employers, though an additional 20,000 are set aside for individuals who have obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

“…Employers need to do everything they can to make sure their H-1Bs are ready to file on day 1, said Storch, which means allowing sufficient time for petition preparation, including actions such as determining the prevailing wage rate of the intended occupation, and filing and receiving certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA).

“…‘The LCA process generally takes seven days, and last year the DOL did a great job certifying LCAs expeditiously, even during H-1B season,’ said Storch. ‘However, you don’t want to be the guy who didn’t get his LCA filed on time if something goes wrong—if processing times are slower than predicted or if there are technical problems with the website.’ One such example is the intermittent problems and outages that have plagued the department’s iCert website…‘There’s always a possibility that limited bandwidth could prevent some employers from getting their LCAs filed in a timely fashion, so don’t wait until the last minute.’”

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