On April 1, 2008, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will begin accepting petitions from employers for H-1B visas for fiscal year 2009. Unfortunately for employers, the H-1B visa category has a yearly maximum of merely 65,000 visas. This limit is also known as the H-1B cap.
Last spring, the H-1B cap was reached on the very first day of filings. USCIS will not accept any additional petitions after the cap is reached. Therefore, employers seeking visas should move quickly to complete and submit form I-129 and the necessary supporting paperwork. (Click here for the forms page on the USICS website)
New Rule on the Use of Multiple Petitions
As part of the gear-up for April 1, USCIS published an interim rule in the Federal Register dealing with the number of petitions that can be filed per employee. The rule was issued on March 19, 2008 and prohibits employers from filing multiple H-1B petitions for the same employee.
Do You Feel Lucky
You might need some luck. The interim rule sets out the process for how petitions that are received after the cap has been hit. USCIS will use a lottery system. A random selection process will determine that it has received enough petitions to reach the cap within the first five business days.