April 1st was the first day employers in the United States are permitted to submit H-1B visa applications to the federal government for fiscal year 2014.  These visas cover  October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.

Employers annually compete for a limited number of the available H-1B visas. The cap (the numberof H-1B petitions allowed) for fiscal year 2014 is 65,000. In addition, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000. 

The visas are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so timing is crucial. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) states that cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted and not the date that the petition is postmarked.

In 2012 the visa cap ran out in about 10 weeks, however, this year USCIS anticipates that it may receive more than 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions and more than 20,000 petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher in the first five days. The agency stated that data indicates this could be the first time since April 2008 that the H-1B cap will require a lottery.

You need to file right now!

To make sure you file correctly the first time, you should seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney. The law firm of BoltNagi PC has worked with many immigration issues, and as one of the largest firms in the United States Virgin Islands, has the experience and resources to assist you. Please contact Laura Nagi or Ashley Dworksy in the BoltNagi PC International Practice Group today.