The H-1b visa category is set aside for applicants in specialty occupations who have earned at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent and who have a job offer from a United States employer requiring the specific degree.
U.S. employers and potential H-1b visa applicants are painfully aware of this visa category's annual numerical limitations and other restrictions. Although the congressional grapevine had it that additional H-1b visa numbers will become available to satisfy the current demand, Congress has failed to act and I predict that this year's H-1b visa demand will once again outweigh the actual availability of visa numbers by far.
The USCIS allocates 65,000 H-1b visa numbers each year for person who have earned a bachelors degree or its equivalent and an additional 20,000 H-1b visa number for persons who have earned an advanced or higher degree from a U.S. institution of higher education.
The application start date is April 1, 2015 for a work start date on October 1, 2015. Last year, the USCIS received over 172,000 H-1b applications between April 1 and 5, 2014. Given the continued economic improvement, it is fair to assume that there will be even more applicants this year than last year.
Accordingly, if you are an applicant for an H-1b visa, or if you are an employer petitioning for an H-1b applicant, it is of utmost importance that you begin the application process now so that you will be able to submit your application timely. In order to be considered for an H-1b visa I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that USCIS receives your properly prepared application on April 1, 2015.