The Cap Season To Apply For A H-1B Visa
Although a candidate for an H-1B visa should meet stringent requirements and qualifications, this is only the first part of the journey. The next stage is the paperwork and submitting during the cap season, which refers to the time frame to apply for an H-1B visa starting in April of every year. This becomes a vital piece of the process, considering Congress authorizes 65,000 visas – also called the cap – every year. Any error while filling out the relevant forms could result in a denial of a visa. Thus, potential employers and employees may have to wait a year to apply again.
Timing and correctness are two of the primary keys to a successful application. Our attorneys at ImmigrationLegal.org, in Royal Oak, have more than 30 years of combined legal experience helping individuals navigate the complex immigration system. We understand the system’s intricacies, its tight time frames and how to assist potential candidates.
Understanding The H-1B Caps
After the petitioner submits the required electronic registration, the system will identify whether a foreign individual applies to the regular 65,000-visa cap or under an exception, as follows:
- Foreign individuals who hold a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution
- Nonprofit employers or government research institutions
- Visas reserved for individuals from Chile and Singapore
However, not all master’s degrees from institutions may apply to the above exception. This is one of the reasons why it is vital to learn your options and create a legal strategy with the assistance of a knowledgeable immigration attorney.
The H-1B Lottery
After the applications received exceed the 65,000 threshold, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will then conduct a lottery considering the applications filed until March 25th. After selecting a petition, the employer will receive a petition receipt number to monitor the status of the application. Once a petitioner is notified of their selection to continue with the application process, then applications should be submitted during the first week of April.
An important benefit of this visa is that family members such as spouses and children under 21 years of age may apply for an H-4 visa. This means that qualified employees may have the company of their loved ones in this journey.