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Today's Date: December 10, 2013
 

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U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to Amend its Regulations related to certain Employment-based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs to retain EB–1, EB–2, and EB–3 Immigrant Workers and to Improve these Visa Programs

DHS is seeking public comments on a proposed rule to amend its regulations related to certain employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. These proposed changes do not take effect with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking. Instead, they would take effect on the date indicated in the final rule when the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

The proposed amendments would provide various benefits to participants in those programs, including: improved processes for U.S. employers seeking to sponsor and retain immigrant and nonimmigrant workers, greater stability and job flexibility for such workers, and increased transparency and consistency in the application of agency policy related to affected classifications. Many of these changes are primarily aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain high-skilled workers who are beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions and who are waiting to become lawful permanent residents (LPRs), while increasing the ability of such workers to seek promotions, accept lateral positions with different employers, change employers, or pursue other employment options.

The following specific changes have been listed in the proposed rule.

  • Clarify and improve longstanding agency policies and procedures implementing I-140 portability
  • Increase the ability of beneficiaries of approved employment-based immigrant visa petitions (I-140 petitions) to further their careers by accepting promotions, making position changes with current employers, changing employers, and pursuing other employment opportunities.
  • Improve job portability for certain beneficiaries of approved I-140 petitions by limiting the grounds for automatic revocation of petition approval.
  • Clarify when individuals may keep their priority date to use when applying for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence, including when USCIS has revoked the approval of their approved I-140 petitions because the employer withdrew the petition or because the employer’s business shut down.
  • Allow certain high-skilled individuals in the United States in E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, or O-1 nonimmigrant status to apply for one year of unrestricted employment authorization if they:
    • ​Are the beneficiaries of an approved I-140 petition,
    • Remain unable to adjust status due to visa unavailability, and
    • Can demonstrate that compelling circumstances exist which justify issuing an employment authorization document.
  • Clarify various policies and procedures related to the adjudication of H-1B petitions, including, among other things, extensions of status, determining cap exemptions and counting workers under the H-1B visa cap, H-1B portability, licensure requirements, and protections for whistleblowers.
  • Establish a one-time grace period, during an authorized validity period, of up to 60 days for individuals holding E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1 or TN nonimmigrant status whenever their employment ends so that they may more readily pursue new employment and an extension of their nonimmigrant status.
  • Provide for the automatic extension of the validity of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for an interim period upon the timely filing of an application to renew such documents. At the same time, in light of national security and fraud concerns, DHS is proposing to remove regulations that provide a 90-day processing timeline for EAD applications and that require the issuance of interim EADs if processing extends beyond the 90-day mark.

These proposed rules are complex and require a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer. If you have any questions, our attorneys are here to answer your questions!  We can be reached by phone at 703 230 6800 or by email at attorney@immigrationonline.com.  Contact us today for these and all other immigration-related issues!

USCIS recently began transferring certain casework from the Vermont Service Center (VSC) to the California Service Center (CSC) and Nebraska Service Center (NSC) to balance workloads. The CSC will now process Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.

How You Will Be Affected If We Transfer Your Case

If USCIS transferred your case, USCIS will send you a transfer notice. Your original receipt number will not change, and the transfer will not delay the processing of your case except for the additional time needed to physically mail/transfer the file.

How to Track the Status of Your Case

You can check your case status at Case Status Online by entering your receipt number. You can also sign up to receive automatic case status updates by email.

If you do not receive a decision on your case within the published processing time, you may submit an inquiry using e-Request or by calling the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 800-375-5283 of USCIS.  If USCIS sent you any notice (such as a Request for Evidence), please read the notice carefully and follow the instructions provided.

If you move while your case is pending, you must inform USCIS of your address change. You may file a change of address on USCIS website or by calling the NCSC. It is important that you notify USCIS of any address change as soon as possible, so that you continue to receive notifications from USCIS.

On December 18, 2015, the President signed into the law the omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2016. This Public Law 114-113, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (Act), became effective from December 18, 2015.

