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Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 1)

Posted by: | Date: January 7, 2014

By Anuj Sarin

As everyone welcome’s the New Year Immigration professionals working on US immigration have to brace themselves for the onslaught of the H-1B cap filing that opens on April 01, 2014.

With only 65,000 H-1B’s available, of which 5800 are reserved for Nationals of Singapore and Chile and an additional 20,000 for people with Masters degree from a US university all that can be done is to file the application with the USCIS within 5 working days of the H-1B quota opening. Selection of the applications through the lottery is something that we can’t do anything about.

We can however, plan for the oncoming H-1B filing to ensure the Organization’s resource requirements are met.

Planning for the H-1B filing cycle can be complex and arduous. Given the different stakeholders that need to be involved in the process, to decrease the complexity we can look at a two-prong approach. The first being what we need to do internally within the organization and the 2nd being activities where compliance is involved. In this blog I shall focus on the activities to be done internally and follow it up with the 2nd blog on steps / aspects that involve compliance.

  1. Work with different Business units / departments (Units) to assess their H-1B requirements. Provide them with information such as availability of US work authorized personnel, expiration of work authorizations through October 2015, attrition figures, offshore resources with US work authorizations.
  2. Identify resources for who H-1B’s can be filed include employees working in the US on EAD’s pursuant to a student visa also.
  3. Go through existing templates such as Support letters and or documents to ensure that they are updated and the latest.
  4. Gear up to start procuring LCA’s. Historic data can help to a great extend in assessing / identifying your LCA requirements. Work with the Units to identify the work locations and number of employees per location, to see how many LCA slots you would require.
  5. Get the final list of employees from the Units for whom H-1’s are to be filed.
  6. Send the necessary information to the identified employees on processing of their H-1B’s along with the document list, questionnaires to collect information etc.
  7. Work along with your Facilities Management team / Admin Team / Procurement team for
    • Additional Work Space
    • Additional IT equipment (PC’s, Printers, Scanners, Photocopiers etc.)
    • Stationary (Paper, binder clips, correction tapes / fluid, Letterheads, toner for printers etc.)
    • Additional storage space
    • Food and transportation if working late into the night.
  8. Hire any temp staff that you may need to process the load and ensure that they are appropriately and adequately trained.
  9. Work with your Education Evaluators to establish a process to support you with your Evaluation requirements.
  10. Work out logistics if any with your Courier vendor so that they can plan for the shipping of such large volume of documents and make sure that they are delivered on time.
  11. Start following up with employees for the information and documentation that they need to give.
  12. Publish a metrics of information / documentation received / not received from employees and publish the same to Business Units / Departments
  13. Create a method / process to allocate cases to your team.
  14. Set processing targets for your team and make them aware about the same.
  15. Create and publish metrics on the processing of the cases by your Team. If need be update this on an hourly basis.

Completing the above would take you one notch forward on preparedness for filing the H-1B’s.

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.

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