APRIL 2015 VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State has just released the April 2015 Visa Bulletin. This is the seventh Visa Bulletin of the 2015 US Fiscal Year, which began October 1, 2014. There is once again very positive news for many immigrant visa categories. The biggest news is the continued progression of the Philippines EB-3, the Worldwide-All Other (ROW) EB-3 date and the Mexican EB-3 date. These are all now at October 2014, which is the closest to current they have been in many years. This is yet another large progression in dates. India EB-2 climbed forward steadily as well. It has moved to September 2007, representing a 2 and a half year increase in the last three months. Chinese numbers righted themselves. For two years the Chinese EB-3 has been more favorable than Chinese EB-2. With this Visa Bulletin, Chinese EB-2 is now the better date. Employment- Based All Other CHINA – mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES 1st C C C C C 2nd C 01APR11 01SEP07 C C 3rd 01OCT14 01JAN11 08JAN04 01OCT14...

USCIS Teleconference Yields Additional Information About New H-4 EAD Regulation

On Thursday, February 26, 2015, USCIS held a teleconference in order to provide more information about the recently published regulation extending employment authorization to certain H-4 visa holders who have reached a certain point in their green card application process. The purpose of the regulation is to to provide employment authorization for H-4 spouses if their spouse who is working on an H-1B visa has an approved I-140, or has extended their H-1B status beyond the 6-year limitation due to the fact that they have a green card case that has been pending for at least 365 days. During the course of that call, the following information was provided: 1. The regulation will take effect on May 26, 2015. No applications will be accepted prior to that date. Any application sent to USCIS on that date will be rejected and must be re-filed after May 26th. 2. A new I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (“I-765″) has been prepared (though not yet published) which will need to be used to file the application. 3. Upon approval, the applicant will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), which is a card that looks much like a US driver’s license. It will have an expiration date on it. 4. The addresses to which applications under this regulation will be published closer in time to the May 26th filing date. 5. USCIS will be publishing a FAQ which will provide answers to a number of questions about the new regulation. That will be published closer to May 26, 2015. A number of callers asked questions which the panel on the Teleconference was unable to answer. Many of these will be addressed in the FAQ. 6. There is no limit on the number of cases which will be accepted for filing during the course of a year. 7. USCIS expects approximately 179,000 cases to be filed in the first year after the regulation become effective. 8. The processing time for the I-765 application is 90 days, as with all other I-765 applications. 9. USCIS does not currently expect applicants will have to go to an Application Support Center (ASC) for a biometrics appointment in order to process the cards....

H-4 EAD FAQ

Starting May 26, 2105, certain H-4 spouses of H-1B holders can file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The full regulation has just been published. Musillo Unkenholt has had many questions from clients and friends of the firm. We have published these in this FAQ. Can I file before May 26, 2015? No. The USCIS will not accept EAD applications until May 26, 2015. How long will it take the USCIS to process the EAD Application? Traditionally EAD Applications take 90-120 days until approval. Can I work upon the filing of the EAD Application? No. The EAD must be approved? Who qualifies for the new H-4 EAD card? Certain H-4 spouses may file for the new H-4 EAD. Children who hold H-4 status are ineligible for the EAD. Which H-4 spouses may file for an EAD? In order to decide if you qualify for the H-4, we must look to the underlying H-1B status holder. The USCIS elected to apply the rule first set forth in Section 106 of AC21. The H-1B worker must either: A. Hold an approved I-140, Petition for Alien Worker. The approved I-140 does not need to be from his present employer; or B. Have a priority date that is at least one year old. A priority date can be established by the filing of a PERM Application or a Form I-140. May an H-4 spouse file for an EAD if the H-4 spouse holds (A) an approved I-140 or (B) one year has passed since the filing of a PERM or I-140? No. The USCIS looks to the H-1B worker to meet A or B, above. It is irrelevant if the H-4 meets A or B. Are there any limitations on the work that I can perform on an H-4 EAD? For instance, is there a prevailing wage? Am I limited only to certain types of jobs? No. There are no such limitations. You can work for any employer, at any rate (above minimum wage), and in any occupation. What should I do if I want to file an H-4 EAD? EAD Applications do not require an attorney’s assistance, although many people find it helpful to have an attorney...

MU Law Blog on Nurse and Allied Healthcare Immigration: H-4 EAD RULE IS EFFECTIVE MAY 26

USCIS has just announced that the long-awaited H-4 EAD rule will go into effect on May 26, 2015. Under the new H-4 EAD rule, the H-4 spouse may obtain an EAD card in two instances. (1) Either the principal H-1B worker has to have had a PERM Application pending for at least one year or (2) the principal H-1B worker has to have an approved I-140. H-4 spouses who meet one of the two conditions may file an I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. Ordinarily, I-765 Applications are approved in 90-120 days. Accordingly, H-4 spouses who qualify should be able to begin working in September...

NY Times Article Outlines Increased Demand for Occupational Therapists in Schools

An article published in the February 17th, 2015 edition of the New York Times does a nice job of outlining the recent increase in the demand for Occupational Therapists in educational settings. The article indicates the increase in demand for Occupational Therapists in school settings has increased across the country. It states: Over the last four years, New York City public schools have seen a 30 percent increase in the number of students referred to occupational therapy, to nearly 42,000 students. The city covers the cost, which at $58 million a year is up from $38 million just five years ago. (That dollar figure does not include therapists in schools fully devoted to special-education students.) In Chicago, 6,600 students now receive the therapy, up 20 percent in three years; in Los Angeles, the number has jumped 30 percent in five years, to 9,000. The article indicates one of the reasons for the increase in demand is the increase in autism diagnoses among children, which have grown, at least in part, because of more accurate identifications of the disorder. Unfortunately, the article does not really address the issue of how schools are going to fill the demand for Occupational Therapists given the already limited supply of OT’s and the recently increased educational standards for OT...