Impact of New Americans (2015) - Oregon, Pennsylvania & Rhode Islland

February 12, 2016

Immigration Policy Center Releases Updated State-by-State Fact Sheets (2015)

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall), for a total of fifty-two updated fact sheets with accompanying info graphics and other details. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants, Asians and Latinos in each state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy division of the American Immigration Council (AIC).

As Washington D.C. continues the discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this IPC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; Oregon, Pennsylvania & Rhode Islland.

The IPC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

To view the state-by-state fact sheets click on the links below:

Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Islland


Source of Information:
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Interactive Map (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), List (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States

H-2B Cap Count UPDATE – 2/9/16

February 11, 2016

The H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary non-agricultural jobs. There is a cap limit of 33,000 for the first half of the fiscal year and 33,000 for the second half for a total of 66,000 per year. If the cap is not reached during the first half of the fiscal year, the extra numbers are then made available for the second half.

The H-2B cap limit for first half of FY 2016 (October 1 - March 31) is 33,000. As of the last count (2/9/16); 19,655 beneficiaries have been approved and 12,293 are pending for a total of 31,948.

The H-2B cap limit for second half of FY 2016 (April 1 - September 30) is 33,000*. As of the last count (2/9/16); 0 beneficiaries have been approved and 0 are pending for a total of 0.

For further details read, “Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants


*If the first half of the cap is not reached, these numbers will be made available for the second half.


Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 2/9/16, Web Page: Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants

Related Link:
USCIS.gov, 2/5/16, Web Page: H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers

Visa Bulletin - March 2016

February 10, 2016

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.
Click here to view the March 2016 Visa Bulletin

The monthly Visa Bulletin has changed. The bulletin now summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during the reported month for: “Application Final Action Dates” (consistent with prior Visa Bulletins) and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center using Consular Processing (outside of the US) or file on their own with USCIS Form I-485 (within the US).

Application Final Action Dates (consistent with prior Visa Bulletins)
The “Application Final Action Dates” chart, as provided in the March 2016 Visa Bulletin shows the EB2 date for nationals from India moved from 8/1/08 to 10/15/08; the EB3 date for nationals from India moved from 6/15/04 to 7/15/04; the EB2 date for Chinese Nationals moved from 3/1/12 to 8/1/12; the EB3 date for Chinese Nationals moved from 10/1/12 to 6/1/13; and the EB3 date for the WW category moved from 10/1/15 to 1/1/16; and the F2A category moved from 9/1/14 to 9/22/14, except Mexico which moved from 6/8/14 to 6/15/14. The F2A category is reserved exclusively for Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of green card holders (LPRs). Please understand the Immigrant Visas are authorized for issuance ONLY for applicants whose priority date is EARLIER than the cut-off date listed in the chart.

Dates for Filing Applications
The “Dates for Filing Applications” chart, as provided in the March 2016 Visa Bulletin shows the EB2 date for nationals from India at 7/1/09; the EB3 date for nationals from India at 7/1/05; the EB2 date for Chinese Nationals at 1/1/13; the EB3 date for Chinese Nationals at 5/1/15; and EB3 date for the WW category is now CURRENT; and all of the F2A category at 6/15/15. Please understand that the listing of a date for any category indicates that ONLY applicants with a priority date which is EARLIER than the listed date may FILE their application.

*”All Chargeability Areas except Those Listed”, includes all other countries except: China, India, Mexico and Philippines.

Important Reminder - H1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Cap Season opens April 1st

February 9, 2016

USCIS will begin accepting H1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2017 cap on April 1, 2016.

Don't forget, MVP Law Group has been accepting cap-subject H1B cases since the beginning of February 2016. Although FY 2017 cap-subject cases cannot be filed before April 1st, there is work to be done preparing a good case for filing. All of this work must be done in advance, so that the H1B petition package can be filed as early as permitted under the law. By beginning early, it is possible to avoid some of the rush and panic that inevitably sets in right before April 1st and lasts until the cap is reached. With the U.S. economy improved and the history of the H1B cap, this could prove to be a short filing season. Contact MVP Law Group and let's get started!

