Its that time of the year when new H1 applicants file their petitions. Linked with how the H1 applications are selected, a person gets a chance to bring his spouse and kids to accompany him on the H4 visa. So if you are one of those aspiring to work in the U.S. lock the date in your calender: April 1, 2011!
Yes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will start accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 cap on April 1, 2011. This visa gets filled by foreign workers in specialty occupations that require some theoretical or technical expertise like scientists, engineers, computer programmers, etc.
Here are some important points for H1 filing for 2012:
- Please note that your case will be considered on the date USCIS receives your application/petition for which the correct fee has been paid. Its not the date you postmark the peition so hurry!
- There is a cap FY 2012 of 65,000 for H1-B petitions.
- Out of this 65,000, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions are filed on behalf of individuals that hold a master’s degrees or higher.
- The USCIS will notify when the H1B cap has been met. There is no specific date for this and usually depends on how fast the petitions get filed. Due to the economic downturn, the quota for 2011 got full on Jan 27,2011. A few years back the quota would get filled within a few days!!
- If you are renewing your H1 visa, it is not subject to this cap.
- Information on H1 B visas exempt from the annual cap .
Linked to the H1 visas are H4 visas. You can apply for the H4 visa only after your spouse has received the H1 visa. There are many questions related to the application process, especially, the larger question: is it worthwhile to move to the U.S. on the H4/H1 visa?
When I applied for the H4 visa, there was never enough information available on the internet. That's when I thought of creating this forum where people can share their questions and experiences on the H4 visa. Feel free to ask any question. No question is stupid. No question is mundane. If you know what to expect, chances are that you would be happier on the H4 visa!
Remember, there are several others in your shoes so please come back and share your experiences in the H4 visa forums.
Good luck to all the petitioners!