Immigration Update – H-1B Filing Deadline Fast Approaching

In this time of increased enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, employers in Texas are facing heightened scrutiny of their use of non-immigrant and immigrant visas.  In 2013, the U.S. deported approximately 369,000 illegal aliens, which is nine times the number deported twenty years ago.  Recent cases have brought employers under scrutiny due to allegedly improperly handled immigration paperwork and alleged failure to comply with immigration procedures.  Immigration law is complicated and detailed; accordingly, employers must be aware of all legal requirements and timelines if they are requested to sponsor employees for certain visas.  Further, management must ensure they understand the statements to which they may be asked to attest, to avoid providing inaccurate information to federal immigration officials.

The time for the filing of H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2015, which begins October 1, 2014, is rapidly approaching.  The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin receiving H-1B petitions for the new fiscal year on April 1, 2014 until the H-1B cap is met.  Each fiscal year, there are 65,000 cap-subject H-1B visas available as well as 20,000 H-1B visas for individuals with a Master’s Degree or higher from U.S. institutions of higher education.  It is anticipated that this year’s H-1B cap will be met within a few days of April 1, 2015.  Employers should prepare now to complete the petition, other forms, and compile the associated documents so that their H-1B petitions can be timely filed.

The Underwood Law Firm, P.C. regularly represents employers with employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant immigration matters.  If you have any questions, please contact Bryan Guymon or Ronn Garcia with the Underwood Law Firm, P.C.’s Immigration Law Section.

This column is published for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author’s law firm or its individual partners.

 

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