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July 22, 2014

2014 H-1B Filing Season Is Here

Now is the time for employers to assess their FY 2014 H-1B needs and to start preparing their petitions for submission on April 1.

On April 1, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2014, with an employment start date of October 1, 2013. We recommend that all H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap should be sent to USCIS on March 29 for receipt by USCIS on April 1. Any cap-subject H-1B petitions that are received by USCIS before April 1 will be rejected.

There is a quota of 65,000 cap-subject H-1B visas each fiscal year. A separate allotment of 20,000 H-1B visas is available to foreign nationals who hold a master's or other advanced degree from a U.S. institution of higher education. As indicated in the below table, demand for H-1B visas has fluctuated in past years. In recent years, it has taken months to reach the cap, while in 2007 and 2008, the cap was reached within the first few days of filing. Although it is not possible to predict with complete accuracy what the demand for H-1B visas will be this year, an improving economy and an increasing demand for qualified workers, especially in the IT industry, suggest strongly that the cap will be reached earlier than last year and possibly within a week of April 1. Employers are therefore advised to submit their cap-subject H-1B petitions as early as possible.

Year

H-1B Cap Numbers*

Date H-1B Cap Reached

2007 (FY 2008 cap)

85,000

April 3, 2007

2008 (FY 2009 cap)

85,000

April 7, 2008

2009 (FY 2010 cap)

85,000

December 21, 2009

2010 (FY 2011 cap)

85,000

January 26, 2011

2011 (FY 2012 cap)

85,000

November 22, 2011

2012 (FY 2013 cap)

85,000

June 11, 2012

*By law, 6,800 of the 65,000 H-1B visas are allocated as H-1B1 visas to nationals of Chile and Singapore.

Only petitions filed on behalf of foreign nationals who have not previously been counted against the H-1B cap in the last six years are subject to this year's H-1B cap. Foreign nationals employed by institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research organizations are not subject to the cap.

How This Affects You

Employers should review the immigration status of their current and potential foreign national employees and identify any individuals for whom H-1B status would be beneficial. These individuals would include the following:

  • Foreign nationals in TN and E status whom the employer may want to sponsor for permanent residence
  • Recent graduates employed in F-1 status and candidates abroad who are subject to the annual H-1B cap
  • Candidates in some other nonimmigrant status (e.g., L-1B) who are approaching the maximum limits of their status and would benefit from a change of status to H-1B
  • Candidates in another nonimmigrant status who are working for a different employer and would require an H-1B visa to change jobs
  • Candidates in TN, E, or H-1B1 status who are considering pursuing permanent residence

Note that if the numerical limit on visa numbers is reached on any one of the first five business days of the cap season, all petitions received by USCIS between Monday, April 1, and the close of business on Friday, April 5, will still be accepted, but their selection for adjudication will be subject to USCIS conducting a lottery among them.

Copyright © 2014 by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

Partner

Eric S. Bord is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Bord's practice focuses on immigration matters involving the recruitment, hiring, transfer, and retention of international personnel worldwide. In addition, he has particular knowledge in the areas of immigration-related compliance, I-9 and E-Verify rules, immigration investigations, and immigration due diligence for corporate transactions.

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About the Author

Lisa Stephanian Burton, employment law attorney, osha compliance legal issues
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Lisa Stephanian Burton is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Ms. Burton counsels clients on a variety of labor and employment issues, including compliance with state and federal labor and employment laws and regulations; Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) matters; employment practices and policies; structuring the workforce; labor and employment implications of mergers and acquisitions; and hiring, firing, and reductions in force (RIF). She represents clients before state and federal agencies as well as before state and federal courts...

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Tracy Evlogidis is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labour and Employment Practice. Tracy regularly advises companies and individuals on a full range of UK immigration issues, from visiting the UK to securing a British passport. 

Tracy has a wide client base, including media and entertainment clients and corporate organisations in industries such as financial services, technology, retail, education, and legal services. She also works with a number of private banks in advising high-net-worth individuals.

Tracy also advises on exceptional or complex...

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About the Author

Partner

Malcolm Goeschl is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Goeschl concentrates his practice on business immigration law, with a particular focus on immigration-related challenges facing emerging businesses founded by, or seeking to employ, foreign talent. He has more than 14 years of immigration law experience involving a wide range of clients, including large multinationals and small start-ups.

Mr. Goeschl is a frequent speaker at leading professional and industry events and has recently been published in publications including Interpreter Releases, Bender's...

415.442.1145

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Eleanor Pelta  Morgan Lewis's, Labor and Employment law immigration and nation
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Eleanor Pelta is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. With her practice focused on immigration and nationality law, Ms. Pelta assists corporate clients in various industries with the international transfer of key personnel. She is particularly knowledgeable about managing high-volume employee transfers, as her background includes assisting employers in gaining temporary and permanent visas for all types of business, scientific and executive personnel. Additionally, she advises clients on strategic issues involving movement of staff internationally...

202-739-5050

About the Author

Partner

A. James Vázquez-Azpiri is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri focuses his practice on business immigration law, assisting corporate clients with hiring and retaining foreign employees with regard to labor certifications, specialty occupation petitions and intra-company transfers. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri is also a leading expert on immigration law compliance in the context of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring. Mr. Vázquez-Azpiri helps clients think and work proactively by providing them...

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