When Should I Start Preparing My H-1B Petition? Proactive Preparation for the FY 2015 H-1B Cap

H-1B season is right around the corner! While it seems like the holiday season just wrapped up, April 1, the first day we can file cap-subject H-1B petitions will be here before we know it. One question we hear a lot this time of year is “when should I start preparing?” We love this question because it means that clients and prospective clients are planning ahead. Last year, the H-1B cap was met the first week of filing, and we anticipate that to be the case this year as well. Keep in mind that if the H-1B quota is met the first five business days of filing, USCIS will conduct a lottery to randomly select the H-1B filings that will be processed. The rest will be returned to the employer/attorney. Therefore it is critical to plan ahead to maximize your chances of success.

Approximate Date



Confirm that your employer is willing to sponsor you for H-1B status

Feb 1 – 15

Gather required information from employer and employee

Feb 15 – 28

File the Labor Condition Application (LCA) with Department of Labor (Note: Department of Labor takes up to seven business days to process an LCA; if the employer’s tax ID number has not previously been verified, this may take additional time.)

March 1-15

Gather any remaining documentation required, prepare forms, arrange for signature

March 15 – 30

Assemble final petition, and complete final quality assurance checks

April 1

File petition (for delivery on April 1)

Following this precise timeline is not mandatory. However, given the stiff competition for cap-subject H-1Bs in recent years and the anticipated demand this year as well, advance planning will save you stress, and increase your chances of success.

For more information on the H-1B visa classification, please click here. Do you need assistance filing H-1B petitions (cap-subject or otherwise)? Please contact us at info@sumnerimmigration.com or at 804-396-3412.