With two months to go before the window opens to file H-1B visa applications, in-house counsel should prepare now to beat the April rush of U.S. employers filing petitions on behalf of their employees. By understanding the processing system and asking the right questions, the legal department can have petitions ready to file by the end of March and will be poised to handle problems.

The H-1B visa enables U.S. employers to hire educated foreign professional workers for specialty occupations: jobs that require at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in the specialty field. The H-1B visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa that is valid for three years and may be renewed for three years.

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