Workforce.com

H-1B Visa Window Opens Amid Recession

March 30, 2009
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting petitions Wednesday, April 1, for H-1B visas for foreign workers in specialty occupations that require a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The limit on H-1B visas is 65,000, but last year the cap was reached in one day.

The Law Offices of Morley Nair, a Philadelphia immigration law firm, reported that 163,000 petitions were filed in the first five days of filing last year. However, it reported there could be fewer filings this year because of the recession and layoffs, but the cap could still be reached quickly with those who didn’t receive H-1B visas last year applying again as well as new graduates in the past year.

This year the Employ American Workers Act requires that any employers that received funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, go through extra procedures when hiring H-1B workers—the same rules presently faced by companies designated “H-1B-dependent employers.”

The April 1 deadline is for the 2010 fiscal year, which begins in October.

—Staffing Industry Analysts

Workforce Management’s online news feed is now available via Twitter.