Contributed by Piyush Seth


The filing period for new H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) begins on April 1, 2010.  The annual quota limit for cap subject H-1B petitions remains at 65,000 for standard cases and 20,000 for those with U.S. Masters degree or higher.  There is a 6,800 H-1B’s set aside for citizens/nationals of Chile or Singapore.  It is recommended that employers begin to identify their current and future employees who will require an H-1B status to remain in the United States and be legally employed.  This may include those who are currently employed as F-1 students or J-1 trainees that are eligible and will need appropriate status to continue working.  Additionally, if there are workers that are currently overseas with qualifications your company requires, we would need to begin the preparation of those cases as soon as possible.  March 31st is the initial mailing date for completed petitions seeking H-1B status with an effective start date of October 1, 2010. 

In Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009 the H-1B Quota was filled within the first week.  There is no way for us to predict how long the H-1B Quota will remain open and therefore we recommend that you anticipate your need now.  Additionally, due to changes in the Labor Condition Application system (iCERT), you will need to anticipate a minimum of two weeks for case preparation due to governmental processing delays.  New H-1B filers may require more time for registration. 
Also, please note that certain employers are exempt from the H-1B Quota.  This includes those that are filing extensions, transfers or amendments as well as institutions of higher education, nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations, or governmental organizations.
Additionally, if there are any questions and you wish to review any recent developments in the law or media regarding the filing of H-1B, I will be happy to review it with you.  As always, if you have a legitimate need for an employee and run a legitimate company then you will have a case that we can present.  The recent employee employer memo provides a strong basis to demonstrate employment relationships and I would be happy to discuss with you your company processes and ways to maintain compliance with the laws. 
If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.