H-1B Visa Cap Opens on 1 April, 2015: Are You Ready to Apply?

H-1B Visa Cap Opens

The time for H-1B filing is just around the corner. US Customs and Immigration Services would start accepting applications from April 1, 2015, allowing US employers to bring foreign skilled workforce to the country to meet their manpower requirements. Professionals from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) background are likely to top the demand list with India and China being the main suppliers.

H-1B allows US employers to sponsor a visa for foreign skilled workers allowing them to legally work in the United States. Those who are granted a visa can work in the US for a period of 3 years initially, then apply for an extension not exceeding a total period of 6 years in the country. Visas granted to individuals during filing season in April can start working with the sponsoring employer from October the same year.

Candidates who see a good chance of obtaining the H-1B visa must prepare their application in advance. Ensure all documents are in place and all forms are duly filled and submitted on time before USCIS stops accepting petitions. Each year USCIS receives more petitions than the cap in the first week itself resulting in closure of filing period.

It’s important to avoid mistakes to get a visa approved. Few petitions are rejected because of insignificant mistakes that can be avoided by understanding H-1B rules and regulations for both employees and employers.

Each year 65,000 H-1B visas are granted to highly specialized foreign individuals and a cap of 20,000 is reserved for those with a US degree i.e. masters or above. The results are conducted through random lottery process: first for the reserved 20,000 and then second round for the remaining 65,000.

When talent, education, and experience go unnoticed, it’s destiny that could get you the H-1B visa. At least, that’s what most H-1B visa holders say! After all, the entire lot of 85,000 professionals is picked through a lottery system, and winning a lottery is sheer luck! And in case of H-1B visa, luck favours those with a strong file, proper documentation and on-time submission.

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