May H-1B Developments
May 20, 2009
Employers may still file H-1B Visas for Fiscal Year 2010; New Labor Condition Application "I-Cert" Delayed until June 30, 2009
Fiscal Year H-1B Numbers
About 20,000+ Fiscal Year 2010 H-1B Visas are Still Available. The government has related, not surprisingly given the economic downturn, that as of May 18, 2009, it has only received approximately 45,500 regular H-1B cap petitions, and about 20,000 advanced degree petitions. [The government grants 20,000 additional H-1B visas for holders of U.S. advanced degrees.] The government will continue to accept both cap-subject and advance degree petitions until it has received 65,000 H-1B-cap petitions and 20,000 advance degree H-1B petitions. Beneficiaries of approved fiscal year 2010 H-1B petitions can begin work in H-1B status no earlier than October 1, 2009.
Responding to several complaints regarding problems with the new Labor Condition Application "I-Cert" portal, the government announced this week that it will make the new form mandatory starting June 30 rather than May 15. Until June 30, employers may continue to use either the current Labor Condition Application Form or the new I-Cert form and web portal. As we have previously advised, the government anticipates a 7-10 adjudication period for the new form rather than the current same day adjudication time frame. As a result, employers should be prepared for delays in filing H-1B visa petitions.
Stay tuned for further updates affecting H-1B hires.