H-1B Cap Season: Why You Should Prepare Petitions Now

November 20, 2016 Patty Johnson-Vazquez

At the beginning of April, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) begins accepting cap petitions for the H-1B Specialty Occupation visa — the most common work authorization sponsorship route for employers seeking to hire global talent.

Each year, thousands of petitions are filed with USCIS, yet only 65,000 petitions are chosen for processing, with an additional 20,000 accepted for individuals with advanced degrees.

As a result, H-1B cap season — the time frame when organizations, candidates and attorneys diligently work to ensure all H-1B cap petitions are ready to be sent to the government before the H-1B cap is met — is often a busy and stressful time of year.

But that doesn’t have to be the case. Each year, we advise anyone planning on sponsoring an H-1B worker to take a proactive approach to the application process. And that means one thing: Start early.

Why start H-1B cap season early?

A few months may seem like plenty of time to prepare work cap petitions; however, many organizations don’t have a dedicated person to manage the cap petition process. So chances are, next year during H-1B cap season crunch time, your immigration workload will compete for priority with everything else on your plate. Sound familiar?

If so, save yourself time and stress by getting a head start on the process. When should you begin? We think there’s no better time like the present.

Get started in three steps:

  1. Identify all 2017 candidates that may need visa sponsorship. New cap-subject employees can’t start working at your organization until Oct. 1; therefore, if you plan on hiring new employees later in the year, recruit for those roles now. You can’t predict if the recruitment search will result in a worker in need of sponsorship. Plan ahead, and there will be no surprises later.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the H-1B cap petition process with our H-1B Visa Cap Survival Guide.
  3. Find the right partner. Your success this H-1B cap season is contingent on two factors: whether your petition is chosen for processing and if you have a knowledgeable partner that will create a quality petition, while supporting all your needs during the process.

Whether or not your candidate is chosen for the H-1B lottery is out of your control, but finding the right partner isn’t. Take your time and consider the characteristics in a partner that will help you have a stress-free H-1B cap petition process. Is it a dedicated support team, prompt communication, case status updates, easy document submission and a second chance at the cap if you’re not selected?*

Then contact Envoy, and learn how we’ve simplified the H-1B cap petition process for customers for nearly 20 years.

Still not convinced? Here are three more reasons to prepare H-1B cap petitions early.

Visit our H-1B Visa Cap Resource Center to subscribe for updates and view more related content.

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