No more H-1B visas will be available for fiscal year 2019.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that the number of H-1B visa applications has already surpassed 65,000 – the number of H1-B visas authorized each year by Congress – for fiscal year 2019.

USCIS has also received more than enough applications for the additional 20,000 H1-B visas set aside for those applicants who hold at least a master’s degree.

H-1B visa petitions are accepted every year beginning on April 1st.

This is the sixth consecutive year that U.S.-based employers have requested more H1-B visas than the federal government issues, and the cap, for the sixth year in a row, was once again reached in the first week of April.

WHAT HAPPENS TO PETITIONS RECEIVED AFTER THE CAP WAS REACHED?

The H-1B visa applications that were received by USCIS after the cap was reached will be returned to the senders.

The accepted applications will become part of a lottery process. By June, the visa applicants who have been randomly chosen for review will be notified.

All applicants who are approved for H-1B visas will be able to start work on October 1st, 2018.

Employers – and their international employees – who have any questions regarding the H1-B visa or lottery should speak to an experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney at MC @ FC Law.

PRECISELY WHAT IS THE H-1B VISA?

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant work visa that authorizes U.S.-based employers to hire international employees for up to six years – if a qualified U.S. citizen or resident is not available to take a specialized position.

An H-1B visa must be requested by the U.S. employer, not by the prospective employee. Workers who are hired on the basis of an H-1B visa must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.

WHAT ARE THE OTHER H-1B REQUIREMENTS?

Both the U.S. employer and the international employee must satisfy exacting qualifications before an H-1B visa petition can be approved. It is a lengthy, complicated visa petition and a tricky, difficult application process.

To acquire an H-1B visa, an international worker first must have a job offer in a specialized field such as medical research, engineering, architecture, computer electronics, or a similarly specialized industry.

The pay offered by the employer must be consistent with compensation for similar jobs in the same geographic region.

WHAT ARE AN EMPLOYER’S OPTIONS?

While it is now too late to apply for an H1-B visa for fiscal year 2019, it’s never too early to begin work on H1-B petitions for next year – or to consider potential alternatives to the H-1B visa.

An experienced Las Vegas immigration attorney at MC @ FC Law knows how secure the H-1B visas that an employer needs – although employers must understand that because of the cap, not even one H-1B visa can be guaranteed.

HOW CAN WE HELP?

However, an MC @ FC Law attorney will also be familiar with several alternative visa options that may work equally well for some employers.

Every immigration procedure and visa application takes some time. Every visa applicant needs reliable legal insights and advice. That’s why you should contact us now at MC @ FC Law.

We are ready to help employers with their visa petitions, and we are ready to answer your questions and address all of your immigration and visa concerns.