H1B Visa Attorney: H1B Visa Filing tips for April 1, 2013 filing Date!

More H1B Visa Tips:
Most H1B applicants assume that as long as they mail the cases on April 1, USCIS will consider it filed. Well we have some new clarifications from USCIS. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2014 (FY 2014) cap on April 1, 2013. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS takes possession of the petition; not the date that the petition is postmarked. Make sure to have it sent by March 31, 2013 the latest to avoid any delays.

How do I get my LCA before April 1, 2013?
As you are unable to submit an LCA for certification to the DOL earlier than six months prior to the beginning date of the period of intended employment (20 CFR §655.730(b)), you must set your employment start date on the LCA prior to October 1, 2013, if you want to have an LCA in hand before the filing period for H-1B cap subject petitions begins on April 1, 2013. For example, you can file and have certified an LCA that has a start date of September 15, 2013. But remember that the LCA end date cannot be longer than 3 years from the start date, so in this example the end date would be September 15, 2013. Also remember to make sure to annotate your I-129 form with a start date of October 1, 2013, but with an expiration date that coincides with the expiration date of the LCA.

What if the U.S. Degree will not be awarded by 3/31/13?
The USCIS has approved H-1B petitions for foreign nationals who have earned degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education, where the foreign national has completed all requirements for the degree, and hence, has “earned” the degree, but the degree has not been conferred. You must submit evidence that the foreign national has completed all requirements for the degree from an official at the school who is qualified to provide that information (e.g. Dean, Registrar or Department head). Be wary of letters prepared by unauthorized employees at the school stating that the student has completed all requirements toward a degree, when in fact there are still examinations or papers to complete. Be mindful that use of such documentation when the student has not completed the program may be considered fraud and such a document may result in the case being denied on the basis of ineligibility at the time of filing.

Can multiple identical petitions be filed for the same foreign national?
The USCIS will either deny or revoke multiple petitions filed by an employer for the same H-1B worker and will not refund filing fees for duplicative or multiple H-1B petitions. The rules does not prevent related employers (such as a parent company and its subsidiary) from filing petitions on behalf of the same foreign national for different positions, based on legitimate business need. Members are reminded to include evidence and/or an explanation in each filing to demonstrate why the filing is not a duplicate.