These best practices will have employers starting the petition process early and already thinking about alternatives
The FY 2020 H-1B cap season is quickly approaching, which means it’s already time to start preparing petitions. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B visa cap petitions on the first business day in April (that will be Monday, April 1, 2019). In prior years, the H-1B was open for the first five business days and the cap was met on the first business day, therefore triggering the lottery.
April 1st will be here before you know it, which is why Envoy and our affiliated law firm, Global Immigration Associates, P.C., are sharing some tips to help make this upcoming H-1B cap season your organization’s best and most successful.
1. Start Early
It takes some time up front to collect all the necessary information from your sponsored employees and account for every document that needs to be sent to USCIS. The H-1B has multiple requirements and omitting an important piece of information or not providing a detailed job description could lead to USCIS issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE). Long story short: The sooner you can start the H-1B cap petition process, the better.
2. Incorporate Technology
Utilizing technology can help simplify the H-1B cap petition process. With transparent communication between attorneys, HR managers and employees, all parties will have an easier time staying on the same page throughout the process. Technology can also provide real-time notifications, like when an attorney needs a document or if a case has a status change. A helpful H-1B cap dashboard also gives HR teams a comprehensive overview into all H-1B cap cases, including action items and next steps.
3. Support Your Employees Throughout the Process
The HR teams are not the only ones who feel the stress of H-1B cap season. Sponsored talent has a lot at stake during this time too, and they will be appreciative of their employer’s proactiveness in starting the petition process early. Here are some additional ways to help your employees:
- Set expectations early regarding the role he or she will take on during the process. Some employees will want constant communication with the immigration services provider, while others may feel comfortable with the process and case preparation.
- Communicate often about their case status. The more they can track their prep requirements and case status, the more likely they’ll feel content throughout the experience and satisfied with their employer’s investment in their future.
- Follow-up and check-in before, during and after the petition is filed. Foreign national employees experience a lot of anxiety over their visa petition and status. Until they find out whether or not they were accepted into the lottery, they will likely be very stressed and anxious. Continue to follow up with the immigration services provider and employee to see if there are updates.
This level of organization is a great way to boost retention and provide a positive, supportive experience during what can be an uncertain time.
4. Think About Alternatives
While you want to remain positive about a foreign national’s chances of being selected in the H-1B lottery, you’ll also want to think about other options in case they don’t. Be sure to discuss visa alternatives with your immigration services provider, and check out Envoy’s resource center for more information about the different H-1B alternatives and which ones could be most beneficial to your organization.
We want to be a resource as you prepare for H-1B cap season. To learn more about Envoy and how we’re using technology to help employers and foreign talent navigate the nuances of the immigration process, click here.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Sara Herbek, who is the Managing Partner at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.