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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hiring foreign professionals? The New H-1B Filing Season Opens April 2nd

Employers use the H-1B visa category to employ nonimmigrant foreign workers who possess the equivalent of a U.S. bachelors degree for professional jobs each year.  The USCIS will close the current year’s H-1B filings when the 2012  cap numbers are exhausted.  April 2nd , 2012 is the first date that H-1B petitions will be accepted by the USCIS for employer filing for employment that begins no earlier than  October 1, 2012.
Charles M. Miller provides these tips to maximize your applicant’s chances for employment authorization:

1.       U.S. advanced degree recipients’ petitions are placed in a more favorable pool of an additional 20,000 cap exempt numbers.

2.       Professionals from Chile or Singapore are given extra numbers, which are unlikely to be used up. Those H-1B1 petitions need special filing treatment and allow specialty professional jobs for qualified persons who have the threshold bachelors’ degrees.

3.       Canadian and Mexican professionals also have specialty professional programs, allowing TN status without the need to compete for H-1B numbers.

4.       Australian professionals are eligible for E-3 professional visa status, a program which is not limited by the H-1B cap.

5.       The O-1 category for aliens of extraordinary ability is a non-cap alternative for persons who have reached the highest level of accomplishment in their fields.

6.       Some foreign-based and educated persons will qualify for up to 18 months employment in qualified training programs through J-1 sponsorship.