H-1B Working Visas in the US Starts April 1

Where to File, How Much are Processing Fees

2014 H-1B Cap Filing Last Minute Advisory

Every year, 65,000 temporary working visas  (H-1B) are issued to aliens who would qualify for jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or for a specialty occupation.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service accepts filing April 1 of each year.  This year’s 65,000 quota will be fore the 2014 fiscal year.

20,000 H-1B visas are allocated for qualified applicants with U.S. Master’s degree or higher. The 20,000 allocation is exempt from the 65,000 yearly quota.

In years past, it took 6 to 10 months to fill the quota. This year, the USCIS and stakeholders (especially US employers in the IT industry) believe the 65,000 quota will be filled up in four days.

Because of a pent-up demand and due to the fact that case numbers and allocation are issued on a first-received, first decided and allocated basis, it is important that employers make sure the H-1B petitions are sent to and received by the appropriate Service Center.

Even if the H-1B petitions are filed with the specific Service Center, priority processing will be given to petitions filed using the Premium Processing Service which ensures a decision in 15-calendar days provided the employer pays the additional $1,225.00 processing fee on top of the other fees, below:

  • $325   basic fee
  • $1,500 if employer has more than 25 employees
  • $750 if employer has 25 or fewer employees
  • $500 for Fraud Prevention and Detection fee
  • $2,000 if petitioner employs 50 or more in the US and more than 50% of employees are in H-1B or L-21 status and the petition is filed before October 1, 2014.

Request for Premium Processing Fee on Form I-907

$1,225.00 fee to guarantee 15-calendar day processing of certain employment-based petitions or applications. The fee will be refunded if the USCIS does not approve the petition or issues a notice of intent to deny a request for evidence, or opens an investigation for suspected fraud or misrepresentation on the petition or application filed.  The J-907 is filed with the appropriate Service Center with the underlying H-1B petition.

Where to File

Generally with the California Service Center or Vermont Service Center depending on the location of the location of where the H-1B visa holder will be employed.  If the employee will be working in multiple locations, the corporate or main business office address will determine where the H-1B petition is to be filed.

Petitions that must be filed with the California Service Center

1.     H-2A Temporary work for agricultural worker

2.    R-1 Nonimmigrant Religious Worker

3.    H-1B petitions where the employer is statutorily exempt from the cap.

4.    E-1 and E-2 Treaty Trader, Treaty Investor Visas, but only for extension of stay or change of status

Petitions that must be filed with the Vermont Service Center

1.     H-1C Nurses for authorized facilities only in shortage areas

2.    E-3 for Australian specialty occupations but only for extension of stay or change of status

3.    H-1B1 petitions under the NAFTA Treaty

4.    P-1 Major League Sports Organization

H-1B Petitions Filed with California Service Center if the Beneficiary will be employed temporarily or receiving training in any of the following States:

Alaska

Illinois

Nebraska

Arizona

Indiana

Nevada

California

Iowa

North Dakota

Colorado

Kansas

Ohio

CNMI

Michigan

Oregon

Guam

Minnesota

South Dakota

Hawaii

Missouri

Utah

Idaho

Montana

Washington

Wisconsin

Wyoming

 

H-1B Petitions filed with Vermont Service Center if the Beneficiary will be employed temporarily or receiving training in any of the following States:

 

Alabama

Maryland

Puerto Rico

Arkansas

Massachusetts

Rhode Island

Connecticut

Mississippi

South Carolina

Delaware

New Hampshire

Tennessee

District of Columbia

New Jersey

Texas

Florida

New Mexico

Vermont

Georgia

New York

Virginia

Kentucky

North Carolina

U.S. Virgin Islands

Louisiana

Oklahoma

West Virginia

Maine

Pennsylvania

 

 

California Service Center

To ensure delivery, use the street address for courier  mailing or delivery: For H-1B petitions (except those for CNMI, Guam and extension of stay)

U.S. CIS

California Service Center

ATTN: I-129

24000 Avila Road

2nd Floor, Room 2312

Laguna Niguel, CA 92677

 

Vermont Service Center

U.S. CIS

Vermont Service Center

ATTN: H-1B CAP

4 Lennah Drive

St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

Since filing procedures and addresses may change without prior notice, please click on this link for the latest information. The I-129 Instructions will provide the latest, specific addresses. http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-129instr.pdf

Got a question? Let us know - we're here to help.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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