Posted On: December 25, 2009

Season's Greetings from the MVP Law Group!

On behalf of the staff of the MVP Law Group, we would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!

Posted On: December 24, 2009

Alternatives to the H-1B Visa for Individuals who did not make the H-1B Quota

Now that all of the new H-1B visas for the 2010 Fiscal Year have been allocated, What options do Employers who are looking to hire Foreign National Professionals have?

Here are some creative solutions to this problem:

O-1 Visa
The O-1 visa is suited for individuals of extraordinary ability or achievement. The O classification is a useful and flexible alternative to the H-1B program because there is no overall limit on time in the classification and there is no cap. O-1 beneficiaries in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics must have extraordinary ability “demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim.”

E-3 Visa
The E-3 visa classification is limited to Australian Professionals. The E-3 visa is a “specialty occupation” visa similar to the H-1B visa. Therefore to be eligible for the visa, the Australian citizen must possess a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) in the specialty and the specialty occupation must require the degree. There is a 10,500 annual limit on the E-3 visa.

L-1 Visa
The L-1 visa is an option for international organizations with offices in the United States who transfer employees to the United States for temporary periods of time. In order to be eligible for an L-1 visa, the petitioning entity must prove that the beneficiary of the visa has worked for the non-U.S. based sister company/subsidiary for at least one full year within the last three years as an executive, manager or employee with specialized knowledge.

Contact MVP Law Group for more information!

Posted On: December 23, 2009

UPDATED - FY2010 H-1B CAP REACHED

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has received sufficient H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for FY2010.

New H-1B Petitions filed after December 21, 2009 seeking an employment start date in FY2010 will be rejected by USCIS. Furthermore, the Service will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that were eligible and received on December 21, 2009.

Stay posted for H-1B filing specials for the FY2011 H-1B CAP!

Posted On: December 22, 2009

SPECIAL – Naturalization/Citizenship - Valid Until 12/31/2009

$950 flat fee (no admin fee) for filing Form N-400 + One Hour of Individualized Review

*Additional $750.00 for Attorney to Attend Naturalization Interview

Our normal legal fees are $1000 + $150(admin fee) per application

Contact our office to apply for Naturalization/Citizenship


The required documents for applying for Naturalization are as follows:
1. Copy of Permanent Residence Card
2. Copy of Spouse/Parent - Certificate of Citizenship/Birth Certificate (if applicable)
3. Copy of complete passports, visa and I-94 card
4. Marriage certificate (if applicable)
5. Divorce decree or death certificate (if applicable)
6. Children’s Certificate of Citizenship (if applicable)
7. Two (2) colored passport style photographs for each applicant
8. Certified copies of federal income tax forms that you filed for the past five years
9. Application fee in the amount of $675.00 (Check made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security- DO NOT ABBREVIATE)


DETAILS OF SPECIAL OFFER:

At MVP Law Group, we offer high quality legal services at cost efficient rates with an individualized hands-on approach for each and every client. Contact our office for your Naturalization needs. From the onset, you will receive individualized attention from the initial client meeting up until your Naturalization interview. We will discuss with you the advantages of U.S. Citizenship, the process and time frame for applying; provide you with study materials and when you’re ready, devote an hour of personal attention to help you prepare for your Naturalization interview.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Question: What are some of the benefits of U.S. citizenship?
Answer: There are certain benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen, such as higher estate tax exemptions, federal job benefits, greater freedom of travel to other countries and most importantly, the right to vote. In addition there are certain federal grants and scholarships available only to U.S. citizens.

Question: What are the continuous residence and physical presence requirements for Naturalization?
Answer: The law generally requires that applicants for naturalization must have resided continuously in the United States during a period of 5 years before applying (3 years in the case of qualified spouses of U.S. citizens). Applicants are also generally required to have been physically present in the United States for at least half of that required period of time.

Question: What is the procedure for applying for Naturalization?
Answer: Once you have completed and submitted your Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, and you have had your fingerprints taken at a USCIS facility, you will receive an appointment for an interview. At your naturalization interview, you will be required to answer questions about your application and background. You will also take an English and civics test unless you qualify for an exemption or waiver.

Question: What is the purpose of the Naturalization test?
Answer: The purpose of the test is to demonstrate that you are able to read, write, and speak basic English and that you have a basic knowledge of U.S. history and government (also known as “civics”).

*Frequently Asked Questions were summarized from the USCIS.GOV website.

CONTACT MVP LAW GROUP, P.A. for more information!

