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FY2010 H-1B Filing Opens April 01, 2009

Airport Corridor iStock_000003592130XSmallThe earliest date to file for an H-1B employment start date of October 01, 2009, is April 01, 2009.  Congress has placed an annual cap of 65,000 on the number of H-1B visas that may be issued each government fiscal year (October 01 to September 30). In addition to the 65,000 regular H-1B cap, 20,000 additional visa numbers are available for qualifying applicants with a US Masters Degree or higher.

H-1B Filing Schedule and Deadlines

Companies who plan to sponsor H-1B workers for the coming fiscal year (with employment start dates of October 1, 2010 or later) should therefore prepare for filing as soon as possible to have a better chance of obtaining an H-1B visa number during the coming fiscal year, FY2010. The first possible date to file a FY2010 petition is six months in advance of the beginning of the fiscal year (October 1), or April 1.

Although H-1B visa’s will likely be in lower demand for the coming year than they have been the last several years, it is still likely that the annual H-1B quota will eventually be full before the end of the next fiscal year (October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2009). So, to prevent being locked out of the H-1B visa program until October 2010, employers should file as soon as possible on or after the April 01, 2009, opening date.

H-1B Cap Exemptions

Note that some employer sponsors are exempt from the annual H-1B cap, including institutions of higher education and their affiliates, and government research organizations. However, most private employers and some non-profits are subject to the annual H-1B cap, and therefore, must be careful attention to the annual H-1B cap and filing date schedule.

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