Posted On: September 30, 2010

APPLY BEGINNING October 5, 2010 for the 2012 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery – ONLY ONLINE ENTRIES ACCEPTED

Annually, the United States government issues a maximum of 55,000 green cards through a computer-generated random lottery drawing. Applications for the DV 2012 random lottery will be accepted Tuesday, October 5, 2010 through Wednesday, November 3, 2010. Paper entries will not be accepted, eligible participants may access the electronic Diversity Visa entry form (E-DV) to apply during this period.

These green cards are only available to those eligible participants from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. For DV-2012, persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible. No countries have been added or removed from the previous year’s list of eligible countries..

Natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the previous five years: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Peru, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

To enter the DV lottery , you must be a native of one of the eligible countries. In most cases this means the country in which you were born. However, there are two other ways you may be able to qualify. First, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible but your spouse was born in a country whose natives are eligible, you can claim your spouse's country of birth provided both you and your spouse are on the selected entry, are issued visas and enter the U.S. simultaneously. Second, if you were born in a country whose natives are ineligible, but neither of your parents was born there or resided there at the time of your birth, you may claim nativity in one of your parents' country of birth if it is a country whose natives qualify for the DV-2012 program.

You must also meet either the education or work experience requirement of the DV program. You must have either a high school education or its equivalent, defined as successful completion of a 12-year course of elementary and secondary education; OR, two years of work experience within the past five years in an occupation requiring at least two years of training or experience to perform. The U.S. Department of Labor's O*Net OnLine database will be used to determine qualifying work experience.

If you cannot meet either of these requirements, you should NOT submit an entry to the DV program.

Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Instructions

Posted On: September 30, 2010

How Illegal Immigrants are Helping Social Security

The large population of illegal immigrants in the United States has greatly contributed to the Social Security fund. The Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration estimated that by 2007, the Social Security trust fund had received a net benefit of somewhere between $120 billion and $240 billion from illegal immigrants in the US. The Social Security crisis we face now would be far worse if not for the contribution made by illegal immigrants. Ironically though, it is the people that benefit most from and receive social security that want to force illegal immigrants out of the country.

The recent decline in illegal immigration due to tighter restrictions and hostile attitudes ultimately means that the contributions to Social Security from illegal immigrants will decrease as well.

Posted On: September 29, 2010

Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Racketerring Conspiracy and Fraud in Foreign Labor Contracting Charges

According to the Justice Department, Andrew Cole of Missouri pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and fraud in foreign labor contracting charges. The Prosecution Unit Trial Attorney Jim Felte argued to the court that Cole was involved in recruiting Dominican Republic nationals under false terms and promises with the underlying knowledge that these workers would be exploited and their labor coerced. The charges came out of his role in a criminal enterprise that engaged in numerous criminal activities, including forced labor, fraud in foreign labor contracting, visa fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, tax evasion and money laundering. Specifically, Mr. Cole misrepresented their wages, working conditions, and type of employment. Mr. Cole sent the workers to a factory in Alabama where they were threatened with deportation and consequences if they didn’t comply with the orders. Other co-defendants also plead guilty in relation to the case and the remaining defendants await their trial on October 18. The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the FBI, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Kansas Department of Revenue and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.

Posted On: September 28, 2010

UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 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 September 24, 2010, 39,600 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of September 24, 2010, 14,400 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

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 to MVP Law Group for future FY2011 H-1B Cap updates!

Posted On: September 28, 2010

Attorney General Cuomo Shuts Down 7 Companies for Providing Fraudulent Legal Services to Immigrant Communities

Recent scams have targeted New York’s immigrants, causing them to face substantial fees and possible deportation. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has taken a stand against these scams by shutting down and filing lawsuits against seven different companies. Specifically, these companies have been targeting and misrepresenting themselves to immigrants, falsely promising legal citizenship, and giving their cases over to non-attorneys who have provided them with incorrect legal advice. Under New York State law, it is unlawful to mislead or defraud any person in immigration-related services. These companies and their owners have been permanently barred from operating any immigration services businesses and must collectively pay $370,000 in damages to the State of New York.

