H1B Visa 2012 (FY2013)   
The H1B Visa Sponsorship Program for 2012 

Quick Overview and FAQ's:

How many H1B visas are available in 2012 ? 

For 2012 there are a total of 85,000 Cap-subject H1B visas available
- 65,000 are available for the Regular Cap
- 20,000 are available for the ADE Cap
These are 'new' H1B visas that can be issued during 2012 
Full details about the 2012 H1B cap and visa quota (FY2013)

* H1B Transfers and Extensions are Not subject to the Cap
These can be filed / issued at any time of the year, and without numerical cap limitations
Full details about H1B transfers

* H1B Cap-Exempt visas are Not subject to the Cap
These can be filed / issued at any time of year, and without numerical cap limitations 
Full details about H1B cap exempt visas 

Who can get an H1B visa to work in the USA in 2012?

H1B visas are available to Foreign nationals from around the World or in the USA: who meet the requirements to qualify for the H1B visa program

Foreign nationals must obtain an H1B sponsorship employment offer from a US Corporation BEFORE an H1B visa application can be filed (a sponsorship offer letter MUST be included in the visa application).   

How long does it take to get an H1B visa, what's the total duration ?

There are 3 main stages to get issued an H1B visa:

1. Getting an H1B sponsorship employment offer
2. H1B Visa documents gathering and form preparation
3. Filing an H1B visa application for processing and issuance 
For stage 1. there is no fixed or set timeframe duration for every International professional or student. This is the most challenging and most variable duration stage. For some it may be very quick and only take 1-3 months and for some it can take 6 months or even a year or more to complete this stage 

The sponsorship employment search is different for everyone and reliant on many variable individual factors such as; how long it takes to plan and conduct the H1B visa research, US Resume preparation, research on H1B sponsors, H1B job search and follow ups, H1B job interviews, H1B salary negotiation, H1B employment contract, and to 100% finalize and secure the H1B visa sponsorship offer 

If a Foreign national tries to conduct all the research, searching, applications etc themselves, and how much time they have available to do all the required work, or whether they use an agency or placement company to help has an affect and can shorten the duration   

For stage 2. visa documents preparation; plan for an additional month for you and your sponsor company to gather and prepare all the required paperwork in order to prepare the visa application 

For stage 3. filing the application for processing; with Premium processing visas can be issued with 15 days if 'everything' is filed 100% correctly. With Regular processing plan for between 2-5 months for the processing to to be completed and the approval issued 

Are there any changes to the H1B visa qualification requirements ?

There are currently no changes to the H1B requirements for International professionals and students to qualify for H1B visas in 2012
Full details about the current H1B visa requirements

When in 2012 can Cap Subject H1B visas be filed ?

US Corporations can start filing Cap Subject H1B visa applications from April 1st onwards; for Foreign nationals they have recruited and want to employ to start work during 2012 

When can H1B transfers and Cap Exempt visas be filed ?

US Corporations can file H1B Transfers and Cap Exempt visas at any time of year

What ways can H1B visas be filed ?

H1B visas can be filed by Regular or Premium processing methods

H1B visas can only be filed by US Corporations (on behalf of Foreign nationals they want to sponsor and employ)

H1B Premium processing expedites the processing and issuance of a visa application
Full details about H1B visa application and filing 

What are the Fees and Costs to file an H1B visa for 2012 ?

There are currently no changes or increases to the H1B fees and costs for filing a visa application in 2012
Full details about H1B fees and visa costs   

How long will H1B visas be available for 2012 ?
- is there a cut off date to file a visa application ?

H1B visas can be filed until such time as the 85,000 quota has been filled

There is no fixed cut off date, visas can start to be filed in April and can continue to be filed until 85,000 visas have been issued 

What happens after the cap is reached and the 85,000 H1B visas have all been issued ? 

With a fixed supply (quota / cap) of H1B visas available each year, it's better to plan ahead, start early, and file early to avoid being late and missing out

After the 85,000 visas that are available during 2012 have all been applied for and issued, no more cap subject H1B visas can be filed until April 2013