On April 1, employers will be able to file H-1B petitions for their employees who require a first-time H-1B visa for work that will commence on October 1, 2012. Now is not too soon to identify new H-1B employees and begin preparing necessary petitions. With increased denial rates and skyrocketing requests for additional evidence, employers may be able to avoid costly delays or denials with meticulous, careful planning and preparation. (See more below.) A review of company H-1B public access files also may be prudent to ensure that files are complete and in full compliance as well as to determine that valid employer-employee relationships have been maintained.
While we anticipate that visas will remain available beyond April 1, H-1B visas will be used up much more rapidly as the economy recovers. Under immigration rules, first-time H-1B visas are limited to 85,000 per fiscal year.