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Immigration News - January 25, 2007

January 26, 2007

By Immigration News

Filings to Begin April 2 for Fiscal Year 2008 Quota of H-1B Visas

Because April 1 falls on a Sunday, the first day the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") will accept H-1B petitions to be counted against the fiscal year 2008 H-1B quota is Monday, April 2, 2007.  (The employment start date may be no more than 6 months from the date of filing the H-1B petition, and in no event earlier than October 1, 2007.)  Employers should identify as soon as possible employees/potential employees for whom an H-1B petition will be necessary so that the petition may be prepared in advance of the recommended April 2 filing date.

The H-1B quota was reached in late May last year, and it is anticipated that the quota will be reached earlier this year.  In fact, many experts believe that the cap could actually be reached on April 2.  Therefore, companies should make every effort to ensure that H-1B petitions are mailed on Friday, March 30 for receipt by USCIS on Monday, April 2, 2007.

A special exemption is available for 20,000 additional H-1B petitions for beneficiaries who received an advanced degree from U.S. universities.  Last year, this exemption ran out in late July of 2006, and it is expected to run out far earlier this year.  Therefore, employers planning to file H-1B petitions for workers with U.S. advanced degrees should also prepare to file such petitions on April 2, 2007 or as quickly thereafter as possible.

Immigration News is published solely for the interests of friends and clients of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP and should in no way be relied upon or construed as legal advice. For specific information on recent developments or particular factual situations, the opinion of legal counsel should be sought. Paul Hastings is a limited liability partnership. Copyright © 2007 Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.