Arizona employers considering hiring individuals from other countries might do so by helping those future workers to seek H-1B visas. However, it is important to recognize that an application for this program does not guarantee that a worker will be approved. Because of the lottery system used to award these visas, it is important to apply promptly for consideration. In 2017, the earliest date for filing an H-1B petition will be April 3.

A factor that has significantly affected an applicant’s chances of being accepted is the fact that the number of applications each year has consistently risen. U.S. immigration law limits the number of H-1B visa approvals to 65,000 per year, but 20,000 additional visas can be offered for applicants that have earned advanced degrees from educational institutions in the U.S. In 2016, approximately one-third of applicants were successful in being selected through the lottery program.

Employers may find it important to prioritize as they consider their potential for hiring in connection with the H-1B program. It is also important to maintain an awareness of any changes in immigration policies to ensure that adjustments to company policies can be made to ensure compliance. In time-sensitive cases involving workers whose visa status could run out or change, it may also be helpful to work with an immigration lawyer to ensure that timely and appropriate actions are taken to apply for programs such as the H-1B lottery.

An immigration lawyer can be a helpful resource for both employers and employees dealing with visa needs because it is important to submit proper documentation during the application process. A lawyer may help prospective employees to identify deficiencies in their documentation and offer guidance related to securing needed items. A lawyer can also help to advise applicants of timing issues related to applying for a visa.