As a result of Cuomo’s efforts these companies are now facing monetary penalties, they must report any complaints, and they are required to inform their clients they no longer offer immigration services.

Posted On: September 28, 2010

US Labor Department obtains nearly $1 million in back wages and interest for 135 H-1B Workers

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office investigated Smartsoft International Inc, a computer consulting company based in Georgia and found the company was not paying their 135 nonimmigrant workers their earned wages as required under the H-1B regulations. The H-1B nonimmigrant visa program sets certain standards to both protect nonimmigrant and US workers; as a part of those standards the company was suppose to pay the nonimmigrant workers at least the equivalent of what other U.S. workers were being paid that had similar knowledge and skill. The Wage and Hour investigator discovered through their investigation that the company had violated the H-1B regulations. Specifically, some employees were not paid any wages at the beginning of their employment, were paid on a part-time basis despite being hired under a full time employment agreement, and were paid less than the prevailing wage applicable to the geographic locations where they performed their work. Accordingly, the investigation has led Smartsoft International to agree to pay their workers around 1 million dollars in back wages.

The H-1B system enables United States employers to seek highly skilled foreigner workers from around the world to increase productivity and develop new innovations within their fields, which ultimately helps the U.S. economy. In return, the U.S. remains at the forefront of technology among other nations of the world, and continues as a major competitor in all other fields. The system was designed to protect both U.S. and foreign workers by: (1) including labor certifications and attestations; (2) implementing costly filing fees, (3) requiring extensive background documentation/proof; and (4) conducting on-site employer investigations and continuous oversight by several federal agencies, as previously stated.

The majority of U.S. employers who utilize the H-1B visa system do obey employment and immigration laws. The employers that abuse the system cause the perception that the system is corrupt, abusive, and a strain on the U.S. economy.

Posted On: September 27, 2010

REMINDER - Submit your questions

MVP "Q & A Forum" - This Friday, October 1st, 2010

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, AZ SB1070, or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, 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, October 1st, 2010. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

Posted On: September 27, 2010

Man Indicted By a Federal Grand Jury for Defrauding Foreign National Employees

Opas Sinprasong came to the U.S. from Thailand on an E2 Non-Immigrant Principal Investor visa to run his restaurants all over Colorado. He began bringing over Thai nationals to work in his restaurants because of their specialized skills. Sinprasong then began his fraud; he first made his workers pay a substantial bond, $3,000 more for their visa fees and if anything happened to him they were liable for a monetary penalty. Since Sinprasong paid them “under the table” he was also able to defraud the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) because he never paid his workers for their overtime, therefore the reports he filed were false allowing him to not pay the workers portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Sinprasong was charged by a federal grand jury for defrauding his employees, harboring illegal aliens and other charges related to immigration and the IRS. He will serve multiple years in prison and fines for each account.

Posted On: September 27, 2010

Southern District of Florida Dismisses University Employee’s Forced Labor Claims

In the recent Court Case (No. 10-22072) Gerardo Alvarado sued Carlos Albizu University for breach of contract and “breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.” He was working at the University on an H-1B visa in 2006 when he was promoted to Interim Director of the Business Program at the Miami Campus in 2007. His salary was increased from $75,000 to $95,000 per year. The University also agreed to sponsor Alvarado’s permanent labor certification in order for him to keep working past December of 2009. When the Director of Recruitment and Admissions stepped down, Alvarado was asked by the University to take over the position that had a salary less than his current job. When he asked for additional money the University refused saying it was already paying for attorney costs and fees for his labor certification.

Alvarado said the University violated § 1589(a) (3) and (4), alleging they used his pending labor certification as a means of force/abuse to obtain his “labor”. He believed that if he did not take this new job with the lower salary he would lose his visa and not obtain a permanent labor certification.

