H-1B Petitioner: Have Your LCA Ready before April 1st

In recent years H-1B quota generally runs out fast. In 2007, the H-1B quota was totally gone on the first day of accepting petitions. In 2012, the H-1B quota ran out in June. With the economy picking up, the quota this year may run out even faster. Every H-1B petitioner needs to watch carefully of the H-1B quota progress.

Before filing H-1B petition, the employer needs to have a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Labor Department. Normally it takes a few days for the Labor Department to certify a LCA. There are two reasons that it may be a good idea to file the LCA before April 1st so to get it ready earlier.

The first reason is that sometimes there are delays for whatever reason, such as the LCA gets rejected for employer verification problem. The other reason is that, even if the LCA gets certified quickly, it still needs to take at least a few days. In H-1B petitions, a few days can mean a big difference in quota availability.

One of the rules of LCA is that the employer cannot submit a LCA more than six months before the beginning date of period of intended employment. Therefore if the LCA is filed in March, it will make the employment starting date in LCA in September. Since the expiration date cannot be more than 3 years from starting date, the H-1B employee will lose a few days on the back end of the H-1B term.

For example: If the LCA starts on 09/15/13 and ends on 09/14/16, the H-1B will be from 10/01/13 to 09/14/16. In this case it loses about two weeks of the current term. However, since no one knows how fast the H-1B quota will run out, it is worth it to start the case earlier before April 1st, just to avoid unexpected delay in processing LCA that causes filing H-1B too late. Please contact us for H-1B or LCA questions.

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