On April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for professional positions. We note that these petitions cannot request a start date earlier than October 1, 2016.

Please review your employment needs now to determine whether you wish to sponsor any of your current or potential employees for H-1B status. This includes those professionals already employed by you in F-1 Optional Practical Training status, TN status, J-1/J-2 status or L-1B status, and any individuals you may wish to bring on board on or after October 1, 2016.

As has been the case in recent years, we anticipate that the H-1B quota will be fully subscribed within the first five business days of April. In 2015, USCIS received a total of 233,000 H-1B petitions for 85,000 spots (inclusive of petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption).