During the months of December and January millions of people depart and re-enter the United States. Persons in nonimmigrant or "temporary" visa statuses should be prepared for their re-entry after holiday travel.
If an employee's nonimmigrant visa status will expire before June 1, 2013, notify your immigration counsel now. The extension of status petition should be filed immediately so that the new visa application may be scheduled at a U.S. consulate or embassy during winter trips abroad.
The Department of State has recently released updated, detailed information regarding security risks in traveling to Mexico, Honduras and Chad. For this information and more travel advisories, visit the Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov/.
April 1 is the first day that employers may submit an application to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for new H-1B employees to begin work on Oct. 1 of the same year. In the past, USCIS would receive more than 200,000 applications for the allotted 65,000 visas within a few days of April 1. Since 2008, however, hiring in the United States has been slower and H-1B applications received by USCIS did not reach the 65,000 "cap" until many months later.
In 2012, the cap was reached in early June. Immigration specialists expect a return to the days where employers had "one shot" to file an application for its employees: April 1.
Contact immigration counsel in January to begin the strategy and preparation of H-1B applications for new employees, employees in other visa statuses, and students who are working pursuant to student-based employment authorization.