Demand for H-1B numbers is likely to remain high during Fiscal Year 2017 (FY2017).  It remains to be seen whether proposed and actual changes to the Immigration Regulations, such as extended STEM OPT EADs, H-4 EADs, etc., will reduce the demand or alleviate the lottery for H-1B numbers.

If you are a cap-subject employer, it’s time to think about your hiring needs if you are considering petitioning for H-1B status for a new foreign hire.

You may recall that during the past two fiscal years, FY2016 and FY2015, employers filed more than twice the number of cap-subject H-1B petitions than are available (see prior posts on this topic here and here). That left many employers in a difficult situation with regard to their staffing needs.  Approximately half of the H-1B petitioning employers didn’t receive H-1B approvals for their employees (e.g., F-1 OPT workers) or prospective employees.

Making your hiring decisions early won’t increase your chances of “winning” the FY2017 H-1B lottery, but it could make your life less stressful.  Having a plan in place should allow you a comfortable amount of time to contact us with the details of your case for assessment, gather and provide us with the necessary documents and information, etc.

Although most cases can be prepared quickly, it’s best to allow for the unexpected (e.g. a missing document needed from abroad, a problem with the issuance of Labor Condition Applications (LCAs), which are needed as part of the H-1B petition packages, etc.).

Wishing you a pleasant H-1B season.