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H-1B Petition Filing For New Employment To Resume April 1st

On April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (U.S. CIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions for covered employment starting October 1, 2016. There is a numerical limit on the number of new H-1Bs issued each federal government fiscal year and, as has occurred for many years, it is anticipated that the numerical limit will be reached quickly. To avoid rejection of a petition because the numerical limit is reached, employers need to begin preparations now for filing on April 1st.

The H-1B program is available to foreign nationals who will be employed in a “specialty occupation.” “Specialty occupation” means an occupation which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation, and which requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher as a minimum requirement to perform the job duties. H-1B visas are valid in three-year increments for up to six years and are both employer and location specific. In addition, H-1B visas require that the foreign national be paid the prevailing wage for the job in the geographic area of intended employment or the actual wage paid to similar employees of the employer in the same occupation at the same work site, whichever is higher.

Petitioning employers must certify, under the penalty of perjury, that the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic In Arms Regulations (ITAR) have been reviewed and a determination made regarding whether an export license is required before controlled technology or technical data may be released to the foreign national on whose behalf the H-1B petition is filed. The certification requires that the petitioning employer involve its trade professional early in the immigration process to ensure that the export control certification is accurately answered and if an export license is required, that it is received in time for the foreign national to begin employment in the position which is the subject of the H-1B petition.

Mansour Gavin has attorneys ready to assist you in filing your H-1B petition and navigating U.S. Export laws. If you have any questions or require assistance with your business immigration, please contact Ann E. Knuth in our Labor and Employment Group. If you have any questions or require assistance with international import and exporting activities, please contact Edward O. Patton in our Corporate and Business Services Group.

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