It is anticipated that the demand for H-1Bs for the fiscal year commencing Oct. 1, 2015 will be very strong and that the H-1B cap will be reached within one week after H-1B petitions can be filed beginning on April 1, 2015.

Employers that plan to file an H-1B petition on behalf of a foreign worker for this next fiscal year should do so on April 1, 2015 to ensure that the petition is received before the statutory cap is reached. Universities, nonprofit research centers, and certain related entities are exempt from the H-1B cap, as are H-1B extensions and H-1B change of employer petitions for persons already counted against the H-1B cap in prior years. (Note: H-1B workers changing from cap-exempt to cap-subject employers may not be exempt from the H-1B cap.)

Given the short window available for filing H-1B petitions, employers should contact immigration counsel by early March if they plan to sponsor an employee in H-1B status with an Oct. 1, 2015 start date.