AILA Discusses With USCIS H-1B Visa FY2014 Cap Issues

February 1st, 2013 by Brian D. Zuccaro

With the April 1st filing date fast approaching, AILA recently had a meeting with USCIS to discuss some of the issues surrounding the upcoming FY2014 H-1B visa cap filing season. Two issues discussed involved USCIS’ expected processing times for these petitions, and problems with petitions involving third-party work.

USCIS stated that it is working diligently to ensure that the Vermont and California Service Centers process H-1B cap petitions within a 2-month period. To do so, USCIS may divert some of their non-H-1B petitions to other service centers. As expected, USCIS also would not make any predictions as to when the H-1B cap would be hit, but it did indicate that it always plans for the possibility of the need to conduct a random lottery.

AILA also brought up the recurring issue USCIS has with third-party worksite scenarios. AILA informed USCIS of a rise in Requests for Evidence (RFEs) from USCIS seeking proof that there is the requisite employer-employee relationship for the full period of H-1B time sought. USCIS has been limiting these types of H-1B petitions to the length of time the H-1B worker would spend on the third-party project instead of the full three-year period authorized under H-1B status.

USCIS stated that it would further investigate this issue, but also advised that petitioners should provide documentation evidencing the need for the H-1B worker’s services for the full three-year period requested, or emphasize the expectation of this need. See AILA/SCOPS Teleconference, Jan. 16, 2013, AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 13013042 (posted 1/30/13).

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