Posted On: December 18, 2009

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2010 CAP COUNT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of December 15, 2009, 64,200 H-1B cap subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Stay posted for future FY2010 H-1B Cap updates AND H-1B filing specials for H-1B FY2011 CAP!

Posted On: December 17, 2009

Updated Service Center Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on December 16, 2009 with processing dates as of October 31, 2009.

If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

California Service Center
National Benefits Center
Nebraska Service Center
Texas Service Center
Vermont Service Center

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS. (1-800-375-5283)
If you are a client of the MVP Law Group and would like our assistance, please contact our office.

Posted On: December 15, 2009

SPECIAL – EAD and Advance Parole Renewal - Valid until 12/31/2009

$450 flat fee (no admin fee) for filing both EAD and Advance Parole per applicant

$200 + $50(admin fee) if filing either EAD or Advance Parole separately

Our normal legal fees are $250 + $50(admin fee) per application

**If an RFE is received, an additional legal fee will be required to respond**


Contact our office to process your EAD and Advance Parole Renewal!


The required documents for filing an EAD renewal are as follows:
1. copy of current EAD card (front and back)
2. copy of I-485 receipt notice
3. copy of I-765 approval notices
4. two (2) colored passport style photographs for each applicant
5. application fee $340 each (Check made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security- DO NOT ABBREVIATE)

The required documents for filing an AP renewal are as follows:
1. copy of current Advance Parole approval
2. copy of current status for each applicant; (For example, if on H1B, a copy of current H1B approval notice, etc.)
3. copy of I-485 receipt notice
4. two (2) colored passport style photographs for each applicant
5. application fee $305 (Check made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security – DO NOT ABBREVIATE)


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Question: How soon can I renew my EAD and Advance Parole (AP)?
Answer: You can file the renewal 120 days prior to the expiration date. However, AP applicants are advised to reapply within 30 days or less remaining on their current I-131 document.

Question: I have a valid H-1B. Do I need to renew EAD and AP?
Answer: No. You do not have to renew your EAD or AP. According to the new USCIS guidance issued last November, People on L1 or H-1B status can travel without AP. However, it is advisable to renew the EAD and AP as a precautionary measure if you plan to travel. For instance, if you travel outside the U.S. and you are not allowed back into the U.S. by customs on H-1B for any given reason, you can always come back in with AP and ensure that your adjustment of status proceeding continues.

Question: My spouse has H4 and is currently not working; do I need to renew EAD? Can I renew later when I need it?
Answer: You do not need to renew EAD. You can reapply for EAD anytime while your I-485 is pending.

Question: How long does it take to get a new EAD and AP?
Answer: Current processing times can be viewed on the USCIS website.

Question: My H-1B is expiring, should I extend H-1B or be on EAD?
Answer: You can work on EAD while your adjustment of status application (I-485) is pending. However, in the unforeseen event that your adjustment of status application is denied by the USCIS, you would fall out of status. Therefore, it is a good idea to maintain H-1B status as long as you can. However, this is decision that you have to make.

Question: Can I renew AP while I am outside the U.S.?
Answer: No

Question: What happens if my EAD expires and I’m still waiting for an approval of 485 while I am working?
Answer: If not on valid H-1B/L status, you cannot work until you get an approval.

Question: If I am currently on O1 status, and would like to travel, should I apply for AP and EAD, or just AP?
Answer: If you are on a nonimmigrant status other than H-1B, H-4, L-1, or L-2, you should obtain an AP, but EAD is not needed. Problems could occur while traveling, especially when attempting to reenter the U.S. Therefore, it is recommended that if you are not on H-1B/L status, that you should obtain both an EAD and AP if you wish to travel outside the U.S. while your I-485 is pending.

Question: What is the validity period for the EAD card?
Answer: As of June 30, 2008, USCIS will issue EAD valid for two years for individuals who qualify. The new two-year EAD is only available to individuals who have filed Adjustment of status I-485 and are unable to become a lawful permanent resident because an immigrant visa number is not currently available.

Posted On: December 14, 2009

UPDATE: H-1B FY2010 CAP COUNT

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of December 10, 2009, 62,500 H-1B cap subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Stay posted for future FY2010 H-1B Cap updates AND H-1B filing specials for H-1B FY2011 CAP!

Posted On: December 11, 2009

January 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

The January 2010 Visa Bulletin still shows employment based third preference (EB-3) visas as oversubscribed while the employment based second preference (EB-2) is current for all areas of chargeability except for China and India.

Click here to view the January 2010 Visa Bulletin.

Posted On: December 10, 2009

H-1B FY2010 CAP Update

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of December 8, 2009, 61,500 H-1B cap subject nonimmigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Stay posted for future FY2010 H-1B Cap updates!

