Preparing for H-1B Season

Do you plan to file for an H-1B visa? Do you have questions about the application process and what you need to do to qualify for the visa? Our lawyers answer some of the common questions we get from clients about H-1B visas so you know what to expect when you file your petition.

When Will USCIS Start Accepting H-1B Petitions?

USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2020 from April 1st, 2019 through April 5th, 2019. Petitions will no longer be accepted once the regular cap and advanced degree exemption have been filled. H-1B petitions can’t be filed more than six months before the employment start date requested for the beneficiary.

When Does an H-1B Visa Expire?

The H-1B visa is valid for three years and can be extended for an extra three years, if approved. If you have an H-1B visa, your spouse can come to the U.S. and work if they are approved for an H-4 visa.

What Happens if the Cap Is Filled?

If USCIS receives more petitions than the regular cap, it will use a computer-generated lottery to choose the petitions for the general cap and the advanced degree exemption. During the last H-1B season, the cap was filled in the first 5 business days of the filing period.

If you have a U.S. master’s or higher degree, you will be exempted from general 65,000 visa cap and eligible for the advanced degree exemption during the computer-generated lottery. There are 20,000 visas available under the advanced degree exemption. Petitions submitted for beneficiaries are selected first by USCIS. After that, USCIS selects from a pool of the remaining eligible petitions.

What Do I Need to Do If My Petition Is Selected?

If your application is selected, you might receive a request for evidence from USCIS that must be submitted by a certain deadline. If USCIS doesn’t ask for additional information and approves your petition, you can start working on October 1st of fiscal year 2020. If you live in another country, you will have to schedule an appointment at the U.S. consulate or embassy nearest you to receive an H-1B visa and passport stamp.

Do you have more questions about the H-1B visa process? Call Simon Law Group, PLLC at (713) 839-0639 to request your case review with one of our attorneys today.

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