The purpose of this advisory bulletin is to provide a reminder of the importance of filing H-1B petitions for new employees as soon as possible after April 1, 2007.
- The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. This applies to employees seeking an initial H-1B status, but does not affect employees extending their status, transferring their H-1B status to a new employer, or accepting concurrent H-1B employment. In addition, up to 20,000 foreigners who earn a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution will not be counted toward the annual cap of 65,000 new H-1B visas.
- The fiscal year of 2008 begins on Oct. 1, 2007. As I-129H petitions may not be filed more than six months prior to the date employment begins, employers may begin filing I-129H petitions for FY2008 and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept I-129H filings on April 1, 2007.
The FY2007 cap was reached on May 26, 2006, 55 days after initial I-129H filings were being accepted by the USCIS, therefore it is important to be prepared to file your petitions as close to April 1, 2007 as possible, by preparing petition forms and gathering supporting evidence in advance. To facilitate this, please see the H-1B summary and checklist.