Employers who rely upon H-1B status to employ foreign workers in the U.S. in "specialty occupations" will be able to petition beginning on April 1, 2008 for new workers to begin working on October 1, 2008.

This year, on the first day petitions could be filed (April 2, 2007), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") was inundated with petitions in numbers far exceeding the annual cap on H-1Bs. To address the excess filings, the USCIS conducted a lottery among the petitions received in order to determine which petitions would be processed. Employers (and applicants) who were not selected were unable to pursue H-1B status for fiscal year 2008.

It is likely that this year's filings will repeat last year's high demand. Accordingly, employers who wish to apply for H-1B status for workers to begin on October 1, 2008 are encouraged to begin now to prepare petitions, so that they are ready to file on April 1, 2008. Please call us if you have any questions or need assistance.