HR Alert – H-1B Preparation Season Begins in January of 2015
HR Managers, Corporate Recruiters, and others involved with hiring and maintaining the legal working status of employees should begin planning now for the annual H-1B filings which will occur on March 31, 2015.
Current legislation allows 65,000 new H-1B workers each year with an additional 20,000 for individuals with US Masters Degrees. For the last few years, the allotted number has been exceeded during the initial filing period in the first week of April. In years when the number of applicants filed exceeds the number of visas allowed by Congress, the government conducts a random lottery to determine which applications will be adjudicated. Those not selected are returned to the employer.
To avoid the last minute rush employers should survey their workforce now to determine if any H-1B petitions will need to be filed, and should pay careful attention to individuals already working for the company in “OPT” status. OPT or “Optional Practical Training” is a temporary working status granted to new foreign university graduates on F-1 student visas. These individuals are often overlooked because they are currently work authorized