Employers fear that the new H-1B application process may cause H-1B employees to not be able to begin work on their start date of October 1, 2020, the first day of the fiscal year.

This year, significant changes to the H-1B cap-subject application process will go into effect.  In years previous, the entire H-1B petition was due the first week of April, and from there a lottery was conducted followed by the adjudication period.  Now, between March 1st and 20th, 2020, employers will submit H-1B employees names into an online registry to be selected for the lottery.  Applicants selected will then have 90 days to complete the filing.

With the traditional system, the initial filing process was typically complete by the first week of April.  Now, the initial filing will drag into late June and early July, followed by the adjudication process while now typically involves applicants having to answer at least one round of RFEs.  With this timeline, October 1st comes up quickly and employers worry that their employees won’t have their work visa on time to start.  This could be a deterrent for companies to hire H-1B employees because the drawn-out visa adjudication process impairs their workflow by holding up their H-1B hires from starting their jobs on time.  However, there are steps H-1B applicants can take to prevent a late employment start date.

First, move quickly.  Be ready to complete the filing as soon as you get word, or your employee or client gets word that they made the lottery.  Have as much of the H-1B petition complete as possible by March.  That means starting now. 

Second, since the burden of proof on the petitioner has increased, that means anticipating any trouble your case may run into on the way.  This means including a credential evaluation if the H-1B employee earned their degree outside of the United States, has work experience instead of a complete degree, or has a degree in a field that is not a match for the H-1B job.  This also means including an expert opinion letter that addresses the employer-employee relationship, wage level issues, and specialty occupation issues.  All of these steps help to prevent RFEs or Denials that will further hold up the process, the employee start date, and the employer’s workflow.

Third, to find out where your case needs strengthening to prevent one or more rounds of RFEs, talk to us at CCI TheDegreePeople.com.  We offer free reviews and consultations of all H-1B cases to identify areas of vulnerability and what you need to do to address them BEFORE you file.

For a free review of your case, visit ccifree.com/.  We will get back to you in 48 hours or less.

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