Note: The H-1B cap for FY2016 was reached by April 7, 2015!


Source of Information:
USCIS.gov, 4/7/15, News Release:
USCIS Reaches FY 2016 H-1B Cap

Related Link:
USCIS.gov, 5/4/15, Web Page:
H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Cap Season

BALCA Panel Disagrees with Credit Suisse Holding on Ad Requirements

February 8, 2016

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Financial Programmer Analyst.”

Upon reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit Notification and required the Employer to submit further documentation.

After looking through the documents, the CO denied the Labor Certification because he believed the Employer violated PERM regulation 20 CFR 656.17(f) (6). The CO stated the Employer’s advertisement posted on a job search website listed a travel requirement not listed on the Employer’s ETA Form 9089.

The Employer requested reconsideration. In its request, they argued that the requirements in the PERM regulation do not apply to additional recruitment steps; they apply only to advertisements placed in newspapers and professional journals. The Employer quoted the regulation’s Preamble which states “additional recruitment steps need only advertise the occupation involved in the application and not the specific job opportunity.” In addition, the Employer claimed the web advertisement was for multiple open positions and contained the word “may”, so the particular position in question may or may not have had a travel requirement.

Upon reconsideration of the employer’s arguments, the CO confirmed his denial of the labor certification. The CO forwarded the case to BALCA. In his statement of position, the CO referred to the Employer’s lack of clarity in the advertisements. He believed the term “may require travel” could deter US workers from applying for this position.

After BALCA’s examination of the case, the administrative judge reversed the CO’s decision. Section 656.17(f) applies only to “advertisements placed in newspapers of general circulation or in professional journals”. Advertisements placed to satisfy the additional recruitment steps, including advertisements placed on a job search website, do not fall within these two enumerated categories of advertisements. The Board stated that if the ETA did in fact intend Section 656.17(f) to apply to additional recruitment steps, it could amend the regulations to expressly state so. In conclusion, the board held that based on the plain language of the regulations, combined with the regulatory history, the advertising content requirements of section 656.17(f) DO NOT apply to the additional recruitment steps found in Section 656.17(e)(1)(ii). Accordingly, the case was returned to the CO with an order to grant certification.

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

February 5, 2016

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.


Question #1 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If my employer has received an RFE for my H-1B case, does this mean my case will not be approved?

Answer #1
No. An RFE is a Request for Additional evidence, which seeks further documentation/information from the Petitioner and/or the Beneficiary. An RFE is issued because the Adjudicating Officer cannot make a final determination whether to approve or deny based upon the initial filing. The Officer needs more information concerning a certain issue or several issues in order to ultimately approve or deny the case.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration
What is the difference between an EB-2 and an EB-3 classification for a Green Card?

Answer #2
The EB-2 preference classification is open to 3 types of foreign nationals: (1) Exceptional Ability in the Sciences, Arts or Business; (2) Advanced Degree Professionals; (3) Qualified Alien Physicians who will practice medicine in an area of the U.S., which is underserved.
The EB-3 classification includes aliens with at least two years of experience as skilled workers; professionals with a baccalaureate degree; and other workers with less skills who can contribute abilities unavailable in the U.S. Skilled workers should have at least two years’ experience, either through hands-on experience or through post-secondary education. Professionals should have either a U.S. bachelor's degree or a foreign equivalent degree.


Question #3 – General
What is the Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) system?

Answer #3
According to the USCIS website:
The Web-based Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises (VIBE) is a tool designed to enhance USCIS’s adjudications of certain employment-based immigration petitions. VIBE uses commercially available data from an independent information provider (IIP) to validate basic information about companies or organizations petitioning to employ certain alien workers.
Currently, Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) is the independent information provider for the VIBE program.


Question #4 – DACA
How do you file for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals?

Answer #4
You prepare and submit Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-765WS, along with supporting documentation to the appropriate USCIS lockbox facility.

*You should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney if you believe you are eligible.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration
I’m an 18 year old US citizen and want to file a Green card application for my husband who is 32 years old. Am I old enough to do this?

Answer #5
Yes.


