ARE YOU READY to file new H-1B petitions? April 1, 2008 is the first day of permissible H-1B petitions filing for the upcoming fiscal year. New H-1B petitions filed on or after April 1, 2008 should be eligible to be approved for a U.S. employment start date of Oct. 1, 2008. But you must act fast. Last year, the H-1B cap was reached almost immediately, and H-1B petitions filed within the first two days were subject to a random lottery to determine filing acceptance. Target your H-1B filings for April 1, 2008, and do not delay contacting your immigration counsel if you are interested in hiring a new H-1B worker or changing an F-1/OPT student’s status to H-1B.

Additionally, don’t forget that H-1B workers already counted against the H-1B cap (such as individuals who previously worked in the U.S. pursuant to valid H-1B status before exhausting their 6-year H-1B time period) are eligible to obtain H-1B status without being subject to the current cap limitation.