CGFNS, ICN LAUNCH RESEARCH WEBSITE

The International Centre on Nurse Migration (ICNM) was created by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International and the International Council of Nurses (ICN). ICNM develops and promotes research, policy and information on global nurse migration. The ICMN has launched a website aimed at being a significant resource for research and information. The website is www.intlnursemigration.org. From their press release: The new website features a bold, user-friendly web interface to easily access news, resources, and ICNM publications. eSource, a new website feature, offers a platform for new and experienced researchers to share articles, reports, papers or presentations on migration related issues with other researchers and the...

DOS: WE HOPE TO PROGRESS PHILS EB-3 IN THE SUMMER

AILA has discussed the Philippine EB-3 retrogression with Charlie Oppenheim, who is the Department of State’s Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division. Mr. Oppenheim is the person at DOS who writes and produces the Visa Bulletin. While he cannot speculate as to future dates, he “hopes to advance the cut-off date throughout the summer.” This statement is consistent with MU Law’s April 14, 2015 blog posting on this issue. USCIS demand for Philippine EB-3 visa numbers has increased. The DOS says that 2,000 Philippine EB-3 visa numbers were requested in the six week period leading to the publication of the may Visa Bulletin, which is a massive increase from Fiscal Year 2014 (Oct 1, 2013 – Sept 30, 2014). FY2014 saw a total of 3,275 Philippine EB-3 immigrant visas used. MU Law expects that the Philippine EB-3 number will return to 2014 or even 2015 in the forthcoming months. However if Philippine EB-3 demand continues the Philippine EB-3 number may eventually retrogress negatively, although it is too early to specifically estimate Visa Bulletin dates in calendar year...

BREAKING: MANILA EMBASSY TO EXPEDITE EB3 IMMIGRANT VISA APPOINTMENTS

The US Embassy in Manila has waived the requirement for making an appointment for a visa interview for those who are affected by the retrogression (priority dates on or after July 01, 2007) and have never been interviewed. Once applicants have all the required documents and have completed the medical examinations at St. Luke’s Extension Clinic, they may come to the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Check-in Counter on any workday between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. from April 15, 2015 through April 28, 2015 for the visa interview. More on their webpage:...

VISA BULLETIN: PHILIPPINES EB-3 RETROGRESSED TO 2007: WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

The May 2015 Visa Bulletin , released April 13, 2015, contained a major surprise for Philippines EB-3. That visa number was retrogressed to July 2007. While this was unwelcome news, MU Law has checked with several sources and it is our sense is that this retrogression is a temporary blip in immigrant visa processing for Philippines EB-3 applicants. Because there are very few Philippine EB-3 applications between 2009-2013, MU Law believes that the Philippines EB-3 date will return to at least 2014, although this may not happen until Fiscal Year 2016 begins in October 2015. Philippine EB-3 applicants have claimed many older priority dates from the high demand era of 2007-2009. The Department of State had progressed the Philippine EB-3 number over the last year in an effort to spur these older applicants into filing their immigrant visa applications. The retrogression is recognition that this effort to spur older immigrant visa applicants has worked. The DOS now has had to tap on the breaks in order to process these older immigrant visa applications. MU Law expects that the Philippines EB-3 number will remain in 2007 for the June 2015 Visa Bulletin. Because July is the start of the fourth and final fiscal quarter, the July 2015 Visa Bulletin may include a progression of the Philippine EB-3 date if overall demand for immigrant visas is low. It is common for the fourth fiscal quarter to include dramatic improvements in visa bulletin dates. For example, the Philippines EB-3 number advanced from November 07 (May 2014 Visa Bulletin) to January 09 (July 2014 Visa Bulletin) to April 2011 (September 2014 Visa Bulletin). With the start of the next fiscal year (FY2016) in October 2015, the DOS should progress the Philippine EB-3 date to 2014. The DOS will then steadily increase the date throughout FY2016, perhaps even making the Philippines EB-3 date current early in...

H-1B CAP NOTES: PREMIUM PROCESSING, NUMBER OF FILINGS, ETC.

The H-1B cap requires that all H-1B petitions are received at the USCIS’ California Service Center or Vermont Service Center by Tuesday April 7, 2015. Below are some key points to keep in mind about this year’s H-1B cap: -The USCIS makes no accommodation for delays caused by couriers. Accordingly, MU Law will file the vast majority of its H-1B petitions on March 31 for delivery by April 1, which is the first day that H-1B petitions are accepted. -Premium Processing Service (PPS) may not start until May 11, 2015, although the USCIS could start PPS earlier, depending on the volume of petitions that are received. Last year PPS began on April 28. -The USCIS expects that more H-1B petitions will be received this year than last year. At the recent AILA Manila chapter conference, a USCIS official said that he expected more than 200,000 H-1B cap-subject filings. There were 172,500 cap-subject H-1Bs in 2014 (FY 2015). -Last year it was mid-May before most H-1B lottery winners and losers found out about the outcome of their lottery selection. Since the volume is expected to be greater in 2015, it may not be until June until lottery winners and losers know their...

HISTORICAL H-1B USAGE

This year’s H-1B filing date of April 1, 2015 is coming fast. MU Law predicts that the USCIS may see 200,000 H-1Bs filed this year, more than double the Congressional cap of 85,000. When the USCIS receives more H-1B petitions than slots available it holds an “H-1B lottery”. Last year, the USCIS held an H-1B lottery because it received over twice as many H-1B petitions as slots available.. If you are considering filing an H-1B cap-subject petition, MU Law urges you to begin that process now. Many healthcare professions ordinarily qualify for H-1B status, including Physical Therapists,Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, and some Registered Nursing positions. International workers who are working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as “H-1B transfer” cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year. Employees that need a “cap-subject” H-1B include: * International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school * International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case * Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1 * H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization * Prospective international employees currently living abroad Past H-1B Demand: Year: H-1B Cap Numbers: Date H-1B Cap Reached: H-1B 2003 (FY 2004) 65,000 October 1, 2003 H-1B 2004 (FY 2005) 65,000 October 1, 2004 H-1B 2005 (FY 2006) 85,000 August 10, 2005 H-1B 2006 (FY 2007) 85,000 May 26, 2006 H-1B 2007 (FY 2008) 85,000 April 3, 2007 H-1B 2008 (FY 2009) 85,000 April 7, 2008 H-1B 2009 (FY 2010) 85,000 December 21, 2009 H-1B 2010 (FY 2011) 85,000 January 25, 2011 H-1B 2011 (FY 2012) 85,000 November 22, 2011 H-1B 2012 (FY 2013) 85,000 June 11, 2012 H-1B 2013 (FY 2014) 85,000 April 5, 2013 H-1B 2014 (FY 2015) 85,000 April 1, 2014 H-1B 2015 (FY 2016) 85,000 April 1, 2015...