Question #6 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
If someone is in the US on a H4 Visa, and his H1 gets approved, how many days can he wait before starting his new job?

Answer #6
It depends upon what Form I-797, the Approval Notice provides. If the starting date of employment is not until October 1, 2016 for instance, then the applicant will remain in H4 status until September 30, 2016, and may begin working as an H-1B nonimmigrant only on October 1, 2016.

Pay attention to what Form I-797, the Approval notice provides. An individual may start working on the date as provided on the approval notice, or any date thereafter.


Question #7 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am an employer. When should we begin to prepare our H-1B CAP subject cases? Once prepared, can we submit them prior to April to ensure our petitions are accepted?

Answer #7
MVP Law Group has already begun accepting and working on H1B cap-subject cases. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H1B cap-subject filings for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) on Friday, April 1, 2016. We are advising employers and individuals who are in need of H1B cap-subject filings that it is time to start preparing for the H1B cap.

The H1B CAP filings may be filed as of April 1, 2016, NOT BEFORE. It is vital to file on the first day. Last year, FY16, the H-1B CAP was reached within the first week, by April 7, 2015.


Question #8 – General
Right now, I am in the US on a B1 Visa. Can I apply for an L1 visa after using the B1 visa? Is there a waiting period before applying?

Answer #8
A B1 visa is a visitor/business/tourism visa, which allows you to enter the U.S. for a specific period of time with the intent to return to your residence abroad, and which does not allow you to work. An L1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant work visa, which allows you to enter the U.S. to work for a specific period of time with the intent to return to your residence abroad at the end of the specific time period.

*You should speak with a qualified Immigration Attorney about your situation.


Question #9 – H1B Nonimmigrant Visa
In a few months, I will be starting work in the US with an H-1Visa. Does my spouse need to accompany me to the US right away? She wanted to stay in our home country for a few months. My wife has an approved H-4 Visa.

Answer #9
No.


Question #10 – TN Visa
I am a Canadian citizen and wanted to work as a dentist in the US. Do I qualify for a TN Visa under the NAFTA regulations?

Answer #10
The position of Dentist is listed in Appendix 1603 of the NAFTA regulations. In order to be eligible, you would need the following: (i) present job offer from a U.S. employer; and proof that you have the following qualifications (ii) D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, February 19, 2016!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our H1B Visa Lawyer blog!

Impact of New Americans (2015) - North Dakota, Ohio & Oklahoma

February 4, 2016

Immigration Policy Center Releases Updated State-by-State Fact Sheets (2015)

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall), for a total of fifty-two updated fact sheets with accompanying info graphics and other details. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants, Asians and Latinos in each state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy division of the American Immigration Council (AIC).

As Washington D.C. continues the discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this IPC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; North Dakota, Ohio & Oklahoma.

The IPC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

To view the state-by-state fact sheets click on the links below:

North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma


Source of Information:
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Interactive Map (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), List (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States

BALCA Reverses PERM Denial for Senior Financial Analyst

February 3, 2016

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Financial Analyst-Senior”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. Specifically, he requested information on US Workers that had been recently laid off. The Employer presented its response in a timely manner. Upon review of the information, the CO denied certification. He stated the Employer turned down a qualified U.S. worker. The CO believed there was at least one fitting candidate for the job opening. One of the laid off workers had been a Financial Analyst Senior and possessed a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with experience in business applications.

The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial, the CO denied reconsideration of the case and the case was forwarded to BALCA. The CO noted that the Employer wrote in the Request for Reconsideration that “the most critical skill for the position is advanced programming skills.” Yet, that qualification was not listed on ETA Form 9089.

After BALCA’s examination of the case, they reversed the CO’s decision. Form 9089 requested specific experience using SQL, Online Analytical Processing, MS Query and Excel, SAS on Unix, SAS on Windows and SAS/Graph, and use of an HTML interface, etc. The laid off worker did not have experience with any of the programs listed on the ETA Form except for Microsoft Excel. The Employer did evaluate the laid off US workers education and experience against the position’s minimum qualifications. The Board found the applicant lacked the computer experience and skills required for the position. The Employer rejected the US worker for lawful job related reasons. The case was sent back to the CO to grant labor certification.

