Skip to Main Content
Services Talent Knowledge
Site Search


Our attorneys stay on top of changes in legislation, agency regulations, case law, and industry trends—then craft timely legal alerts to keep clients up to date on legal developments important to their business.

January 30, 2017

H-1B Season - It's That Time of Year Again

Spring is fast approaching and with that, the nation-wide competition for a coveted H-1B visa lies ahead.

The annual H-1B filing season is set to commence this year on April 3rd, which is the first business day of the month. That is the day that U.S. employers can again file petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request H-1B status on behalf of foreign nationals who are subject to the annual H-1B visa cap. If approved, the foreign employees will be permitted to commence work in the United States in H-1B status on October 1, 2017.

Every year, thousands of American employers utilize the H-1B visa as a way to recruit and retain talented foreign national employees. The H-1B visa allows non-citizens who possess the educational equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree to work in a "specialty occupation". Common specialty occupations include engineers, teachers, lawyers, accountants, and physicians.

Under U.S. immigration law, USCIS may accept only 65,000 cap-subject H-1B visa petitions each fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 available for individuals who have earned advanced degrees (Master's degrees or higher) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Once enough petitions have been received to reach the annual limit, USCIS cannot accept any more cap-subject H-1B petitions for that fiscal year.

Since USCIS typically receives thousands more petitions than the allotted total of 85,000 during that first week of H-1B season, the cases are placed into a random lottery system. Each petition is either accepted for adjudication by lottery or rejected and returned to the employer without review.

All indications point to an upcoming H-1B season that will be as busy and chaotic as ever. Thus far in the new Administration, there have been no substantive or procedural changes to the H-1B program.

With just about 2 months to go before the April 3rd opening day, the time is right for any U.S. employer that is considering employment for a foreign professional to immediately seek assistance from an experienced immigration practitioner to determine strategy and timing with respect to an H-1B submission. The Immigration team at Barclay Damon, LLP is ready to assist with all of your U.S. immigration needs, particularly when it comes to the H-1B visa category. We are well versed in the nuances of the H-1B program and have vast experience in preparing and filing these petitions.

If you have any questions with respect to the information in this alert, please contact Jill Apa at (716) 844-7070 or or our Immigration Practice Area Chair Eileen Martin at (716) 566-1421 or


Click here to sign up for alerts, blog posts, and firm news.

Featured Media


Second Department Joins Other Departments: NYS Child Victims Act Applies to Out-of-State Residents Who Resided in NYS at Time of Abuse


Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several "Tester" Plaintiffs—Gladys Vasquez, Monique Reid, Raymond Forrest, Pedro Martinez, Linda Slade, and Felipe Fernandez—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Lawsuits


Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several "Tester" Plaintiffs—Compres, Sanchez, Fontanez, Pajaro, Garcia, and Jaquez—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Lawsuits


Website Accessibility Lawsuits: Several "Tester" Plaintiffs—Competello, Fernandez, Liz, Riley, and Trippett—Targeting Businesses in Recent Flurry of Lawsuits


CDPAP Providers Get First Look at the Future of CDPAP Without FIs


New York State Fiscal Year 2025 Budget: Implications for Employers Unpacked

We're Growing in DC!

We’re excited to announce Barclay Damon’s combination with Washington DC–based Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram. SLS’s 10 lawyers, three paralegals, and four administrative staff will join Barclay Damon while maintaining their current office in DC’s central business district. Our clients will benefit from SLS’s corporate, real estate, finance, and construction litigation experience and national energy-industry profile, and their clients from our full range of services.

Read More

This site uses cookies to give you the best experience possible on our site and in some cases direct advertisements to you based upon your use of our site.

By clicking [I agree], you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For information on what cookies we use and how to manage our use of cookies, please visit our Privacy Statement.

I AgreeOpt-Out