The Southern Florida District Court decided Alvarado’s claims failed. His arguments were “inconsistent with the definition of abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process,” he merely proved the University violated the law. The court concluded that even though the University violated the regulation it did not use it as a “tool of coercion.” The University’s Motion to Dismiss was GRANTED.

Posted On: September 24, 2010

Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School

Are you currently on B1/B2 visitor status and would like to attend a U.S. school?

Under the current regulations anyone with B-1/B-2 status may not study in the US. It is required that they first obtain F-1(academic student) or M-1 (vocational student) status.

To apply for a change in status: you must not have already enrolled in classes (this is considered a status violation and you will be unable to extend or change your status), must have up to date status, and have not been involved in any illegal employment.

A status change from B-1/B-2 also requires a fee and filing out the proper paper work (Form I-539).

If you do not meet the criteria for obtaining an F-1 or M-1 status, you may be able to apply at a consular post abroad.

Posted On: September 24, 2010

BALCA Affirms Denial of Labor Certification for CEO of Closely Held Corporation

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification for an alien worker for the position of “Chief Executive Officer."

An Audit Notification was issued by the CO on April 28, 2006 requesting documents showing the company’s finances, recruitments and corporate structure due to the fact that the application showed the employer is “a closely held corporation, partnership or sole proprietorship.” The Employer submitted its Articles of Incorporation, along with other requested documentation on May 23, 2006. The CO denied the certification on November 9, 2007 because the documents submitted by the employer were not adequate and because it was a close partnership where aliens have influence and control, therefore job opportunities were not available to US workers. The CO cited 20 C.F.R. §656.10(c)(8) which states that job opportunities must clearly be open to all US workers. The Employer responded by submitting a request for review arguing that according the Department of Labor a single factor doesn’t control the authenticity of a job opportunity where an alien has influence. The employer went on to argue that the alien was not involved in the recruitment process, holds no management position, and is neither an incorporator nor a founder. On March 26, 2009 the CO filed a letter of reconsideration finding the employer still did not prove the job was open to all US workers and still believed the alien had a significant role in the management of the company.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R §656.10(c)(8) controls and provides that a job opportunity must be clearly open to any US worker. In the event of an audit of a closely held company where an alien holds an ownership interest the employer must be able to prove the existence of a legitimate job opportunity for all US workers. In the instant case, the employer failed to demonstrate the existence “of a bona fide job opportunity ….available all US workers.” The employer did not overcome the presumption that the alien has power and control in the company as well as over the job opportunity.

Accordingly, the board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

In the Matter of Intervid, Inc.

Posted On: September 23, 2010

Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of September 1, 2010.

If you filed an appeal, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Administrative Appeals Office

The current processing time for an I-129 H-1B Appeal is 14 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 23 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 26 months.

Most other cases are within USCIS's processing time goal of 6 months or less.

Posted On: September 23, 2010

2010 Citizenship Day Naturalization Ceremonies

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) in recognition of Constitution and Citizenship Day on September 17. Over 9,000 candidates will be naturalized; candidates across twenty-two (22) national park sites will be naturalized between September 13 and September 24. Some of the highlights of this event include twenty-five (25) citizens being naturalized under the foot of General Grant’s Tree in Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park in Three Rivers, California on Sept. 15, a ceremony at the Lincoln memorial on Sept. 22, 5,200 candidates being naturalized at Fenway Park and celebrations at the Grand Canyon.

The USCIS and the National Park Service (NPS) renewed their partnership to enhance the meaning and stature of citizenship ceremonies by holding naturalization ceremonies at NPS sites across the nation. Their agreement aims to introduce new citizens to the National Park System, which includes some of the nation’s most significant natural resources and cultural heritage sites according to the press release issued on September 13, 2010.

