H-1B “Professional” Work Authorization for Foreign Recruits

By Carol Hildebrand

It is time for employers to make their plans if they intend to seek “H-1B” U.S. work authorization for a foreign professional under U.S. immigration law.

During January and February, 2020 employers should begin drafting key forms that must go to the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Between March 1 and March 20, 2020, the immigration agency plans a period of electronic pre-registration by all employers that are hoping for H-1B work authorization for a desired foreign recruit. The random electronic selection process is intended to pre-select those employers who can submit full H-1B petitions for the limited bachelor’s degree level annual quota of 65,000. Another 20,000 per year are authorized for foreign recruits with U.S. master’s degrees or higher.

If an employer is notified of its selection to submit the full H-1B petition, finalizing the steps taken preliminarily must promptly proceed in late March. Work authorization, if approved, would begin October 1, 2020.