The annual 65000 H-1B Visa quota has been filled as of November 2012. This means that no H-1B Applications will be accepted until the visa category opens again in April 1 2012.
Many H-1B Petitioners were surprised to learn the news this week as there were still 1000s of openings as of last week. However, there is no predicting when exactly the H-1B quota will be filled for any given year. Last year, for the 2010 round, the quota will filled in January of 2011, a whole 2 months after this this year
But there is good news.
H-1B Visas are US work Visas for “speciality occupations” , usually where a University degree is required. For Canadian citizens who would otherwise qualify for a H-1B but now cannot apply until April 1, 2012, there may be options. For instance, many such applicants could possibly apply for a TN Visa which would allow them to work in the US in their occupation for up to 3 years. TN Visas are US work visas, like H-1Bs but are not directly transferable to a Green Card (US Permanent Residence) though the Adjustment of Status (AOS) process.
However, the big advantage of TNs over H-1Bs is they are work visas pursuant to the NAFTA Agreement. This means they can be obtained very quickly, with minimal paperwork and can be issued “on the spot” at a Canada/US Port of Entry. Finally, legal fees for TNs are typically lower than that of their H-1B counterpart.
And for those working in a Canadian affiliate, branch or subsidiary of a US company, they may be eligible for an L-1 Visa again under NAFTA as an intercompany transferee.
So for many, the H-1B cap may be a “blessing in disguise”. US work visas are made easy under NAFTA!
Working in the US requires you to apply for a work visa if you’re not a resident. But which visa is right for you? VisaPlace can assist you through this process, feel free to contact us.
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