Posted On: December 9, 2009

Updated List: SEVP Approved Schools

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently updated their list of Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) approved schools .

The schools listed have all been certified to participate in the program. The program allows foreign students interested in obtaining an education in the United States to complete a visa petition, pay the required fee, and attend a U.S. College or University. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a web based system called the Student Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) which maintains information on the foreign students accepted into the program. The SEVIS monitors the students for the duration of their approved stay, as required by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996.

Interested Foreign students: There is a process in obtaining a student visa, but it is not a difficult one. The student must first obtain Form I-20 from the U.S. College or University from which he/she intends to enroll, pay the required visa fee (Form I-901) and contact a local U.S. Consulate/Embassy to schedule an interview. At the interview, the student must have Form I-20, proof of payment of Form I-901, financial support documentation, and a completed visa application. The SEVP procedures differ among U.S. Consulates/Embassies; contact your U.S. Consulate/Embassy NOW to determine its particular procedure on applying for a visa before planning for the interview.

Interested Schools: There is a separate process to obtain F & M Certification. Authorized school officials must obtain and complete Form I-17. An overview of the SEVP Certification process can be found on the ICE website . If approved, the school will be certified and allowed to issue Form I-20 to qualifying foreign students.

If you need assistance in or an explanation of the SEVP/SEVIS, please contact our office for a consultation.

Posted On: December 9, 2009

H1N1 Flu Vaccination NOT REQUIRED for entry into U.S.

The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release announcing that there is NO REQUIREMENT that travelers show proof of H1N1 Flu vaccination. No such vaccination requirement exists.

The CBP issued this release as a result of several rumors related to U.S. entry and the H1N1 virus.

The CBP encourages travelers to visit Flu.gov for tips on seasonal flu prevention, and cpb.gov for helpful traveling tips.

Posted On: December 8, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: H-1B FY2010 CAP Update

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap.

As of December 4, 2009, 61,100 H-1B cap subject nonimmigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Normally, a few thousand visas are reserved for professionals from Chile and Singapore; however, a large number of those visas have been made available under the general cap of 65,000.

Stay posted for future FY2010 H-1B Cap updates.

Posted On: December 8, 2009

Federalized Process for Obtaining PWD Requests

Effective January 1, 2010, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center (NPWHC) in Washington, DC, will receive and process prevailing wage determination (PWD) requests for use in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C, H-2B, E-3 (Australia), and permanent labor certification programs.

On December 19, 2008, the Department published a Final Rule addressing the Labor Certification Process and Enforcement for Temporary Employment in Occupations Other Than Agriculture or Registered Nursing in the United States (H-2B Workers), and Other Technical Changes. The Final Rule implemented a federalized process for obtaining PWD requests for use in the H-2B temporary nonagricultural labor certification program directly from the Employment and Training Administration's (ETA) appropriate National Processing Center (NPC)--which was designated as the Chicago NPC.

Furthermore, beginning on January 1, 2010, the Final Rule also federalized PWD for use in the H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile/Singapore), H-1C, E-3 (Australia), and the permanent labor certification programs.

Requestors must submit PWD requests using the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, Form ETA-9141.

Requestors must submit PWD requests to the NPWHC by U.S. Mail or comparable physical delivery service at the following address:
U.S. Department of Labor-ETA, National Prevailing Wage and Helpdesk Center,
Attn: PWD Request:
1341 G Street, NW
Suite 201
Washington, DC 20005-3142

*The DOL is in the process of developing an electronic means for the submission of PWD requests. Until this process is completed, all PWD requests made on and after 1/1/2010 must be submitted via hard copy to the address provided above.

In summary, State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and the Chicago NPC are to Cease Processing PWD Requests Received on and After January 1, 2010. All PWD Requests on and after 1/1/2010 will be centralized and processed at the DOL Washington, D.C. office.

The one exception to this is PWD requests for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands (CNMI); the NPWHC will begin receiving and processing those effective November 28, 2009.

74 FR 63796 (12/4/09)

Posted On: December 7, 2009

10% OFF Family Based Immigration Case

Help your foreign loved one become a lawful, permanent resident of the United States with family-based immigration assistance from our law firm. Permanent immigration in the U.S. comes with a variety of rights and privileges, all of which MVP Law Group, P.A. hopes to help your family member experience as a lawful, permanent resident of our nation. Contact us today to obtain lawful, permanent residency for your foreign relative through your own United States citizenship or lawful, permanent residency

Family Based Immigration