As we head into 2023 many of us who are involved in talent acquisition for the Technical Job Market Sector are laying plans for improving the quality and volume of candidate recruiting pipelines. There are concerns over the layoffs in the Technical Sector and yet, at the same time, the demand for technical consultants and employees is predicted to remain high throughout the year.
Due to the fact that our clients and partner firms demand highly experienced, knowledgeable consultants who can step in and be productive rapidly, PRIMUS recruits heavily within the community of technical consultants already working in the U.S. Those consultants included in our daily candidate sourcing and recruiting efforts are experienced technical consultants who are U.S. citizens and those who are available under an approved U.S. Work Visa. This includes candidates who are able to work under various work statuses such as Green Card, H1B (available for transfer to PRIMUS), OPT, H4 and L2 Visas.
In particular, during this time of the year, we hear from clients and our partner firms alike requesting our support with employees currently working under an Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 students Visa to apply for H1B sponsorship (via the H1B lottery selection process). Like all new applications for an H1B Visa, these employees and their employers must pay attention to filing milestones and follow a set of required steps. These include:
On March 1, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting registrations of H1B petitions. This is subject to the Fiscal Year 2024 cap. Candidates who are successful in this process will be eligible to start working in the U.S. on October 1, 2023.
USCIS caps the number allowed in the H1B category to 65,000 with an additional 20,000 H1Bs that will be accepted for candidates who have a U.S. Master’s degree or higher.
The Selection Process
Employers with eligible workers must first complete an electronic registration of H1B candidates beginning on March 1, 2023. This will continue through March 18, 2023. The H1B cap (noted above) is expected to fill rapidly. For example, according to the USCIS during FY 2023 (filed last year in March) 483,927 registrations were submitted during the initial H-1B registration period between March 1 and March 18, 2022. If the number of registrations exceeds the cap again this year a “lottery” will be conducted to randomly pick H1B applicants out of the total who have applied. Subsequently, the USCIS will reject registrations that are not selected in the lottery.
Once an employee is selected through the lottery, the employee, their employer and legal counsel will work to complete and submit a petition for approval of an H1B Visa to the USCIS. This petition includes information about the employee’s education qualifications and work experience. The new H1B candidate’s qualifications are validated through a variety of sources and documentation. Education Credential evaluations, for those candidates educated outside of the U.S., can be quite involved and usually require the additional services of 3rd party credential evaluation firms.
Employers must also file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) along with the petition which states that there are no qualified U.S. workers available for the position the H1B candidate is being hired for and that the employer will pay the candidate a pre-determined prevailing wage. The USCIS then has 90 days to either accept, reject or ask for more information (via an RFE) concerning the petition.
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PRIMUS, with over 3500 consultants currently deployed internationally, has over 20 years of experience in managing the processes associated with U.S. Work Visas. This includes H1B transfers, OPT Visa employee (new) H1B sponsorship and multi-national Work Visa sponsorship for workers from different geographic regions and countries.
Please note: U.S. employee work authorizations are subject to the review and approval of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). PRIMUS Global Services does not offer any guarantees as to work visa approvals and further, only accepts work projects and engages with related employee referrals that meet the requirements of all U.S. government regulations and laws.