H-1B Petitions now do not require DOL Approval: Good News for US Employers and Visa Applicants

H-1B VisaWow. What a turn of events! In the not so distant past, the annual cap on H-1B Petitions was significantly reduced. US employers were finding it increasingly difficult to hire foreign workers and often had to rush their applications in to meet the quota. Now, with the downturn in the economy and the US approaching 10% unemployment,  the demand for foreign workers have subsided. As a result, the shrunken quota as of the date of this blog, has not been met and we are approaching the end of the year.

The window is therefore still open for foreign workers and their US employers. However, due to prohibitive processing delays associated with H-1B Petitions especially with the new iCERT system from the Department of Labor, frustration levels still remain high. The USCIS has responded by now accepting H-1Bs without DOL Approved LCA for a 120 day period staring from November 5, 2009 until March 4, 2010.

While the Petitioner (US Employer) has to file the LCA with the DOL, the USCIS will accept unapproved LCAs if filed within at least 7 calandar days after the LCAs  were filed with the DOL

The bottom line here is that Petitioners can take advantage of expedited H-1B processing during this 4 month grace period. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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