H-1B filing season is upon us again. The most often used work visa for Professional Workers is the H-1B. The H-1B has a limited availability of approximately 58,000 per year.  Despite the economy, these visas still are anticipated to be in high demand and become unavailable by the end of 2010.

Although, H-1B visas will be valid on October 1, 2010, a company may apply as early as April 1, 2010. Because of the high demand in this category, employers should file as early as possible. Indeed, the first week of April is recommended.


This H-1B quota applies to current or potential employees who are not in H-1B status, for example:


          Employees currently in F-1 student status who are working on a limited duration work authorization;

          Employees in TN, L, E or another status for whom the company may want to commence a green card process; and

          Employees currently abroad who will move to a U.S.-based role in the fall.


Employees currently working based on H-1B status are not subject to this numerical limit, and therefore generally do not need to be concerned about this timing. 


Last year, the government did not meet the H-1B cap until December.  We anticipate that the filing window will be much shorter this year. Contact the Global Immigration practice group at Jackson Lewis as soon as possible to start the filing process.