December 14, 2010 - 10:33 AM
If your company is thinking of sponsoring a foreign national worker for an H-1B visa, be advised that the quota will likely be reached soon -- possibly later this month or sometime in January. Approximately 82% of the quota has been used up. The H-1B visa is for professional workers working in such fields as information technology, science, engineering, accounting, etc. Once the quota is reached, the next filing period will begin on April 1, 2011 with a start date of October 1, 2011.
Be advised that generally speaking, a foreign national who is already in H-1B status and working for another company, is eligible to transfer and work for your company. They are not subject to the H-1B quota since they are already in H-1B status. However, their authorized time to remain in the U.S. does have limits and this needs to be explored prior to extending any job offer.
Immigration issues should first be addressed on your job application and include two questions regarding work authorization: First, "Are you authorized to work in the U.S." and second, "Will you require sponsorship to work in the U.S." If the applicant answers "yes" to sponsorship, there are a whole host of permissible follow up questions that can and should be delved into prior to extending an offer.
For more information, please contact Greg Berk, Chair of the CDF Immigration Practice Group at (949) 622-1661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Before extending a joboffer to a foreign national, employers are encouraged to seek legal advice to ensure eligibility and immigration compliance so as to avoid any surprises.