The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved the H-1B cap petitions for the fiscal year 2023. Accordingly, the change of status file automatically took effect on October 1, 2022, with the following conditions:
Individuals with an approved petition who travel outside the United States must have a valid H-1B visa to return with H-1B status unless they are Canadian citizens. This stipulation can be problematic because many consulates have waiting periods of several months to schedule a visa appointment. The US Department of State’s website lists the available processing times for the consulates, so anyone wanting to file a visa application should visit the website to learn more about the process and schedule an interview.
Approved H-1B cap-subject petitions filed as “consular notification” require further action to change the status of a beneficiary to H-1B. However, if beneficiaries are in the US, they must leave the country and visit a US consulate to activate the status with an approved consular petition. Afterward, the beneficiary must re-enter the United States using the H-1B visa they obtained. The status will apply when the individual re-enters the US.
Here are some other steps employers may need to take for their H-1B cap beneficiaries:
For companies that do choose to hire H-1B workers, it can be a challenging process. Furthermore, after completing the process and receiving the employee, you must fill out the employment eligibility verification form (Form I-9). This process often proves complicated and challenging, and mistakes will lead to penalties. Therefore, investing in an electronic I-9 management system may prove necessary. This tool can help keep employees’ documents organized, provide step-by-step guidance for completing the paperwork, and track important deadlines.
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