when to apply for h1b visa
H1B Visa

When to Apply for H1B Visa to be Counted in the Lottery?

  • When to apply for H1B Visa?
  • How long would it take for an employer to prepare the application to file H-1B Visa with USCIS before H1B lottery deadline?
  • My employer is filing H1B visa for the first time, how ling it will take for Immigration Attorney to prepare the H1B package and apply with USCIS?

Attorney Murali Bashyam answers the above question in this video

Know you know the timeline to apply for H1B Visa. At end of the interview, you heard the term LCA. Watch this next video to learn about LCA.

Transcript: When to apply for H1B Visa

Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. If I’m trying to file an H1B on March 31st, what should the employer’s case preparation time-wise look like?


Murali Bashyam: Employers really need to keep that timeline as far as what it takes to prepare an H1B case in mind actually, because we have employers asking us all the time, “We know you have to file the case on March 31st for April 1st receipt, but how late can we get a case to you?” Let me kind of go to the timeframe.


Let’s say you’re an employer who has never filed an H1B before, then you got to actually submit your federal implement identification number information to the department of labor first for verification. That’s what a lot of employers forget because they think it starts with the LCA process. That’s true if you’ve already done h1s in the past. That verification process for companies who’ve never done H1Bs before takes about five days for the department of labor to verify the LCI and get that information back to you. Only after that is verified can an employer actually file a labor-condition application or LCA as it’s commonly known.


Now, if you’re an employer who’s already filed an H1B in the last four to five years, then you don’t have to go through that first step. You can file an LCA directly with the department of labor as the first step. Right now, that takes about five to seven business days for them to certify that LCA. Once the LCA is certified, then you can actually file the H1B application with the immigration service obviously for April 1st filing.


The total timeframe before you can even file an H1B, if you’re an employer who has never done one before, you’re looking at 10 to 12 days with DLL verification and LCA filing and everything else. If you’re an employer who’s already done H1Bs before, about five to seven days before an H1B can be filed. Of course, giving your attorney or law firm some time to prepare the case as well, a lot of work goes into it, but that’s the timeframe employers should keep in mind.


Raghuram Sukumar: Okay. Which means, obviously, they’re looking at, if it’s a new employer, they should come to you or an attorney before March 15th to give enough time for them to look at the applications?


Murali Bashyam: I would say at least… Yes, definitely by March 15th if you’re an employer who’s never done an H1B for a worker in the recent years. If you’re an employer who has done an H1B in the last four or five years, then maybe March 20th at the very latest. Right around there, but again, you don’t want to wait until the last second. Sometimes, the department of labor with the LCA system because there’s going to be high volume, they might take longer than seven days to certify an LCA. Things do breakdown on the government’s side, so you don’t want to chance those types of things. The earlier you get your case, prepared, filed, and ready for April 1st, the better off you will be.

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