Some of the immigration-related issues include:

Business Immigration:

The bill extends the EB-5 Green Card Visa Programs (through investment of $1,000,000; or $500,000 in high unemployment or rural area, or Regional Center);  Conrad 30 J-1 waiver program; Special Immigrant Religious Workers, and E-Verify programs through the end of FY2016;

The Act increases the H-1B and L-1 fees for certain petitions by $4000 and $4500 respectively for companies with more than 50 employees where 50% or more of the employees hold H-1B or L-1 status. The Act provides:

  • the combined filing fee and fraud prevention and detection fee required to be submitted with an application for admission as H-1B, including an application for an extension, shall be increased by $4,000 for petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States if more than 50 percent of the applicant’s employees are in H-1B or L1 status.
  • the combined filing fee and fraud prevention and detection fee required to be submitted with an application for admission as L-1, including an application for an extension, shall be increased by $4,500 for petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States if more than 50 percent of the applicant’s employees are in H-1B or L1 status.

​(These increased fees must be paid on initial petitions, transfer petitions and extension petitions as well. These fees are authorized for ten years, running through September 30, 2025; and the funds generated by these fees will be split between the 9-11 programs and the Biometric Entry-Exit program.

The bill also makes certain changes to the H-2B program by providing:

  • Flexibility for H-2B workers in the seafood industry regarding when they can start working;
  • Use of private wage surveys;
  • Definition of “seasonal” as ten months;
  • Limitations on the Department of Labor’s ability to implement some aspects of the interim final rule; and
  • Exempting H-2B returning workers from the 66,000 annual cap for FY2016.

Visa Waiver Program: The bill includes the House-passed bill reforming the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which contains categorical exclusions for nationals of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Sudan, as well as people who travel to those countries.

These legal changes are complex and require a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer. If you have any questions, our attorneys are here to answer your questions!  We can be reached by phone at 703 230 6800 or by email at attorney@immigrationonline.com.  Contact us today for this and all other immigration-related issues!

Aug 28 2013

We have learned from immigration applicants and petitioners that there is a new telephone scam targeted to defaud them. USCIS also reported about these scams targeting USCIS applicants and petitioners. Scammers are using a technique called “Caller ID spoofing” to display a misleading or inaccurate phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. The scammer poses as a USCIS official and requests personal information (such as Social Security number, passport number, or A-number), identifies supposed issues in the recipient’s immigration records, and asks for payment to correct these records.
If you or your family members receive a call like that, we advise you to say “No, thank you” and hang up immediately. 
As per its policy and immigration law USCIS never asks for any form of payment or personal information over the phone. Do not fall victim to telephone scammers posing as USCIS personnel or other government officials or some other scams which seek payment or your personal information. We encourage you to protect your personal information and not to provide details about your immigration application in any public area or online. 
If you have been a victim of this telephone scam, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission (follow the link here), or report it to an appropriate state authority (to find out an appropriate authority in your state, follow the link here). USCIS lists some of the most common scams, follow the link here.  
If you have a question about your immigration record, please call our Law Offices at 703-230-6800, or the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 or make an InfoPass appointment by visiting our website at http://infopass.uscis.gov/ 

Aug 28 2013

Under the U.S.
immigration law there are number of opportunities to
immigrate or temporarily work, or temporarily visit and stay in the United States. LA Times reported a news that an online gamer is also
eligible to receive U.S. visa as pro athlete
. Online game League
of Legends star Danny ‘Shiphtur’ Le of Canada is the first to be granted such a
visa normally awarded to internationally recognized athlete. Like stars on
sports teams, Le needed the visa to live and practice with his Riverside squad.
With a generation of children having grown up playing video games, the decision
by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has been widely perceived as
elevating America’s newest professional sport to the same class as old-school
stalwarts. And in a worldwide competition in which the winning team can take
home $1 million in prizes, the ability to sign the best players — whether from
Canada or South Korea or Russia — was seen as a must-have for U.S squads.


If you are a pro athlete
and seeking to work and stay in the U.S. now there will be a  possiblity
to seek a visa as an internationally recognized athlete.
 

Sep 18 2013

1.      What is the earliest start date
of a Cap-subject H-1B?

Answer(A): The earliest start
date for Cap-subject H-1B for fiscal year 2014 will be October 1, 2013 but the
employment could start later. The U.S. federal government’s fiscal year begins
on 1 October of the previous calendar year and ends on 30 September of the year
with which it is numbered.

