Employers—please note that all petitions for new H-1B visas should be filed with DHS on April 1, 2009 to ensure that they have a chance of being adjudicated. Please identify any employees or prospective employees requiring H-1B status for the upcoming fiscal year as soon as possible. As you know, the U.S. government limits the number of new H-1B visas for professionals to 65,000 each year, with limited exceptions. Because demand exceeds supply, DHS has developed a lottery selection process to determine which petitions will be adjudicated. This year’s demand is expected to be similarly high, and the entire year’s supply of H-1B visas is expected to be exhausted on April 1—the first day that petitions may be filed for the 2010 Fiscal Year. Due to new Labor Condition Application procedures, employers should take increased processing times into account when planning to submit H-1B visa petitions. Employers should not wait until the final weeks before April 1, 2009 to identify possible H-1B visa employees.
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