Here are some ideas on how to prepare for H 1B Visa Season. The beginning of a new year through April 1 is the H-1B filing season. This visa program is one method companies in the United States use to bring foreign nationals in education, engineering, business, and information technology to the U.S. for employment. The filing deadline is approaching, and whether you intend to make use of this year’s or next year’s opportunities, it’s always good to plan ahead and to know what to expect. That being said, an Arizona immigration attorney can be a valuable resource if you’re new to the process.

Limits Mean Staying on Top of Your Deadlines

The U.S. government strongly restricts the number of individuals who can enter the country on an H-1B visa. Being ready for the April 1st  filing deadline can be challenging for employers and HR departments. H-1B visas are typically used to bring in foreign nationals who work in specialty occupations. This means that the individual selected for the job has to be able to practically and theoretically apply highly specialized knowledge and the required documentation to prove this must be compiled to send with the H-1B petition.

Annual Quotas Mean Planning Ahead

Annual quotas of between 58,000 and 65,000 visas are available every fiscal year. There is also a specific number of H-1B visas (20,000) set aside for those individuals with master’s degrees or higher.

Are There Any Exceptions?

There are also several occupations not subjected to the annual limitations. These include employees at institutions of higher education, certain non-profit agencies, government research organizations, or physicians who have received a waiver through a Conrad 30 program.

When Should We Start Planning?

The sooner, the better for any employer who intends to make use of this program. There are strict filing timelines associated with H-1B visas. The annual quota numbers are released each year, and employers who intend to hire foreign nationals under this program should file applications on April 1st .

If you intend to hire H-1B visa employees on October 1st, 2016, for example, you may start filing your application on April 1st, 2016. It is strongly recommended that you work with an Arizona immigration attorney if you intend to make use of the H-1B visa program. With strict filing deadlines and requirements that can be very confusing, the H1-B visa process can be complicated, and a knowledgeable attorney can simplify matters enormously.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding How To Prepare for H 1B Visa Season, or other Immigration Law matters,  please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at  480.461.5330, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.