Steps you need to take if your H-1B is approved and you are
outside the U.S.?

a.       How soon one can apply for an H-1B visa?

A: After USCIS approves the
Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129), you can apply for an H-1B visa
90 days in advance at a U.S. Consulate.

Since it is September already,
now one would be able to apply for the H-1B visa at the appropriate U.S.
Consulate if an H-1B petition was approved for him.

Wait times for visa interview
appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply
for your visa early. (Review the interview wait time for the location where
you will apply)

b.      Which
U.S. Consulate should I apply for the visa ?

A: When the H-1B petition was
filed on your behalf you made a choice about the U.S. Consulate you will go to
for your visa. Therefore you would have to apply for the visa at that Consulate
and schedule for a visa interview there.

The Department of State has
developed the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) to provide a
method for consular officers to rapidly confirm that individuals requesting an
H, L, O, P, Q, or R nonimmigrant visa were, in fact, the beneficiary of a
corresponding petition approved by USCIS. PIMS allows consular officers to
access and confirm USCIS petition approval data and supporting documents
online; thereby speeding up the issuance of nonimmigrant visas while reducing
costs and heightening security.

Prior to arriving at the consulate,
call ahead to schedule an appointment and inquire as to whether the case
information is located in PIMS. U.S. Consulate contacts are available at 
http://www.usembassy.gov/.

However you would check each Consulate
about scheduling the visa appointment, for example for India, one can schedule
interview online at 
http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/in/ or
may call their number.

In case you would not be able to
schedule a visa interview at your pre-selected Consulate, then you can schedule
an appointment at any U.S. Consulate since the information in PIMS will be
available electronically to all consulates and embassies.

c.       What
are the steps for applying for an H-1B visa?

Following are some of the steps
you would need to take:

Complete The Online Visa
Application, Form DS-160

You must: 1) complete the online
visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring
to your interview.

Photo

You will upload your photo while
completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained
in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview

You would need to schedule an
appointment for your visa interview. You will need to provide the receipt
number that is printed on your approved Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker,
Form I-129 to schedule an interview.

Prepare for your Interview

Fees – Pay the non-refundable
visa application fee. (See, Current visa fees for Department of State government
services select Fees)

When your visa is approved, you
may also pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable to your
nationality.

Gather Required
Documentation

Gather and prepare the following
required documents before your visa interview:

– Passport valid for travel
to the U. S. – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your
period of stay in the U. S. (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). If
more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa
must submit a separate application.

– Nonimmigrant Visa
Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page

– Application fee payment
receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview

– Photo – You will upload your
photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you
must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph
Requirements.

– Receipt Number/Notice for your
approved H-1B petition.

Attend your Visa Interview

During your visa interview, a
consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa.

After your visa interview, your
application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed
by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your
application.

When the visa is approved, you
may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be
informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa
processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be
ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.

Spouse and Children

Your spouse, and unmarried and
minor children may also apply for the derivative visa category to accompany or
join you. U.S. embassies and consulates will adjudicate visa applications that
are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that they will adjudicate
applications for opposite gender spouses.

Please reference the specific
guidance on the visa category for which you are applying for more details on
documentation required for derivative spouses. You must be able to show that
you will be able to financially support your family in the United States. 

Visa Denial and
Ineligibility

Review Visa Denials for detailed
information about visa ineligibilities and denials and contact  your employer
about the issues.

I was refused a visa, may I
reapply?

Yes, but first contact your
employer.

Misrepresentation or Fraud

Attempting to obtain a visa by
the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the
permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.

2.      What you need to know regarding the immigration
processing at the U.S. – Port of Entry?

A.     Once
your visa is approved you would be able to travel to the U.S. 10 days prior to
your  H-1B employment so long as an H-1B visa was approved with the
earlier start date than your H-1B start date at the discretion of Consular
Officer.

At the port of entry, a Customs
and Border Protection (CBP) officer will stamp your passport. This admission
stamp will show the date of admission, class of admission, and the date that
the traveler’s class of admission expires. You will also receive on arrival a
flyer alerting you to go to www.CBP.gov/I94 to check your admission record
information. At this time make sure that your classification (either H-1B or
H-4) and the end-date is correct.

