With the April 1, 2008 filing opportunity for “new” H-1B petitions looming, employers can begin planning now to try to obtain one of the limited number of H-1B visas available for the next federal fiscal year, which runs from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2009.

A “new” H-1B petition refers only to individuals acquiring the H-1B visa or status for the first time, such as F-1 students changing to H-1B status and individuals abroad who plan to enter the U.S. for the first time using an H-1B visa. These cases often are referred to as “cap-subject” cases because they require one of the 85,000 allotted visas (65,000 for bachelor-level candidates and 20,000 for U.S. masters graduates). It does not apply to one who already has an H-1B visa or status. An exception that private sector employers should note, however, is that an H-1B foreign national currently working for a university in most cases will be subject to the cap. Universities are exempt from the H-1B cap, and when a foreign national leaves a university for the private sector, he/she then becomes cap-subject.Continue Reading Employers Can Plan Now to File H-1B Petitions for Next Federal Fiscal Year