With the H-1b quota exhausted last week, my morning has been filled with stories like; We promised this person a job and they have already planned on moving ? But, this project depends upon me getting this new candidate on board ? I already promised the client ? All of these questions, can be summed up by “now what?” For many situations, unfortunately, there may not be any viable alternatives however, each case should be analyzed to determine if there are options available. The following may be viable scenarios: 1. Make sure your candidate is not cap-exempt by virtue of a prior H-1b, maybe even many years ago 2. Consider alternative visa options such as the O or L 3. Consider whether your candidate can extend their OPT via a STEM extension 4. Consider whether your candidate can return to school and be authorized for employment under a CPT program 5. Consider the spouse of your candidate and whether or not their occupation offers any options for employment eligibility 6. Consider any residency options 7. Consider off-shoring your project until Oct 2012 In addition, make sure you contact your esteemed member of Congress and let him or her know the negative impact the H-1b cap has on your business. They will not listen but, you will feel better by making the effort.
Also, keep in mind that many H-1b petitions are not subject to the H-1b cap. These include: 1. H-1b extensions for your own employees 2. H-1b transfers i.e. new employees joining you who currently have an H-1b with another company 3. H-1b petitions filed by cap-exempt organizations 4. Persons who have previously been counted under the cap and not yet exhausted a full 6 years in the U.S.
Filings for Fiscal year 2013 can be mailed in only 124 days !