Posted by: Lisa Ventresca

As posted previously, Tucker Arensberg is now offering immigration law services. As such, our firm strongly believes that the 2008 H1B Temporary Worker Visa Cap will be closing in early April 2008, shortly after the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) begins accepting petitions on April 1, 2008. If your organization desires to hire a foreign national in a specialty occupation (those occupations requiring a Bachelor’s degree or higher) for 2008, you will need

to contact our office immediately to begin the process to ensure for timely filing. I have provided a summary of the main issues with which you should be familiar if your organization hires or desires to hire a foreign national in 2008:

·    What is the H1B Visa? The H1B visa is a temporary work visa which allows a foreign national to legally reside and be employed in the United States for a period of up to three years. The visa is renewable for an additional three years and can be further renewed beyond six years in certain limited circumstances. To qualify for the H1B visa, the foreign national must be employed in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is an occupation requiring at least a Bachelor’s degree.

·    What is the H1B Visa Cap? The USCIS has limited the number of H1B visas which are issued annually. This limitation is commonly known as the “H1B Visa Cap” and is currently set at 65,000 H1B visas annually. For 2007, it is estimated that there were over 133,000 H1B visa petitions filed on the first two days. Only 65,000 H1B Visas were issued. A lottery had to be conducted to determine which petitions would be accepted and rejected under the cap.

·    What does this mean to my organization? If your organization plans to hire a foreign national for 2008 in a specialty occupation, you may want to utilize an H1B visa to do so. If this is the case, your organization will need to begin the H1B visa application process ASAP to ensure timely filing. As shown above, there are many more petitions than there are available H1B visas, so it is imperative to be prepared to file as of March 31, 2008 for a ‘domestic and international travel required receipt date of April 1, 2008, the first day on which such petitions will be accepted by the USCIS.

I encourage you to contact me to discuss your organization’s interest in filing an H1B visa petition at your earliest possible convenience. We will be more than happy to assist you in the timely preparation and filing of your H1B Visa petitions.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Lisa Ventresca