Upcoming Congressional Hearings on Immigration – February 2016

February 2, 2016

Senate:

February 2, 2016

Committee: U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Title: The Failures and Future of the EB-5 Regional Center Program: Can it be Fixed?
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Committee: U.S. Senate Committee on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Title: Canada's Fast-Track Refugee Plan: Unanswered Questions and Implications for U.S. National Security
Time: 10:00 am
Place: SD-342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Committee: U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs
Title: Frontline Response to Terrorism in America
Time: 10:15 am
Place: SD-342 Dirksen Senate Office Building


House:

February 3, 2016

Committee: U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security
Title: Crisis of Confidence: Preventing Terrorist Infiltration through U.S. Refugee and Visa Programs
Time: 10:00 am
Place: 311 Cannon House Office Building


February 4, 2016

Committee: U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security
Title: Another Surge of Illegal Immigrants Along the Southwest Border: Is this the Obama administration's new normal?
Time: 9:00 am
Place: 2141 Rayburn House Office Building


Source of Information:

AILA Doc No. 15031600 | Dated January 29, 2016:
Upcoming Congressional Hearings on Immigration

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

February 1, 2016

We wanted to find a new way to engage our reader base. Every other Friday, we will post the ten (10) best/most frequently asked questions received during the week from our h1bvisalawyerblog, Facebook, and Twitter readers. We will answer those questions and provide the Q&A on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

If you have a burning question, are seeking assistance with a difficult immigration related case, wish to discuss your views on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., please contact us by submitting your question/comment/viewpoint in our comment box provided on our H-1B Visa Lawyer Blog.

Our next “Q & A Forum” will take place this Friday, February 5, 2016. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

MVP Law Group, P.A. makes available the information and materials in this forum for informational purposes only. The information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice or any contractual obligations. Further, the use of this site, and the sending or receipt of this information, does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

BALCA Discusses Factors for “Professional or Trade Organizations”

January 29, 2016

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Account Manager.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. It required the Employer to present all of its recruitment materials. The Employer responded with the documentation requested.

The CO denied the application based on PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17 (e) (1) (ii) (E). He stated “the employer failed to provide adequate documentation of the additional recruitment steps for professional occupations.” The Employer placed the ad for the Account Manager position on the website Dice.com, which the Employer argued was a trade or professional organization. The CO maintained that this website did not qualify as a trade or professional organization.

After denial, the Employer requested review of the case. The Employer believed the U.S. Department of Labor had inappropriately concluded Dice.com did not meet the requirements of a trade or professional organization. The Employer argued Dice.com was the same as other well- known trade or professional organizations such as Computer World and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In addition, the employer supplied as additional evidence a statement from Dice.com’s Sales Manager as well as on-line articles from Wikipedia.org about trade and professional organizations.

The CO forwarded the case to BALCA arguing that Dice.com was only an IT career website, and not a trade or professional organization.

Upon review, BALCA affirmed the denial. They came to the conclusion based upon the evidence provided that Dice.com was not a trade or professional organization. BALCA cited that its name as well as the content of its website did not compare to other trade and professional organizations in the IT industry. As a result, the Board found that the Employer “failed to conduct the three additional recruitment steps required by PERM regulation 20CFR 656.17 (e) (1).”

Impact of New Americans (2015) - New Mexico, New York & North Carolina

January 28, 2016

Immigration Policy Center Releases Updated State-by-State Fact Sheets (2015)

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) has released all fifty states, the District of Columbia and the United States (Overall), for a total of fifty-two updated fact sheets with accompanying info graphics and other details. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants, Asians and Latinos in each state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy division of the American Immigration Council (AIC).

As Washington D.C. continues the discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this IPC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; New Mexico, New York & North Carolina.

The IPC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants, Latinos and Asians are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. With the nation working towards economic recovery, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

To view the state-by-state fact sheets click on the links below:

New Mexico
New York
North Carolina


Source of Information:
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), Interactive Map (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians State by State

The Immigration Policy Center (IPC), List (fact sheets):
The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States