Posted On: September 22, 2010

BALCA Affirms Denial on Ground That Alien Did Not Meet Educational Requirements After Revision of Form 9089

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification for an alien worker for the position of “Assistant Manager."

The Employer originally stated on the ETA Form 9098 that the position required a high school education and 24 months of experience in the job but when the alien filed his application he only had a high school education. The application was returned to the Employer by the CO based on the grounds that the Employer failed to indicate the year the education was completed. When the form was returned, it showed the alien did not have any education but on the Form 9098 it still stated that high school completion was a requirement for the job. On the grounds that the alien did not meet the job qualifications of Form 9098 the CO denied the application. A request for reconsideration of the application was submitted; the CO found that the grounds for denial were valid. Since the education level had been changed on the Form 9098, the alien no longer had the required experience for the job.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656. 21 (b)(5) controls and provides that an “employer must demonstrate that the requirements it specifies for the job are its actual minimum requirements and that it has not hired the alien or other workers with less training or experience for jobs similar to the one offered.” When the form was resubmitted showing the alien with no education and the job requiring a high school degree, the CO found that the alien was unqualified for the job. The CO made the decision to deny based on the Form 9098 not based on documents accompanying the form.

Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

In Matter of Grand Metropolitan Housewares, Inc.

Posted On: September 22, 2010

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 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 September 17, 2010, 38,300 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of September 17, 2010, 14,000 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

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 to MVP Law Group for future FY2011 H-1B Cap updates!

Posted On: September 21, 2010

DREAM Act Could Be Considered by Senate This Week

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) proposed the DREAM Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill which would allow students living in the US for at least five years before reaching age 16 to obtain a green card after college or service in the military. Senator Reid wrote in a September 14, 2010 blog entry that this amendment will ensure that millions of children who grow up as Americans will be able to get the education they need to contribute to our economy. Senator Reid also proposed the repeal of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rule which would allow those in the armed forces who are gay and lesbian to openly serve. If the Senate passes the DREAM Act amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill it will have to go back to each chamber after conference committee reconciliation for a final vote because the House passed the bill back in May without the DREAM Act provision.

Senator Reid also stated in the final words of his blog entry that he firmly believes that these two amendments deserve strong bipartisan support and will work to ensure that the legislation is passed before the end of this work period.

Each year about 65,000 students graduate from high school with zero prospects for the future. They live in constant fear of being deported from the country they call home. The DREAM Act would change that. It would provide a path to citizenship for thousands of young people who are Americans in all but paperwork -- provided they have shown good character and either attend college or serve in the military for two years.

We know that the majority (70%) of Americans support the DREAM Act, but over the next few days Congress needs to feel this outpouring of support. Passing the DREAM Act would be a huge victory in the struggle to make our immigration system just.

Posted On: September 21, 2010

Ending Birthright Citizenship Would Not Stop Illegal Immigration

The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right that any person born in the United States is a citizen no matter the status of their parents. Over the years the Supreme Court has upheld birthright citizenship in cases like Plyler v. Doe and Unites States v. Wong Kim Ark. Recently, this right has been questioned by the anti-immigrant groups who have been introducing bills in Congress that would end the right to birthright citizenship.

The elimination of birthright citizenship would only make the growing problem of illegal immigrants worse and also make it harder for Americans to prove their citizenship. If the new laws proposed were passed, the children born in the United States to illegal immigrants would not have U.S. citizenship nor the citizenship of their parent’s country creating even more problems. This issue would not only affect illegal immigrants but also temporary workers in the United States on H-1B, F1, E1, E2, L1, L2, and many other temporary visa status’, not to mention those awaiting a Green Card on another status such as AOS/EAD.

Comprehensive immigration reform that solves the root causes of undocumented immigration is necessary to resolve our immigration problems, not amending the U.S. Constitution.

Posted On: September 20, 2010

Updated Service Center Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on September 15, 2010 with processing dates as of July 31, 2010.

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 MVP Law Group and would like our assistance please contact our office.

