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Prepare Early for the FY 2018 H-1B Filing Period

By: Angelita Chavez | January 24, 2017

By: Jalpa Shah, Esq.

This year, we are advising all clients to begin the preparation for the FY 2018 H-1B filing season this month.

Barring any changes in the current regulations, it is estimated that 65,000 regular cap H-1B visas and 20,000 Masters cap H-1B visas for professionals with a master’s degree or higher from a United States university will be available.

Last year, a total of 236,000 petitions were submitted in five days and more than half of all CAP filings were not selected in the lottery. We expect the demand to be greater this year.

We want to ensure that you are prepared for all of your filings.  If you intend to hire qualified employees in the H-1B program, you should plan on taking appropriate steps well in advance so that your organization is ready to file on April 3, 2017.

To begin the preparation early, we recommend the following:

  1. Identify your employment needs in the next few days.
  2. After you have assessed your needs, consider your budget for these filings. Do consider the new filing fees when preparing your budget.
    1. $460.00 for regular filing fee.
    2. $500.00 for the Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee.
    3. $750 for the ACWIA for employers which employ 25 or less employee; or
    4. $1,500 for the ACWIA for employer which employ 26 or more employees.
    5. $4,000.00 for employers who employ 50 or more employees and half of their work force are H/L employees.
    6. $1,225 for premium processing, if you choose to file with premium.
    7. $370 for Form I-539 to change status (for H4 dependents).
  3. Speak with your Chugh team of accountants and immigration attorneys about your budget and employment needs.
    1. We highly recommend discussing your employment matters (i.e. Exempt/Non-Exempt, job postings on your website) to further evaluate your budget.
  4. Send the Chugh team your LCA worksheets as soon as possible so you can budget the salary requirements into your plan.
    1. Although many prefer to wait in order to obtain a longer period of approval, please keep in mind that the Labor Department may experience a delay in approval due to the volume of LCAs filed in February and March.
    2. Should you consider filing multi-slot LCAs to avoid filing numerous LCAs, please speak to us and we will guide you through the process.
  5. Upon determination of the qualified H-1B candidates, begin to gather all required evidence per the H-1B worksheet. Follow your specific Chugh team’s procedure to avoid any delay in processing the case.
    1. Do consider the additional time requirement for education evaluations for each candidate with a foreign degree and other documentation requirements for each candidate with an unrelated degree.
  6. Manage a log to keep you updated. Your Chugh team will be happy to assist you in creating a template that works best for your organization.
  7. We highly recommend assigning one or more individuals who will directly communicate with the attorney.
    1. Please note that the LCA notices shall be posted on or within 30 days before the date of the LCA is filed and shall remain posted for 10 days.

If this is your first time filing in the CAP, speak with a qualified attorney before beginning your preparation.

To learn more about the immigration services offered by Chugh, LLP around the world, contact us at or visit us at

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