Immigration News

USCIS Issues Guidance on When to File an H-1B Amendment

Posted by on May 22, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

On April 9, 2015, USCIS’ Administrative Appeal Office (AAO) issued a precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, which held that employers must file an H-1B Amendment when a new Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA) is required due to a change in the H-1B worker’s worksite location. Specifically, the decision stated: When H-1B employees change their place of employment to a worksite location that requires employers to certify a new Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers (LCA) to the Department...

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No Quota or Filing Deadline Imposed on H-4 EAD Benefit

Posted by on May 20, 2015 in Employment Authorization, H-4, News | 0 comments

As reported in our last newsletter, the Department of Homeland Security has finalized a regulatory change that will allow certain H4 dependent spouses to apply for employment authorization documents (EADs). The new regulation will go into effect on May 26, 2015 and remain open for applications thereafter. There is no specific time limit nor quota imposed on the H-4 EAD benefit. This is unlike the H1B Cap that the principal spouse may have had experience with. As a summary, for a H4 spouse to be eligible, the principal H1B worker must either...

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USCIS Temporarily Suspends Premium Processing for H-1B Extensions

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

Starting May 26, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B Extension of Stay petitions until July 27, 2015. During this time frame, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting an extension of the stay for an H-1B nonimmigrant.  USCIS will continue to premium process H-1B Extension of Stay petitions filed with Form I-907 premium requests prior to May 26,...

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June 2015 Visa Bulletin – EB-2 China/India Move Forward

Posted by on May 19, 2015 in News, Visa Bulletin | 0 comments

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released its June 2015 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets forth per country priority dates that regulate the ability of an individual to file an adjustment of status application or consular process at a U.S. Embassy. The big news is that EB-2 India moved forward October 1, 2008 and EB-2 China moved forward to June 1, 2013.  Foreign nationals can file an adjustment of status application if their priority dates are prior to the cutoff dates specified by the DOS in...

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USCIS Completes Data Entry for all H-1B Cap Cases

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

USCIS announced on May 4, 2015, that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2016 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the computer-generated random process. USCIS will now begin returning all H-1B cap- subject petitions that were not selected. They will issue an announcement once all the petitions have been returned. From what we’ve seen, USCIS has emailed all premium processing receipt notices to employers and/or their attorneys, and our office is rapidly receving approvals on these cases on a daily basis. In addition, we...

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Summary of Ombudsman Call on H-1B Amendments for Work Location Changes

Posted by on May 10, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

In our last newsletter, we wrote about a recent precedent AAO Decision “Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC” that requires employers to file H-1B amendments for all worker location changes. This week, the USCIS Ombudsman held a call to explain USCIS implementation of the AAO decision. The following is a summary. According to a 2003 Hernandez memo, a work location change was not considered a ‘material change,’ and thus filing an H-1B amendment with the USCIS was not necessary. Employers only had to file a Labor Condition Application with...

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AAO: H-1B Amendment Required for Location Changes

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

Earlier this month, the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a precedent decision that once again highlights the importance of diligent compliance and maintenance of relevant immigrant documents, especially for IT staffing companies who routinely move workers in H-1B status to different worksites. In Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, the AAO held that a post-issuance change of physical place of employment for an H1B visa beneficiary can constitute a material change in...

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May 2015 Visa Bulletin

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in News, Visa Bulletin | 0 comments

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) released its May 2015 Visa Bulletin. The Visa Bulletin sets forth per country priority dates that regulate the ability of an individual to file an adjustment of status application or consular process at a U.S. Embassy. The big news is that EB-2 India moved forward April 15, 2008. Foreign nationals can file an adjustment of status application if their priority dates are prior to the cutoff dates specified by the DOS in the Visa Bulletin. Visa availability and cutoff dates are determined on a monthly...

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H-1B Cap Premium Processing to Begin April 27, 2015

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in H1B Visas, News | 0 comments

On April 27, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. USCIS first announced in a news release that it would temporarily adjust its premium processing practice due to the historic premium processing receipt levels, combined with the possibility that the H-1B cap will be met in the first 5 business days of the filing season. USCIS provides...

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USCIS Reaches FY2016 H-1B Cap

Posted by on Apr 7, 2015 in H1B Visas | 0 comments

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption. USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will first randomly select petitions for the advanced degree...

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