The H-1B Filing Season for 2018 is Just Around the Corner

December 11, 2017

On April 1, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting cap subject H-1B petitions for professional workers who will start employment on October 1, 2018. In past years, the high demand for these visas – and the limited supply of them – has resulted in an oversubscription of petition filings. There are only 65,000 visas available per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 set aside for those who have graduated from master’s degree programs in the United States.

H-1B visas are the most common temporary work permits available to foreign national professionals, and employers should identify people who might require first time H-1B sponsorship, such as:

  • F-1 students currently working on OPT who require changes of status to H-1B;
  • Highly-sought-after professionals currently located outside the United States who are seeking employment for the first time;
  • Foreign nationals inside the United States who currently hold other nonimmigrant status that will max out (i.e. L-1A or L-1B visas);
  • Foreign nationals with H-1B status who are currently working in the United States for a cap-exempt organization (not-for-profit or educational institution) and who require a cap-subject H-1B to work for a private, for-profit company; and
  • TN NAFTA visa holders from Canada or Mexico who have spent significant time in the United States and would benefit from a change of status to H-1B.

We anticipate that for this coming year, the H-1B cap will be reached the first week of April 2018.

Accordingly, if you are considering sponsorship of a foreign national for an H-1B visa next year, advance preparation is crucial to be prepared for the filing period. A careful review of both the applicant’s qualifications and the position offered by the U.S. petitioning company is important to assure that the H-1B filing is approved by U.S. Citizenship Services.

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