Once your enter the U.S., you should print out I-94 entry
records
 through the CBP website in multiple copies. You would
need this I-94 copy for driver’s license, social security card, and for I-9
verification. For more info, please
visit the websit
e
. 

 

3.      How late can I start my H-1B
employment?

A: If the employee is simply changing from some other status
to H-1B employment with the company while already present in the U.S.,
employment must begin within 60 days of approval of the H-1B.

Before you start your job you would need a U.S. Social Security
Number, otherwise you would have to apply for a Social Security Number and it
might take two weeks or more to receive the actual Social Security Card.more to
receive the actual Social Security Card.

4.      What do you need to do on first
day of employment?

A.     Your employer will provide you a copy
of the approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) if they have not done so
already.

In addition to giving you the LCA copy, your employer will give
you a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which is used for
verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for
employment in the United States. On the form, you will complete first part,
Section 1, and attest to your employment authorization. You must present your
employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment
authorization.

5.      How to maintain H-1B status?

A: You will remain in H-IB status for the duration of the H-IB
period granted on your     I-94, or on the approval notice if a
change of status was granted, provided that you at all times during this period
are “performing services for an authorized H-lB employer”.

6.      When does an amended petition
have to be filed?

A.     Any changes in job locations, job title or
substantial changes in job duties and/or responsibilities
 and reduction of salary and benefits from
prior H-1B will require a LCA and H-1B petition to amend the employment
conditions.

7.      What are the consequences of out
of visa status?

A: You will be considered “out of H-1B status” if you stop
performing services for  your employer, regardless of the period noted in
the H-1B approval notice or I-94.

If you are considered out of status, so will all of your
derivative family members, regardless of the expiration date of their H-4 approval
notices or I-94s.

Once on “out of status” you
should not remain “out of status” in the United States for more than 10 days
grace period to leave the U.S. You will be subjected to the unlawful presence
rule if you remain out of status for more than 180 days and will be excluded
from the United States for a period of three years or more.   

 

Jan 8 2014

It is always a best practice to file an H-1B or any other extension petitions well in advance before the expiry date of previous extension or the I-94 expiration date. The usual processing time for the USCIS-Vermont Service Center or California Service Center is 2 months based on their website, and in cases for which an RFE is issued will take another 2 months or longer to get an approval or denial based on the RFE response. 

Recently in an unpublished decision in Invica Trupcevic, A096155870 (BIA Nov 7, 2013) handed down by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), it upheld the denial of the respondent’s application for adjustment of status (Form I-485) on grounds that the respondent had failed to maintain lawful status for more than 180 days. The Board found that the filing of an application to extend H-1B nonimmigrant status did not confer lawful status under Section 245(k) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the government’s delay in adjudicating the application did not qualify for the regulatory exception for “technical violations resulting from inaction of the Service.” BIA referred to a USCIS policy guide which states that the period during which a timely filed [extension of stay] or [change of status] an application is pending continues the alien’s period of authorized stay in the United States (allowing the alien to avoid accruing unlawful presence), but does not extend the alien’s period ‘authorized status’In other words, only the actual government approval of the request extends lawful status, whereas denial of the extension request causes the original expiration of status to stand [and] the renders the subsequent status unlawful. (USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual also states that when any extension of status request is “ultimately approved, the period during which the [extension request] had been pending would be considered, in retrospect, a period in which the alien was in a lawful nonimmigrant status…”).

BIA illustrated the fact that the aliens can be “lawfully present” in the United States (i.e., in a “period of stay authorized by the Attorney General”) even though their “lawful status” has expired. Therefore the pendency of extension petitions provides a right to be “legally present even though their “lawful status” has expired, however, the pending extension petition does not give “lawful status” except by retrospect when the extension petition is approved. [emphasis supplied] 

This has been USCIS policy as well as the practice and has been consistent, therefore it is a best practice to seek an extension well in advance rather than waiting for the last weeks or months to the expiry date of previous extension or the I-94 expiration date.

