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Some Pointers For H-1B Season 2014 By Alan Lee, Esq.


02/19/2014

SOME POINTERS FOR H-1B SEASON 2014 by Alan Lee, Esq. 

Beginning on April 1, 2014, the application period for capped FY-2015 H-1B petitions with work beginning on October 1, 2014 (the beginning of the government fiscal year 2015) will undoubtedly close as quickly as it opens. That means of course that unless something dramatically occurs, U.S.C.I.S. will again hold the H-1B lottery by computer to determine which of the petitions will be kept for consideration on their merits. The good news is that even though this is a lottery, most of those who apply are picked.

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A reminder on the Cap Gap rule for H-1B applicants filing in the FY 2015 quota.

What is the Cap Gap?

The period of time when an F-1 student’s status and work authorization expire before the start date of their approved H-1B employment period is known as the “Cap-Gap”.

Cap-Gap occurs because an employer may not file an H-1B petition submitted more than six months in advance of the date of actual need for the beneficiary’s services or training.

As a result, the earliest date that an employer can file an H-1B cap-subject petition is April 1, for the following fiscal year, starting October 1.

If USCIS approves the H-1B petition and the accompanying change of status request, the earliest date that the student may start the approved H-1B employment is October 1.

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Cap-Gap Extensions

Current regulations allow certain students with pending or approved H-1B petitions to remain in F-1 status during the cap-gap period.

This is referred to as filling the “cap-gap,” meaning the regulations provide a way of filling the “gap” between the end of F-1 status and the beginning of H-1B status that might otherwise occur if F-1 status is not extended for qualifying students

Cap Gap and the FY 2015 H-1B Visa Quota by Marc Taylor