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Beginning April 1, 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting new H-1B temporary worker petitions for foreign nationals requesting an employment start date on or after October 1, 2008. This year, USCIS has decided to extend the H-1B filing deadline through April 7, 2008. All H-1B petitions received from April 1, 2008, through April 7, 2008, will be subject to a random selection process. Any petitions not selected will be returned, along with the appropriate filing fees.

We encourage employers to carefully consider their recruitment plans. Once the H cap is reached, employers will not be able to obtain new H-1Bs until October 1, 2009. If you are considering the hiring of a foreign worker who will need H-1B sponsorship, please contact us immediately to review your hiring plans.

It is important to remember that the 85,000 H-1B cap only applies to new H-1B cases, and not to extensions of H-1B status or a transfer of an H-1B visa from one employer to another. The cap does, however, affect those foreign nationals who are in H-1B status seeking to work for new employers, but who are currently exempt from the H cap based on employment with a university or nonprofit or governmental research organization.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the impact the H-1B cap might have on your hiring of foreign nationals.