On April 1, 2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for professional positions. Although petitions may be filed beginning on April 1, the start date for the employment can be no earlier than October 1, 2016.

Please review your employment needs now to determine whether you wish to sponsor any of your current or potential employees for H-1B status. This includes those professionals already employed by you in F-1 Optional Practical Training status, TN status, J-1/J-2 status or L-1B status, and any individuals you may wish to bring on board on or after October 1, 2016.

As has been the case in recent years, we anticipate that the H-1B quota will be fully subscribed within the first five business days following April 1. In 2015, USCIS received a total of 233,000 H-1B petitions for 85,000 spots (inclusive of petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption). In an effort to file all of our clients' H-1B petitions by March 31, 2016, please let us know now of any H-1B cases that you would like us to prepare.

The Business Immigration Group

With the globalization of the U.S. economy, companies have an increasing need to bring talented foreign national executives, managers and professionals to the United States. But these needs are often challenged by restrictive immigration laws and policies. As a result, the field of business immigration law has taken on increasing importance. Our internationally recognized Business Immigration Group meets the requirements of leading companies and other organizations operating in the United States, particularly multi-national companies with locations throughout the world.

We represent corporate clients in all phases of the hiring and transfer of foreign nationals -- executives, managers, professionals, investors, and performing artists -- to the U.S. We also represent individuals, who, because of their extraordinary ability in their fields or because of their substantial investments in the United States, do not require corporate sponsorship to immigrate.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.