Start planning your H-1B strategy now

I know it’s tough to predict employment needs almost a year in advance, but if your business model lends itself to making such predictions now is the time to start putting together your H-1B visa plan.  Here are five reasons to start strategizing now:

1.  All of the H-1B visas will be taken in April.  H-1B petitions can be submitted to USCIS in the first week of April.  There are 65,000 visas available each year for employees who have never held H-1B status before.  Based on past filing patterns there will be way more than 65,000 H-1B visa applications in the first week of April.  In 2014 USCIS received about 172,000 petitions in the first week of April.  If you don’t file in the first week of April you will probably not be able to get an H-1B for the rest of the year.

2.  Credentials evaluations.  Many H-1B workers obtained their education overseas.  Their diplomas will need to be evaluated and found to be equivalent to a US bachelors degree or higher by an individual who meets certain regulatory requirements.  These individuals become overwhelmed with evaluation requests as the April H-1B filing date nears.  The evaluators and the companies that they work for charge higher fees as the filing deadline nears.  They are also more difficult to communicate with because of the high volumes that they are dealing with.

3.  Rush jobs are prone to mistakes. If you wait until the last minute to put your H-1B filings together you are more prone to rush through the process and make mistakes with the information gathering process.  Your attorneys and their paralegals may also be overwhelmed with H-1B filings and could inadvertently miss seemingly small things within a case that could cause it to be denied.

4.  You will pay more for a rush job. Not only will the credentials evaluator charge you more money for an evaluation as April nears, but many attorney will also charge you more.  A higher attorney fee is especially likely if you don’t already have an existing relationship with the attorney.  The attorney could be forced to hire additional workers or rearrange workflows in order to accommodate your last minute filing(s) and the costs associated with these adjustments could be passed on to your company.

5.  You may have difficulty finding an experienced immigration attorney. Your business is too important to entrust H-1B filings to an inexperienced lawyer or one who doesn’t focus exclusively on immigration law.  The most experienced immigration attorneys will be extremely busy with H-1B filings in February and March.  They may not have the capacity to take on your H-1B case(s) and that could leave you gambling with an inexperienced attorney.

If you can plan employment needs in advance I hope the reasons listed above have made you think about prioritizing the H-1B process for your business.  Contact The Dhanani Law Firm at (404) 593-0434.

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