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H-1B Season is On the Horizon

By: Kyle C. Webster, Esq.

February means one thing for an immigration attorney – H-1B season is on the horizon. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows employers to temporarily employ foreign nationals with specialized knowledge and skill. To qualify for an H-1B, the petitioner (employer) must be seeking to hire a foreign national with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the specialty field of the paid position. For example, a potential employee with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science could be sponsored for an H-1B for a position as a Software Engineer for an educational software company, but would likely not qualify to be sponsored for an H-1B as an Urban Planner with a city planning office.

H-1B visas can be granted for up to three years starting on October 1 of the current year, with the option of up to a three-year extension. These visas are a popular option for employers looking to hire a qualified student intern past graduation or otherwise employ a foreign national with strong qualifications for a position. The reason for the “season” is that there is a cap that limits the number of cases that are processed and approved each year. To be included in the lottery that determines which cases are considered for approval, petitions can be filed starting on April 1 and should be filed no later than April 5. To meet this deadline, an employer should connect with an immigration attorney as far in advance of that deadline as possible so that the attorney can prepare the petition for an April 1 filing.

There is a lot more involved with the H-1B visa process, but the above offers a generalized overview. If your company or employer wants to know if the H-1B visa is a good option for your potential employees, contact our office to set up a consultation. We’ll walk you through the full process and get started on assessing your unique situation so we can start working together as soon as possible.

Kyle C. Webster is an associate in the Immigration Practice Group. He can be reached at 412.261.1600 or Please feel free to contact Kyle with any questions.

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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, safety & toxic torts, estates & trusts, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, internal investigations, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Wilmington, DE. For more information call 412.261.1600 or visit us at