A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration attorney and counsel. Contact Info: 732-632-9888, http://www.1visa1.com/ (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Foreign H-1B workers may apply for visas now

H-1B workers whose I-129 petition for nonimmigrant workeer has been approved for FY2015 may begin filing their visa applications now at overseas U.S. consulate offices, according to a State Department alert.

The H-1B visa is for foreign professional employees to engage in specialty occupations in the U.S. for a temporary period of time.  Under the current policy, applications are accepted starting April 1 and employment begins on October 1 every fiscal year.

According to the Foreign Affairs Manual, H-1B workers may apply for visas up to 90 days in advance of the beginning of the employment status.  Hence, starting July 7 (the first business date within the 90-day window), applicants with approved H-1B petitions filed by their U.S. employers may beginn submitting applications for their H-1B visas.  State Department also reminds consular officers to advise visa applicants both verbally and in writing that they are only allowed to use the visa to apply for admission to the United States starting ten (10) days prior to the beginning of the approved employment period.  In fact, similar wordings will also be included in such H-1B visas.  Based on the 2014 calendar, September 21st will be the first date for such admission.  

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