We have just received information that the H-1B visa cap for the 2005 fiscal year may be reached within a matter of days or weeks.
Once reached, foreign nationals subject to the H-1B cap will not be eligible for new H-1B employment until October 1, 2005.
The H-1B cap will affect all NEW applicants for H-1B status, either as initial entry or as a change of status. It will also affect those foreign nationals who are in H-1B status and seeking to work with new H employers, but who were exempt from the H cap based on the type of employment. Otherwise, foreign nationals seeking to extend valid H-1B status (which has already been counted toward the cap) with a current or new employer are not subject to the H cap.
All H-1B cases subject to the cap should now be filed using premium processing.
Please contact us as soon as possible with any questions you may have regarding any potential new hires you may have through October 2005.
Permanent Residency -- Immigrant Visa Numbers
We expect to receive a notice from the State Department indicating that cut-off dates for immigrant visas available in the Employment Third preference category may appear as early as January. This means that there will be a wait for anyone who is classified in the Third Preference (permanent residency) category (B.S. degreed professionals and skilled workers) for an immigrant visa number to become available for eligibility to apply for permanent residence.
We also expect the notice to indicate that little if any movement of cut-off dates is expected in the Family-Based classifications during FY-2005.