Get Your H-1B Cases Ready Now To File On April 1 for October 1, 2007 Start Date

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for professionals that count against the FY2007 cap on April 1, 2007. These professionals will be eligible to begin H-1B employment on October 1, 2007.

Employers looking to hire new H-1B professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process now. Keep in mind that last year, all 65,000 H-1B numbers were utilized within 56 days of the April 1st filing date. This year we anticipate that the H-1B cap will be met even earlier.

Employers should review their employment needs and determine whether any foreign national employees will be requiring H-1B visas. This is extremely important where employers are planning to hire foreign nationals who will soon graduate from U.S. universities. While many of these individuals may already have an employment authorization card, you may still have to file an H-1B petition for them. For instance, if you plan to hire an individual that will graduate in May 2007, that individual’s employment authorization card will be valid through the end of May 2008. After May 2008, this individual will no longer be able to work for you unless you have already filed an H-1B petition for them on April 1, 2007 asking the USCIS to change their status to H-1B from October 1, 2007. H-1B status grants such an individual up to three years of employment authorization from October 1, 2007.

The H-1B cap does not apply to foreign nationals who already hold H-1B status and are seeking to change the H-1B employer and/or extend their H-1B stay in the United States.

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