VISANOW News Release
VISANOW PREDICTS FY 2006 H-1B CAP TO BE MET IN RECORD TIME
Companies advised to file their petitions immediately when they become eligible
CHICAGO, IL April 18, 2005 – Filing for the fiscal year (FY) 2006 H-1B cap opened on April 1, and the stage is set for the congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 to be met in record time. VISANOW, the industry leader of immigration solutions, predicts that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will stop accepting petitions between April and June and strongly advises companies to file their petitions immediately.
Recent history fully supports this prediction. The cap has consistently been met earlier and earlier. The FY 2005 cap was met on October 1, 2004, the first day of the government fiscal year, and the cap for FY 2004 was met less than five months into that year.
“The government has repeatedly failed to get in touch with its own business community. The ability to hire foreign nationals with specialized talent is critical to many companies’ livelihoods. Without these people, companies are short on talent, short on workers and unable to compete in global markets. The government must recognize this need and raise the cap accordingly or implement another reasonable solution,” said Andrew Shackelford, Esq., Manager of Legal Services.
The uncertainty of the situation has left companies anxious about their continued ability to hire talented workers. According to Shackelford, many employers gathered their H-1B petitions together in advance so they could be prepared for submission on April 1. Some of those employers filed dozens of petitions to increase the chance that they will be adjudicated before the H-1B cap is met.
Given the tight and uncertain situation, VISANOW recommends employers take certain steps to increase the likelihood of having their H-1Bs accepted and approved. Employers should make careful assessment of their hiring situation, considering every department that anticipates hiring foreign nationals. Petitions should be prepared and filed with the USCIS as soon as possible. Employers should keep in mind that renewals and transfers are not affected by the cap.
In addition to internal preparation, HR professionals, recruiters and other individuals should immediately contact their congressional representatives and express their concern and frustration with the unreasonable H-1B cap. To identify and contact representatives, please visit http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/.
“It’s extremely important for the people who are directly affected – beneficiaries, HR professionals and business owners – to contact their representatives and explain their situations. Elected officials are responsible for serving their constituents’ needs, and it is critical for them to hear first-hand accounts of the dire situations their constituents are facing,” commented Shackelford.
Congress attempted to provide a temporary solution in the form of 20,000 additional H-1Bs for FY 2005, allotted through the H-1B Reform Act. Those visas have yet to materialize, though, and the situation remains shrouded in uncertainty. USCIS has issued no indication of when companies can begin filing for these numbers or who is eligible to apply. Originally, the visas were only available to individuals holding advanced degrees from US institutions, but a March 8 USCIS press release stated visas would be available to all qualified nonimmigrant aliens. Plus, government sources have confirmed USCIS miscounted FY 2005 H-1B allocations, and it is speculated this discrepancy could be taken out of the 20,000 additional numbers.
VISANOW streamlines the immigration process for corporations and their foreign employees and is the only immigration provider to guarantee its services. Since 1998, it has combined superior client support and innovative, patented technology to revolutionize the manner in which immigration matters are processed. By simply logging on to www.visanow.com, VISANOW clients can experience unprecedented levels of efficiency, responsiveness, legal expertise and quality service. Hundreds of clients have received significant savings in time and money by using the VISANOW process.