Nov 20 2013

 

Conditions
in a foreign national’s home country such as civil unrest or a severe
environmental disaster may impede their ability to return home as
originally planned or may create temporary financial difficulties for them and
their family. These extreme situations may also may affect their ability to
maintain lawful immigration status while in the United States. During these
special situations, USCIS has made provisions for temporary relief measures to
eligible foreign nationals. Recently, USCIS provided for immigration
relief measures for Filipino Nationals Impacted by Typhoon Haiyan and for
nationals from Central American countries affected by extreme flooding.

 

Because
of these temorary measures, the foreign nationals impacted by such extreme
situations may be eligible to benefit from the following immigration
relief measures:

  • Change or
    extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United
    States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of
    admission has expired;
  • Extension
    of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
  • Extension
    of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance
    parole requests;
  • Expedited
    adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus
    employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic
    hardship;
  • Expedited
    processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens
    and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
  • Expedited
    adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate;
    and
  • Assistance
    to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as
    Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State
    will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that
    has no local USCIS office.
  • Fee
    Waiver: affected nationals may request waiver of the fees for certain
    forms by filing a Request for Fee Waiver, Form I-912 (or a written
    request).
  • Employment
    Authorization for Students: if you are an academic student, you may need
    to work off-campus if a disaster has affected your ability to support
    yourself. The disaster may occur in the United States and prevent you from
    working on-campus or the disaster may occur overseas and affect your
    economic support. If you can demonstrate that you are from an affected
    country or region and you have been recommended for such employment by the
    Designated School Official (DSO), you may be eligible to receive
    employment authorization when filing the I-765, Application for Employment
    Authorization.
  • Document
    Replacement: if you have lost your USCIS-issued documents through no fault
    of your own, you may show your need for replacing the documents.

Besides temporary immigration relief measures, the
Secretary of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has designated number of
foreign countries for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) due to conditions
in the country that temporarily prevent the country’s nationals from returning
safely, or in certain circumstances, where the country is unable to handle the
return of its nationals adequately.  USCIS may grant TPS to eligible
nationals of certain countries (or parts of countries), who are already in the
United States, or eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in
the designated country may also be granted TPS. Currently, El
Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Somania, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria
 has
been 
designated as TPS country. During the TPS designated
period, individuals who are TPS beneficiaries or who are found preliminarily
eligible for TPS upon initial review of their cases (prima facie eligible) are
not removable from the United States, can obtain an employment authorization
document (EAD), may be granted travel authorization, may apply for nonimmigrant
status, file for adjustment of status based on an immigrant petition, apply for
any other immigration benefit or protection for which they may be eligible.
Once granted TPS, an individual also cannot be detained by DHS on the basis of
his or her immigration status in the United States. 

 

Give us a call if you or anyone you know may
have been affected by these hardships and need legal support. Our Law Offices
can offer a pro bono legal services for eligible individuals.

Jan 17 2014

At the Law Offices of Rakesh Mehrotra, we answer hundreds of questions every day from employers who are new to the H-1B sponsorship process
and from employers who are sponsoring their first H-1B employee this upcoming April. While many questions may be specific to an employer’s company or an
employee’s own circumstances, there are general questions about the H-1B process that are often asked. We have provided the answers to a number of the most
frequently asked questions below.

How soon can my employer file an H-1B petition for me?

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions on April 1, 2014 for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 H-1B quota cases. In general, once the petition is
approved, the H-1B beneficiary can start working on October 1, 2014 (but there may be exceptions for certain OPT applicants). It is very important to start
the H-1B sponsorship process as soon as possible to make sure all the petitions are timely filed.

My company just decided to sponsor an H-1B employee and it is already March 1, can we still apply?

Most likely yes, but you need to contact our office immediately in order for one of our attorneys
to begin the process.
  H-1B petitions are extremely time sensitive and should be initiated as soon as possible.

I am changing status from F-1 to H-1B in the United States, do I need to leave the country and get an H-1B visa?

The short answer to this question is no, a foreign national who changes status in the U.S. from
F-1 to H-1B does not need to obtain an H-1B visa from a U.S. consulate before
beginning the H-1B employment.
  The employee can immediately begin the employment as of the start date on the H-1B
Approval Notice.
  The employee is onlyrequired to obtain a visa if the employee departs the United States.  If the employee takes a trip abroad, the
employee will need to obtain the H-1B visa before returning to the U.S. – even if the employee’s previous visa in the old status is still valid.
 

