Happy New Year and Happy H-1B Cap Season!

Now is the time for US employers to prepare for registration in the H-1B Cap Lottery.

Readers may recall that H-1B Temporary Worker status is for professional level workers. The sponsored individual is often, but not always, a foreign student.

Since implementation of the H-1B Cap Registration process a few years ago, interested employers have had to register in March for a chance to sponsor a foreign national worker who is needed for a professional level position.

While USCIS hasn’t yet announced the exact H-1B cap registration dates, it is anticipated that registration will again be held for about 3 weeks in March.  In the past, USCIS has then conducted the random selection process (lottery) and announced the lottery winners before the end of March.

There are 65,000 spots in the Regular H-1B Cap and 20,000 in the Advanced Degree Exemption per fiscal year.

While changes to the lottery selection process had been considered, the lottery will continue to be a random selection process.  This essentially means that all employers will have the same chance at being selected in the registration and then being able to proceed with sponsorship.

If you’re an employer interested in sponsoring a foreign national professional level worker for H-1B status, it’s best to begin preparing now. The upfront analysis may require additional time prior to the limited Employer Registration window.  With demand for workers high in general, this year there is likely to be great demand by US employers.  As such,  it’s important to contact legal counsel to begin preparing as soon as possible.

Please contact me directly with inquiries at cwadhwani@foxrothschild.com or 412-394-5540.

Catherine Wadhwani is a Partner and Co-Chair of the Immigration Practice Group at Fox Rothschild LLP.  For more than 25 years, her practice has focused on business immigration law and compliance, primarily in the health care, general corporate and academic sectors.  Ms. Wadhwani’s practice covers the United States and Consulates worldwide.  She is based in our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office.  Please contact Ms. Wadhwani at cwadhwani@foxrothschild.com  or at 412-394-5540.