Employers of New H-1B Workers Must Act Now to Meet April 1 Deadline

February 11, 2009

We would like to take this opportunity to remind our clients of the upcoming H-1B petition submission deadline of April 1.

As in the past several years, we expect another extremely short window in which to file new H-1B petitions this year. Due to limits placed by Congress on the number of new H-1B petitions which can be approved each fiscal year, H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap must be submitted to USCIS on April 1, 2009 for the 2010 fiscal year. 

Unfortunately, the numerical restrictions are the same as last year: 20,000 for beneficiaries that qualify for the advanced degree cap (U.S.-earned master’s degree and above), and 65,000 for all remaining H-1B petitions. Because we expect the USCIS to receive more petitions than can be processed under the cap, a random selection system is used to choose which petitions will be adjudicated. Petitions which are not selected will have their filing fees returned. Beneficiaries of selected and approved petitions may begin their H-1B status on October 1, 2009, the start of the government’s 2010 fiscal year.

Please contact a member of our Immigration and Nationality Law Section if you need to file H-1B petitions for prospective workers or current workers in another status (such as TN or F-1) who may require a change to H-1B status. H-1B extension petitions and amendments for H-1B workers who were counted toward the cap in a prior year are not subject to this year’s cap.