Been waiting to start those H-1B visa applications? Get cracking or you'll be waiting until 2015.
The application window for new H-1B visas opens on April 1, and strong demand will likely exceed the federally mandated cap -- 65,000 new visas for foreign workers, plus an additional 20,000 visas reserved for people with advanced degrees -- on the same day, according to labor lawyer Shanon Stevenson.
Stevenson, a partner at Fisher & Phillips who specializes in immigration law, noted that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will usually keep the window open for at least five business days to allow for weather-related delays and other issues. That means the agency will accept valid applications until at least April 7 even if it's already over the cap; a lottery system determines who gets approved when the number of applications exceeds the supply of visas. Suffice it to say, though, stragglers won't have much luck -- if you miss the window, you'll need to wait until April 1, 2015, to try again since USCIS only accepts new applications once a year.
For the full story, see EETimes' sister site InformationWeek.
— Kevin Casey writes about technology for small and midsized businesses for InformationWeek.