Posted On: September 17, 2010

MVP LAW GROUP – Q&A Forum, September 17, 2010

Question #1 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card - EAD Renewal
I filed for my EAD renewal back in August 2010 and it is still pending. My current EAD expires next week. What are my options moving forward - can I expedite the EAD since my card is expiring? What can I do I can’t risk losing my current job?

Answer #1
When an EAD renewal has been pending for 75+ days, you may initiate an ‘outside the processing times’ Service Request with the USCIS. If you do not receive your EAD approval by the time your current EAD expires, you MUST WAIT and NOT WORK until your EAD is approved. You MAY NOT continue to work. You MUST wait for your EAD card to arrive in the mail before you can begin to work again.

You may file an EAD renewal request up to 120 days in advance of the expiration of your current EAD and should be aware of the Service Center processing times well in advance of filing so that you can obtain an approval of the EAD to continue working.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I heard there are quite a few cases and USCIS staff can work on cases only up to available VISA numbers and once the numbers are consumed, then it could go back with the next VISA bulletin. I heard we could call the USCIS and provide details of our case so that based on first come first call; they would process and issue the GC.

Answer #2
You cannot call the USCIS to speed up the processing/issuance of your Green Card. Priority dates were established for this exact purpose. Each individual has a specific priority date which was issued to them when their Labor application was submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL). Only when the applicant’s priority date becomes current will the USCIS begin to process the applicant’s I-485 paperwork and thereafter may issue the Green Card. However, your attorney may contact the USCIS via email on your behalf if your I-485 application was filed through the Texas Service Center (TSC). The attorney may send an email to a specific email address to inform the Service Center that their client’s priority date is current. The “streamline” process was created to provide a mechanism for American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) members to facilitate TSC processes relating to the identification of EB I-485 applications. The email should only contain the applicant’s A# so the Service Center can efficiently identify and distribute work to the floor.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am currently working for a company, but I got an offer from 2 buisness men to start a new business with them as an equal partner. I really want to pursue that venture but I am not sure about a few things. Would it be better for me to change my status to self employed and than apply for the H1B visa for self sponsership?

Answer #3
To put it simply, the H-1B nonimmigrant visa is an employment based temporary nonimmigrant work visa. This means that you must first have a sponsoring employer willing to sponsor you before you may petition for and obtain an H-1B nonimmigrant visa. The H-1B regulations do not allow for self sponsorship.


Question #4 – General
What are the benefits of registering my company with E-Verify?

Answer #4
Several links have been provided below which: explain the program; provide a link to the website for enrollment, list the Dos and Don’ts of the program, and point out the potential drawbacks of the program.
What is E-Verify?
I-9 Employer Handbook
DOs and DONTS
Potential drawbacks


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration: Marriage – K1 Fiancé Visa
My daughter is a U.S. Citizen and is engaged to marry her German fiancé. Both have known one another for over seven years and have been engaged for two months. Can my daughter sponsor her fiancé? What needs to be done? What’s required?

Answer #5
U.S. Citizens who are engaged to be married to a foreign national may petition the USCIS on behalf of their fiancé by way of the K-1 visa. To be eligible for this visa: (1) you must be legally able to marry; (2) the marriage must be a bona fide marriage with good intent; (3) you must be willing to marry within 90 days of the fiancé entering the United States; and (4) you must have met within two years of filing for the visa. Your daughter should first file a Petition for Alien Fiancé (Form I-130) with the USCIS. Once the petition is approved, the USCIS will forward the approved petition to the appropriate consulate to interview the applicant. Once the applicant attends the consular interview and is approved for the visa, he may travel to the United States to marry your daughter. A petition for K-1 status is valid for four months from the date of USCIS action, and may only be revalidated by the consular officer.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My 6th year H-1B status expires next year and I have approved I-140 through different company. Can I use the approved I-140 to get a three year extension with my current employer?

