News

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

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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...

read more

HISTORICAL H-1B USAGE

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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...

read more

APRIL 2015 VISA BULLETIN

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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...

read more

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

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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. The applications will be processed using the photos submitted with the application. 10. The panel could not answer the question of whether the applicant has to be in the US in order to file the application or remain in the US to have it processed. This will be answered in the FAQ. 11. The validity period of the EAD card will match the validity period of the H-4 visa holder’s H-4 visa status. 12. The EAD does not replace the H-4 status. The applicant will be required to maintain H-4 status once the EAD is approved. 13. The panel could not answer the question of what will happen to the EAD if an H-4 is issued an EAD card and then the principal H-1B holder changes jobs and the prior employer’s I-140 is revoked. This will be addressed in the FAQ. One of the options for approving the I-765 is that the applicant’s spouse has a valid I-140. If the I-140 is revoked after the EAD card is issued, the question arises about what happens to the validity of the EAD card issued based on...

read more

H-4 EAD FAQ

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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 assist in the process. If you would like MU Law to help, please contact...

read more

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

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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...

read more

NY Times Article Outlines Increased Demand for Occupational Therapists in Schools

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in News | Comments Off on 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...

read more

EAD Eligibility for Certain H-4 Holders

Posted by on Feb 25, 2015 in News | Comments Off on EAD Eligibility for Certain H-4 Holders

Update: EAD Eligibility for Certain H-4 HoldersToday, the DHS has published the final rule (regulation) allowing certain H-4 holders to apply for an EAD card. Not all H-4 holders will be eligible for an EAD. Eligibility is limited to circumstances wherein the H-4 holder’s spouse has an approved I-140 or has already been approved for a 7th year extension under the AC21 rules. The rule goes into effect on May 26, 2015. Applications may not be filed early. This new rule may impact H-1b cap filings as some persons holding H-4 visas may now not require an H-1b cap case. Please review these cases carefully with your attorney to insure...

read more

MU Law Blog on Nurse and Allied Healthcare Immigration Predicting the Visa Bulletin for 2015

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in News | Comments Off on MU Law Blog on Nurse and Allied Healthcare Immigration Predicting the Visa Bulletin for 2015

PREDICTING THE VISA BULLETIN FOR 2015 Posted: 15 Feb 2015 09:42 AM PST AILA regularly checks in with Charlie Oppenheim, who is the Department of State’s guru on Visa Bulletin numbers. Their most recentCheck In with Charlie contains projections for 2015. Here are his projections for several major visa categories. India EB-2. This category had stagnated for a long time until the recent March 2015 Visa Bulletin that progressed the date by 16 months, to January 2007. Charlie expects that India EB-2 will continue to progress at a very steady rate in the upcoming months. Philippines EB-3. Demand for Philippine EB-3 remains lower than expected, which is good news for those in this category. He does not see the demand on the horizon, which leads to his projection that Philippine EB-3 should run parallel to Worldwide EB-3. He cautions that if the nursing demand returns, a correction may be required for this category. Worldwide EB-3. The Worldwide EB-3 has advanced in the past few months in order to spur demand. If the demand continues to stay soft, the progressions will continue. If the demand picks up, the Worldwide EB-3 number will slow down. China EB-2 and EB-3. Low demand for Chinese family-based visas has buoyed the China EB-2 and EB-3 categories. The EB-2 continues to run behind the EB-3 category, although the gap between the two appears to be...

read more

MU Law Blog on Nurse and Allied Healthcare Immigration March 2015 Visa Bulletin

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in News | Comments Off on MU Law Blog on Nurse and Allied Healthcare Immigration March 2015 Visa Bulletin

MARCH 2015 VISA BULLETIN Posted: 11 Feb 2015 06:45 AM PST The Department of State has just released the March 2015 Visa Bulletin. This is the sixth Visa Bulletin of the 2015 US Fiscal Year, which began October 1, 2014. This is one of the most favorable Visa Bulletins in years and likely reflects the decreased demand for US visas during the recession. 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 June 2014, which is the closest to current they have been in many years. India EB-2 had a jump in dates as well. It moved to January 2007, representing a 2 year increase int he last two months. Even India EB-3 reached a milestone, progressing into 2004. The Chinese EB-2 and EB-3 number continued to move inconsistently. China EB-3 remains ahead of China EB-2 which has been the case for much of the last two...

read more