April 9, 2009
US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced the H-1B cap count today. More than 20,000 H-1B slots are still open in the regular H-1B quota. There is still time to file an H-1B application! For those holding a US Master's degree, USCIS announced receipt of approximately 20,000 advanced degree cases, but they will continue to accept more cases because many of the cases already received will not be approved. USCIS expects that many of the regular H-1B cases already filed will also be denied. This says a lot about the chances for an H-1B approval even when an application is accepted without going through a lottery.
We don't know how long it will take to reach the cap, so If you want to file an H-1B, hire an immigration visa attorney now. I have seen many H-1B applicants file their own cases to save time or money. There is nothing more heartbreaking than seeing someone who has "won" the H-1B lottery only to lose their case because it was badly prepared either by themselves, an immigration consultant, or by a lawyer who did not know how to submit an approvable H-1B case.
In general, cases that are marginal will usually receive a Request for Evidence or "RFE" to give the applicant a chance to prove why their case should be approved. If you receive an RFE on your case, you need hire a competent immigration visa attorney even if he or she did not prepare your original case.
When I am asked to respond to an RFE or "un-do" a mistake made on a poorly prepared application, I know I will need to put a lot of work into saving this person's case. Oftentimes when responding to an RFE, it's more work than it would have been to submit it in the first place. If you haven't filed your case yet, take advantage of an experienced H-1B attorney's ability to file your case with precision and without delay because your window of opportunity is still open...at least for now...