Wow. What a turn of events! In the not so distant past, the annual cap on H-1B Petitions was significantly reduced. US employers were finding it increasingly difficult to hire foreign workers and often had to rush their applications in to meet the quota. Now, with the downturn in the economy and the US approaching 10% unemployment, the demand for foreign workers have subsided. As a result, the shrunken quota as of the date of this blog, has not been met and we are approaching the end of the year.
The window is therefore still open for foreign workers and their US employers. However, due to prohibitive processing delays associated with H-1B Petitions especially with the new iCERT system from the Department of Labor, frustration levels still remain high. The USCIS has responded by now accepting H-1Bs without DOL Approved LCA for a 120 day period staring from November 5, 2009 until March 4, 2010.
While the Petitioner (US Employer) has to file the LCA with the DOL, the USCIS will accept unapproved LCAs if filed within at least 7 calandar days after the LCAs were filed with the DOL
The bottom line here is that Petitioners can take advantage of expedited H-1B processing during this 4 month grace period. Every cloud has a silver lining.
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