Ivener & Fullmer Issues H-1B Application Alert
Mark A. Ivener, A Law Corporation advises graduating students and their employers to contact their ABIL member now to help them identify potential H-1B candidates and prepare H-1B paperwork. H-1B applications to be filed under the fiscal year 2008 cap will be accepted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) no earlier than April 2, 2007, and the cap is expected to be met quickly.
It is possible that a gap will occur between H-1B workers’ employment authorization granted under Optional Practical Training (OPT) and their H-1B work start date. The 60-day grace period at the end of OPT allowing the student to remain in the U.S. does not include H-1B work that may not start before October 1, the beginning of the 2008 fiscal year. Employers are encouraged to contact their ABIL member for advice in specific situations, and to contact their representatives in Congress to address the problem and the shortage of skilled professionals.
For H-1B filings not subject to the annual cap, it is still possible to obtain H-1B status with an immediate start date for new employees who currently maintain H-1B status with another employer or have been in H-1B status in the past six years and subsequently have been absent from the U.S. for less than one year. In addition, institutions of higher education, nonprofits related or affiliated to such institutions, and nonprofit or governmental research organizations are exempt from the cap and may continue to obtain H-1B status for new employees.
USCIS also will continue to process H-1B petitions filed to: (1) extend the period of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.; (2) change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; (3) allow current H-1B workers to change employers; or (4) allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.