Wednesday, March 15, 2017
In the first week of April during the last several years the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap, both regular and master’s. Because of the surge of petitions filed, USCIS conducts a lottery (technically referred as “random selection process”), to determine which petitions received in the five-day submission period, the minimum time USCIS can accept petitions, will actually be considered. USCIS then begins sending receipt notices for the petitions selected in the random selection process.Read more . . .
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Many F-1 visa holders, particularly those who are engaged in OPT change their immigration status to become professional and specialty workers (H-1B workers). The H-1B cap is the Congressionally-mandated limit on the number of individuals who may be granted H-1B status during each fiscal year. Most foreign nationals seeking H-1B nonimmigrant classification are subject to the 58,200 capi. There are an additional 20,000 H-1B visas, which are limited to individuals who receive a master’s degrees (or higher degree) from a United States College or University.iiRead more . . .
Monday, February 13, 2017
The threshold question for an H-1B nonimmigrant work visa is whether the intending H-1B nonimmigrant has the equivalence of a U.S. Bachelor’s Degree. Most of the prospective H-1B employees and H-1B employers begin with either of the following two thoughts: “I would like to work in the U.S. using an H-1B visa, but am not sure if I qualify” or “I want to hire a foreign worker but not sure if the individual qualifies for an H-1B visa.”Read more . . .
Friday, January 27, 2017
A sweeping proposed order would, essentially, operate across a number of channels to reduce the scope of legal immigration to the United States. It also begins to lay the administrative and policy groundwork for further legislation altering the scope of legal immigration into one that, in the words of the cover memo, "prioritizes the interests of American workers and - to the maximum degree possible - the jobs, wages, and well-being of those workers."Read more . . .
Thursday, January 26, 2017
The H-1B visa program permits a United States employer (“employer”) to temporarily employ nonimmigrants to fill specialized jobs in the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act (the “INA” or the “Act”) requires that an employer pay an H-1B worker the higher of the actual wage or the local prevailing wage, in order to protect U.S. workers and their wages. Under the Act, an employer seeking to hire a foreign national in a specialty occupation on an H-1B visa must receive permission from the Department of Labor (“DOL”) before the foreign national may obtain an H-1B visa. The Act defines a “specialty occupation” as an occupation requiring the application of highly-specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Act requires an employer seeking permission to employ an H-1B worker to submit and receive an approved Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) from the DOL.Read more . . .
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Employers who seek to hire an H-1B nonimmigrant in a specialty occupation must first make a filing with the Department of Labor (DOL) and obtain a Labor Condition Application (LCA). The LCA, among other things, must specify the number of workers sought, the occupational classification in which the H-1B will be employed, and the wage rate and conditions under which the proposed H-1B nonimmigrant will be employed. Additionally, the employer must attest that it is offering, and will continue to offer, during the period of H-1B employment, the greater of: (1) the actual wage level paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment position in question; OR (2) the prevailing wage level for the occupational classification in the intended area of employment.Read more . . .
Friday, January 13, 2017
Based on the current predictions, given the new Republican Administration, the U.S. economy will rebound. What does this mean for the immigration practitioners, professionals, and prospective H-1B employers and employees? Assuming that the economy performs as projected, it is highly likely that we will once again, as we did in 2016, witness the H-1B lottery (technically referred to as “Random Selection Process”) during April 2017. To better prepare for the H-1B cap, this article endeavors to summarize a few practice pointers which every prospective H-1B employer and employee needs to know.Read more . . .
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
As a reminder to all U.S. employers, H-1B season is almost here! United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) will start accepting new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2018 on Saturday, April 1st, 2017. As such, employers should start immediately identifying current and future employees who will require sponsorship for new H-1B petitions. By way of background, the USCIS issues H-1B visas to foreign national workers serving in “specialty occupations at a professional level.” A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, to be performed by a worker with at least the equivalent of bachelor’s degree in the field. Both the position to be filled and the foreign worker’s qualifications must meet the criteria for a “specialty occupation”.Read more . . .
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
When a USCIS Service Center denies an employment-based visa petition, is it prudent to recommend to a petitioning employer to appeal to the AAO? Not if you have the option of filing a new petition. But there are many situations where refiling may not be an option. For example, where an immigrant visa petition must be approved to preserve a Beneficiary’s priority date or where a nonimmigrant visa petition must be approved in order for the Beneficiary to be counted against the H-1B cap. In these cases, a refiling may not achieve a client’s goals.Read more . . .
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (ASVVP) in 2009. Under the program, site visits are conducted by the Fraud Detection and National Security directorate (FDNS) of USCIS. FDNS conducts site visits for religious worker petitions, H-1B petitions, and since 2014, L-1 petitions.Read more . . .
Thursday, July 28, 2016
On July 1, 2016, the U.S Department of Labor issued an interim final rules to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced in its regulations. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act) requires agencies to adjust the levels of civil monetary penalties with an initial catch-up adjustment, followed by annual adjustments for inflation. The Department is required to calculate the catch-up and subsequent annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers.Read more . . .
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