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The Fiscal Year 2010 H-1B Cap Has Been Reached

Immigration Law Alert Maria F. Kallmeyer, Grant Sovern, Lisa D. Duran, Eric D. Ledbetter

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service ("CIS") announced yesterday that as of December 21, 2009 enough cap-subject H-1B petitions had been filed to reach the 65,000 H-1B cap for fiscal year 2010. CIS will apply a computer generated random selection process to all cap-subject petitions that were received on December 21, 2009. Cap-subject H-1B petitions that are received after December 21, 2009 will be rejected. H-1B extensions and change of employer petitions continue to be available to employers.

H-1B visas are work visas for people who have at least a Bachelor's degree in a specialty occupation area. An employer must sponsor the visa by filing the H-1B petition with the CIS. Employers are not required to prove that there are no Americans available to do the job - simply that the position requires at least a Bachelor's degree in a specialty field, and that the prevailing wage is met. Those employees who already have H-1B visas with another employer are not subject to this 65,000 cap, and employers may continue to hire these employees and transfer the H-1B petition. Now that the cap has been reached, employers must wait to file first-time H-1B petitions until April 1, 2010 for employment that could start on October 1, 2010.

For more information, please contact a member of our Quarles & Brady immigration team, Maria Kallmeyer (Chicago) at 312-715-5009 /, Grant Sovern (Madison) at 608-283-2668 /, Lisa Duran (Phoenix) at 602-229-5225 /, Eric Ledbetter (Chicago) at 312-715-5018 / or your local Quarles & Brady attorney.