Do I need to have a U.S. Bachelor’s degree for to get an H-1B?

Any U.S. Bachelor degree or its foreign equivalent will qualify
someone for H-1B as long as the job he/she will be performing requires a
Bachelors degree. Alternatively, if you are indicating that the beneficiary is
qualified based on a combination of education and experience, we would have to
include substantiating evidence to show that combination. Generally three years
of progressive work experience is treated as one year towards four-year U.S.
bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, if the beneficiary has a foreign academic degree and professional experience letters then we need to obtain a credential evaluation
and this process can also take a few days.

I am married and have two children.  My spouse and children were born in my country of origin.  Can they accompany me when I come to the U.S. with my H-1B visa?

Yes!  In most cases, it is relatively easy for spouses and children of H-1B employees to obtain the
dependent H-4 visa from the U.S. consulate and accompany the employee to the United States.
  Contact our office for a
list of documents the H-4 dependents should bring to the consulate.

My friend’s H-1B petition has already been approved and his employer filed his application after mine!  How come mine is taking so long?

This is one of the most often asked questions at our firm.  There can be a number of reasons why one
petition is approved and another remains pending at USCIS.
  For instance, H-1B petitions are filed at
both the California Service Center and the Vermont Service Center – in any
year, one center may be faster at processing than the other.
  Additionally, an applicant’s personal
circumstances (such as a U.S. education, previous H-1B experience, job
position, etc.) may affect the processing time of the application. The
important thing to remember is don’t be discouraged – just because it is taking
longer for your application to be approved doesn’t mean it won’t be.
  Try to be patient and remember to contact
your HR representative for updates on your application.

My company really needs the H-1B employee to begin working in October and I also want to get the H-1B petition approved soon, is there any way to expedite the
USCIS processing of the H-1B petition?

Yes!  For an additional filing fee of $1,225 that is paid to USCIS, our office can file the H-1B
petition to “premium processing” wherein USCIS will take action (approve, deny,
or issue a request for evidence) on the case within 15 business days.

 

Feel free to contact our office at any time with additional
questions about H-1B processes or immigration opportunities in general.
  We look forward to helping you with your
case!

Jan 17 2014

As
part of our office’s continued effort to provide our clients with first-rate
immigration services, we are advising all of our employers to begin the H-1B
sponsorship process
as soon as possible

Although
H-1B petitions for the 2015 fiscal year cannot be filed until April 1, 2014, it
is very important to have all of the supporting documents in place well in
advance
in order to avoid last-minute delays, hindrances, or
difficulties.  Additionally, the critically important Labor Condition
Application (LCA) that must be included with all H-1B petitions must first be
submitted to the Department of Labor for certification.  It can take the
DOL seven days to certify an LCA, so LCAs must be provided to the DOL as far in
advance as possible to ensure that they are ready to be included with the H-1B
submission.

As
a reminder, the following materials are generally required for all H-1B
petitions:

  1. Form G-28, Notice of Appearance on behalf of the employer.
  2. Forms I-129, I-129 H-Supplement and I-129DC.
  3. Certified LCA Letter from employer in support of the H-1B
    petition.
  4. Employment offer letter and employment contract.
  5. Cases where work location involves end-client’s location
    other than employer’s then the employer should submit Master Service
    Agreement between the employer and the mid-vendor and/or end-client if the
    H-1B is for a roving IT employee position. 
  6. End client letter that outlines the employee’s proposed
    duties and confirms that the H-1B employee and the H-1B employer will
    maintain an exclusive
    employee-employer relationship throughout the entire
    duration of the H-1B employment Credential evaluation report equating the
    Beneficiary’s educational degree to that of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree (if
    the employee has a foreign degree) Copies of the Beneficiary’s degrees,
    transcripts, and work experience letters Copy of biographical pages of the
    Beneficiary’s passport

Moreover,
there is a base filing fee of $325 and Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee of $
500 that must be paid by the employer to USCIS.  There are additional
filing fees that may be required depending on the size of the employer’s
company, the type of H-1B petition etc.  Contact our office today for a
detailed explanation of the fees required for your specific company.

 

 
   
   
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