With the holidays comes preparation for the H-1B Cap Season. While attorneys and human resources professionals may be ready to take a vacation and break bread with their families, they have to ensure they start H-1B season prep strong – a disorganized or inefficient effort only brings headaches during what should be a time of cheer.
"To reduce the number of aspirin professionals need to take to get through the H-1B preseason, they should invest in or learn to fully utilize their immigration case management platform."
To reduce the number of aspirin professionals need to take to get through the H-1B preseason, they should invest in or learn to fully utilize their immigration case management platform. H-1B visas require multiple documents and steps to stand a chance of being submitted the day U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services begins accepting applications, which is generally April 1. Anything submitted later than this date has less of a chance of winning one of the only 65,000 visas given each year. In fact, for the past two years, visa limits were hit within the first week of the filing periods.
Identify potential employees and create accounts
An immigration case management with a secure client portal is essential to starting the H-1B cap season off with a bang. Employers should be identifying their potential employees no later than December. Once a candidate is chosen, he or she should be given login credentials to the client portal. This provides a way to streamline communication and the information-gathering process between attorneys, HR professionals and the candidate.
Clarify the application pipeline and set calendar reminders
The many parts of the H-1B application process can create a tangled web of confusion, or, can be laid out in a neat workflow through your immigration case management system. Applicants can submit their petitions for the fiscal year 2016 on April 1, 2015, which means by then, the employers must have their Labor Condition Applications certified and have gathered all necessary information from the potential employee.
The U.S. Department of Labor can also take up to 10 days to certify an LCA – another timeline issue applicants must take into account.
Attorneys and HR professionals merely need to follow the H-1B petition workflow and create calendar deadlines with reminders within the case management system to ensure the proper documents, like the LCA, are submitted as soon as possible and any necessary information is requested. Alerts sent to the professionals' email will ensure they never miss a beat when going with the flow.
Figure out if wage determination data is needed
The LCA states employers ensure the wage offered to the candidate matches or exceeds the prevailing wage for that position in that geographic area. To be able to make this determination and promise, businesses must have a large amount of salary data. If a company needs federal wage information, it should request it as soon as possible because it can take up to two months to receive.
Do you have the software you need?
Firms and businesses that lack immigration case software platforms to move them swiftly and painless through the H-1B preseason and cap season are in for a rude awakening – they may not get the visas they need. While applications can be submitted anytime after April 1, immigration professionals recommend petitions are are mailed to be delivered to the USCIS on exactly April 1 to have the greatest chance of winning a visa.
Companies without the help of a strong software program risk not getting their H-1B petitions in on time, or even if they do, they risk taking more aspirin than is healthy to get through the process.