The FY2011 H-1B cap filing period will open 04/01/2010 (for a 10/01/2010 start date). Employers that sponsor foreign nationals for H-1B temporary worker status must show that the proffered position is a “specialty occupation,” which means that it requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) for entry. The foreign national must also hold the relevant Bachelor’s degree or higher to serve in the position.
As you may know, there is a limited number of H-1B slots each year (known as the H-1B quota). Currently, there are 65,000 slots afforded to foreign nationals with a Bachelor’s degree or higher and 20,000 afforded to U.S. Master’s degree holders. In prior years, as early as 2008, the quota was reached within days of April 1. Last year, the quota remained open until December 21, 2009 due to the poor economy and lack of H-1B filings. There is no telling what will occur this year as the results are often unpredictable. Accordingly, we plan to file all H-1B petitions on March 31, 2010 for an April 1, 2010 arrival at the immigration service. This leaves under 3 months to prepare these petitions. Please contact our office as soon as possible if you’d like to file an H-1B petition under this year’s cap. We’d be pleased to assist you with this process.