Prepare Your H-1B Now!

Are you thinking about filing for an H-1B cap this year?

Then we, at the Gambacorta Law Office, urge you to act now!

The list is long. And to be on that list of H-1B visa petitioners, you need yo apply on time! Broadly speaking, the regular H-1B cap was set to 65,000 with 20,000 for Master’s exemption or for workers with US advance degrees.

Once the visa cap is reached, USCIS would stop taking any more applications for petitions. Both you and your employer should prepare your H-1B really early this year as chances are people would be rushing in and you may lose you petition if you’re still not ready by the time the USCIA closes the submission date.

To avoid delays on your end, it’s best to start preparing your H-1B early. Four to six months before the actual date would be much better, that way you’ll be able to check what else is lacking. It’s always better to have sufficient time to gather all the necessary documents. And in case there are legal issues that may arise, at least you will be able to address with the right amount of time.

If you are an employee (beneficiary), here are some list of the required documents:

  • a copy of your recent resume
  • in case you haven’t had any H-1B before, you must have a copy of I-94, copy of I-20 student documents, employment authorization card. Copies to be both sides.
  • if you have an H-1B before: copy of all H-1B approval notices and other current status documents
  • copy of your college degree certificated and transcripts
  • passport copy, and your family members’ passports if they would be changing status with you
  • your social security number and salary
  • if you’re in H-1B status now, you must provide a copy of your current employment evidence like paychecks or employment verification letter.

If you are an employer, here are some list of documents required:

  • complete legal name, address, telephone number and fax number
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • name and title of you representative whom you have authorized to sign the petition documents
  • your annual gross income or sales and net income
  • the year your company as founded and your number of employees you have currently employed
  • a copy of your company brochure, if available, or any promotional materials or web address
  • a copy of the detailed job description or offer letter

Last year, Fiscal Year 2014, the H-1B cap starts its day one last April 5, 2013. That was when the USCIS received any H-1B petition as its first day of filing. However, for the Fiscal Year 2015, the H-1B cap season will begin on April 1, 2014. This time, the demand will be high and H-1B cap may even be quicker than that of lat year. Quotas were as quickly as the first day, in previous years. If you are applying after the quote was reached, then you’re out of luck. And that would mean you will have to wait for another year.

Noting April 1st, 2014 to be the first day or the deadline, most of the companies who are seeking to bring in foreign specialty occupation H-1B workers normally retain the services of immigration firms experienced in employment-based petitions a few weeks in advanced.

Compared from the previous years, now we must use the iCert to file LCAs first., thus the waiting for seven days to get a decision.  Because of the iCert system, which the Department of Labor (DOL) has introduced, before even filing for the H-1B petition, the Labor Conditions Application (LCA) must be first approved. Yes, this could be a time burden for the applicants.

To companies who have not previously submitted proofs of the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), then most often than not, their LCAs will be denied. Simply put, you must provide a scanned copy of proof of FEIN to the LCA business verification team to, add the company’s tax ID number to their database.

Having failed to provide advance notice may turn the seven-day process to a fourteen-day process. Usually, it takes three to seven days to wait for the LCA denial, two to five days to wait for the LCA to verify tax ID information, and then another seven days to get a new LAC approved.

The number of people who were not able to obtain an H-1B visa keeps getting bigger. This, alone, should be taken in consideration as to why you must prepare your H-1B early, before H-1B cap runs out.

Filing fees will be paid to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). And may change without prior notice:

  • $320, H-1B form filing fee. With an additional $300 filing fee for a family member of H-4 is filed
  • $1,500 if you have 25 or more full-time employees and you are in non-academic or research organization. Or $750 if you have less than 25 employees and you are in non- academic or research organization.
  • $1,000 only-  if you want USCIS to process your H-1B.
  • $500 for fraud prevention and detection fee, which you must pay if you are seeking a beneficiary’s initial grant of H-1B

Be extra cautious and anticipate things. This type of visa petition requires plenty of groundwork and most of all, a thorough understanding on legal matters. That is why we, at the Gambacorta Law Office, would strongly suggest you seek the help of experienced and knowledgeable immigration lawyers to help you assess and prepare all the necessary documents for your H-1B visa petition.

You may contact us at 847-443-9303. You may also want to visit us at