The following is not legal advice.  Please consult a ualified immigration lawyer for advice on your partiular legal matter. 

The H-1B cap for FY 2009 is once again expected to be exhausted by the end of next week.  Petitions for cap-subject H-1Bs will be accepted as of April 1, 2008.  I suggest overnighting petitions so that they are received by the appropriate Service Center on that day.  If you are filing a petition, it is imperative to make sure that there are no errors that would cause the petition to be denied or rejected after being selected due to an avoidable error.  Double-check the following before filing:

1.  Is the USCIS address to which the petition is being sent correct?  There are PO Boxes for regular mail and Street addresses for acceptable courrier deliveries. 

2.  Has the H-1B Data Collection Supplement been properly completed to ensure that organizations or beneficiaries that are cap-exempt or subject to the US Masters Cap be counted as such?

3.  Are the filing fees correct?  Remember the training fee and anti-fraud fee must be included in addition to the filing fee for most petitions.  Including separate checks for each fee rather than one check for the total amount may be a good idea because if one of the checks s not required, the USCIS may (or may not) simply return the unnecessary check rather than reject the entire petition.

Of course, the underlying petition should be for a Specialty Occupation position for which the beneficiary is qualified.  Other than that, get it in on time, cross your fingers, don’t step under a ladder and hope for the best.  

It is surreal that our immigration system has become a lottery for skilled workers that US organizations would like to hire legally.  What a mess!     

Author: Bradley Maged

I'm Brad Maged, an immigration lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts. I help people who want to live and work in the United States and companies that wish to employ them. This blog provides opinion and information on developments in immigration law. Thanks for reading!

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