Tag Archives: H-1B

ILN Today Post

Wage Obligations of H-1B Visa Sponsors

The Immigration and Nationality Act permits certain nonimmigrants to work in specialty occupations temporarily on H-1B visas. To support an H-1B visa application, a U.S. employer must file a Labor Condition Application. The regulations at 20 C.F.R. § 655.731 contain detailed requirements concerning the wages to be paid to H-1B nonimmigrants, and 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c) particularly focuses on circumstances where an employer is required to pay H-1B employees even where they are in a nonproductive status. If an H-1B employee is in nonproductive status due to a decision by the employer, the employer is required to pay the employee’s salary. 20 C.F.R. § 655.73l(c)(7)(i).

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Premium Processing Reinstated for FY 2018 Cap H-1B Petitions

As of September 18, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing service for H-1B petitions filed as part of the Fiscal Year 2018 cap quota, which includes 65,000 regular H-1B filings and 20,000 additional petitions for candidates holding a U.S. Master’s degree. Premium processing is not resumed for other types of H-1B filings, such as normal-course H-1B Extension of Status or Amendment filings. The H-1B nonimmigrant category allows for the U.S. employment of skilled workers in specialty occupations, such as information technology, academic research, and accounting, and requires candidates to hold a minimum of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent.

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Trump Administration’s April 18, 2017 Executive Order on the H-1B Process

On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, the Trump Administration signed an Executive Order (“EO”) titled, Buy American and Hire American.  The EO directs the US Departments of Labor, Justice, State, and Homeland Security to look into ways to reform the current H-1B process used by companies, but in particular, the hi-tech industry, to prevent fraud and abuse. Nothing in this EO’s wording changes or limits the current H-1B visa program.  Any future EO that tries to drastically change the current H-1B program will be met with industry opposition and legal action since much of the current H-1B program is statutory or defined by regulation.  Only Congress can change the laws, and any regulatory changes must first require legal vetting through proper notice and commentary procedures required by the Administrative Procedure Act.

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April 2013 Immigration Alert

For the benefit of our readers, we have excerpted two issues from our April 2013 Immigration Alert of relevance for employers in the financial services industry:

USCIS Reports That H-1B Cap Is Reached in First Week

On April 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had received sufficient H-1B petitions to reach the annual quota for fiscal 2014.  As most H-1B employers know, the quota is 65,000 for regular H-1B petitions, plus another 20,000 for H-1B petitions filed for foreign nationals (“FNs”) who have obtained a master’s (or higher) degree from an accredited American university. According to the USCIS, it received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the initial, one-week filing period.  The USCIS then used a computer-generated random selection process (“lottery”) to choose a sufficient number of petitions necessary to reach the applicable caps.  The USCIS will issue receipts for those cases and then proceed to adjudicate them.  In addition, the USCIS will return those petitions not selected by the lottery.

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Special Immigration Alert: USCIS Announces H-1B Cap Lottery

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced today that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (“FY”) 2014. USCIS also announced that it had received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. As a result, USCIS will not accept any more new H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree exemption.

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Special Immigration Alert: H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2013

On June 12, 2012, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it had received a sufficient number of new H-1B petitions on June 11, 2012, to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2013 (October 1, 2012, through September 30, 2013). Under these circumstances, the USCIS indicated that June 11, 2012, was the final receipt date for new H-1B petitions requesting an employment start date in fiscal year 2013, and that the final receipt date would be the date on which it physically received the petition, not the date on which the petition was postmarked. The USCIS notice also stated that the agency will reject any cap-subject H-1B petitions that arrive after June 11, 2012, and return them with the accompanying fee.

USCIS will begin to accept new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2014 (October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2014) on April, 2013.

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Immigration Alert: April 2012

H-1B Nonimmigrant Application Season Opens for Fiscal Year 2013

DOS Confirms China/India EB-2 Regression

Colorado Grand Jury Indicts Long-Term Care Facility Operators on Immigration-Related Charges

USCIS Proposes Revised Form I-9

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Special Immigration Alert: New H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Season Starts April 2, 2012

Remember that all new H-1B petitions must be filed on March 30, 2012, to ensure that they are counted toward the 2013 H-1B cap.

The annual H-1B season has arrived! The federal government is authorized by statute to approve only 65,000 new H-1B visas each fiscal year, plus an additional 20,000 H-1B visas set aside for applicants who have master’s degrees from accredited American universities. The federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1, but the governing regulations permit employers to apply for new H-1B non-immigrant visas up to six months in advance. Hence, the filing date is March 30, 2012.

For the past three years, the H-1B cap has not been met on the first day. Prior to that, the government received substantially more H-1B petitions than the quota allowed and conducted a “lottery” to determine the cases selected. The format for this lottery has varied and has not been announced for this year. Generally, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) logs new H-1B petitions according to the date on which they arrive. When the projected volume exceeds the quota, USCIS conducts a random lottery for all H-1B petitions properly filed on the date the quota was reached.

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Special Immigration Alert: New H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Season Starts April 1, 2011

Remember that all new H-1B petitions must be filed on March 31, 2011, to ensure that they are counted toward the 2012 H-1B cap.

The annual H-1B season has arrived! The federal government is authorized by statute to approve only 65,000 new H-1B visas each fiscal year, plus an additional 20,000 H-1B visas set aside for applicants who have master’s degrees from accredited American universities. The federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1, but the governing regulations permit employers to apply for new H-1B non-immigrant visas up to six months in advance. Hence, the filing date is March 31, 2011.

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