The Fiscal Year 2010 H-1B Cap Has Been Reached
Immigration Law Alert 12/23/09 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 / [email protected], Grant Sovern (Madison) at 608-283-2668 / [email protected], Lisa Duran (Phoenix) at 602-229-5225 / [email protected], Eric Ledbetter (Chicago) at 312-715-5018 / [email protected] or your local Quarles & Brady attorney.