February 23, 2015
Based on the extremely limited nature of the H-1B filing window, employers are advised to begin laying the groundwork now to maximize the opportunity to obtain one of the highly coveted H-1B slots.

The H-1B is the main visa used by U.S. employers to hire highly skilled professional foreign workers. Each year on October 1st, approximately 65,000 H-1Bs are made available (with an additional 20,000 for foreign nationals with masters degree or higher from an American university), and once these visas are allocated, the H-1B window is closed until the following year. In 2014, all of the available H-1Bs were snapped up by employers during the first week of the filing period. In fact, employers filed applications for more than twice the available number of H-1Bs, leading to an H-1B lottery. With the improving economy an even greater demand for H-1Bs exists in 2015, and employers should begin planning now for the coming H-1B filing season.

Employers are allowed to file H-1B applications starting six months prior to the start of the new H-1B year. This means the filing season for the next round of H-1Bs begins on April 1, 2015, and we predict all of the H-1Bs will be spoken for by no later than April 6.

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