Answer #6
Yes. Pursuant to AC21 law, an H-1B immigrant may extend his or her status beyond the 6 year limitation where the H-1B immigrant has an I-140 petition which has been approved under the employment based green card and the AOS/485 is pending due to the unavailability of visa numbers.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I still file for an H-1B?

Answer #7
As of September 10, 2010, there were approximately 27,600 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and approximately 6,300 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. 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. For continuous FY2011 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to www.mvp.com.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My priority date is current and I want to file my I-485 application. How much are the filing fees?

Answer #8
Taken verbatim from the USCIS website - If you file Form I-485 to adjust your status as a permanent resident on or after July 30, 2007, no additional fee is required to also file an application for employment authorization (EAD) on Form I-765 and/or advance parole (AP) on Form I-131. Accordingly, for a total of $1,010.00 you may submit Form I-485; Form I-765 and Form I-131 to the USCIS for processing. The filing fees are less for applicants 79+, and for children under the age of 14.


Question #9 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I’m on H-1B visa status, I am planning on traveling out of the US for a visit to my country; I want to make sure I don’t run into issues upon return. What documentation do I need to have for traveling?

Answer #9
If you MUST travel on H-1B status, we recommend that you have the following: at least two month’s worth of pay stubs, a copy of the approved H-1B petition, an original employment verification letter on company letterhead with an official signature, the original approval notice, and any other documentation relating to the company that would demonstrate compliance with the laws governing the H-1B program and the establishment of a bona fide job opportunity.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I recently got a new project in Northern Virginia. I have North Carolina listed in my labor application. Do I need to file a new labor in Virginia?

Answer #10
According to the regulations governing the H-1B program, when you move to a new location outside of the geographical location listed on the original certified LCA, a new LCA as well as an amended petition must be filed with the USCIS.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment. We hope the information provided is helpful.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, October 1, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

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. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: September 14, 2010

UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 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 September 10, 2010, 37,400 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of September 10, 2010, 13,700 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

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 to MVP Law Group for future FY2011 H-1B Cap updates!

Posted On: September 13, 2010

REMINDER - Submit your questions

MVP "Q & A Forum" - This Friday, September 17, 2010

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, AZ SB1070, or the debate focused on Ending Birthright Citizenship, 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, September 17, 2010. Act now and submit your questions!

THANK YOU!

Posted On: September 10, 2010

October 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the October 2010 Visa Bulletin.

The October 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.

**The priority date is current if there is no backlog in the category, or if the priority date is on or before the date listed as current in the State Department's monthly Visa Bulletin.

Have you already applied in EB3, thinking about filing in EB2...if you are eligible, contact MVP Law Group.

Did you file in EB3 or EB2 and still waiting...and married to a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?...you may be eligible to file a Family Based Immigrant Petition for faster processing.

Questions, contact MVP Law Group online or toll free at 1-800-447-0796.

Posted On: September 9, 2010

BALCA Affirms Denial Finding Recruitment Report Inadequate Proof of Web Advertising

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying certification. The Employer filed an Application for Permanent Labor Certification for an alien worker for the position of “Programmer."

An Audit Notification was issued on September 11, 2007 for the purpose of providing evidence of recruitment and documentation. The Employer submitted the necessary forms for the audit: a copy of the ETA Form 9089, recruitment report, prevailing wage determination, Notice of Filing, copy of the job order; evidence of employee referral program, and copies of newspaper advertisement. The CO denied certification due to the lack of documentation from the Employer that showed the job was advertised on its website and job search websites. The employer then requested a review on December 13, 2007 stating there was no copy of these postings and they couldn’t make a print out due to an internal error. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration indicating the Employer did fail to provide adequate documentation and did not overcome the deficiencies in the determination letter. The Employer filed a Statement of Intent to Proceed with the appeal and an appellate brief but the CO still asserted that there wasn’t enough documentation and that was a valid reason for denial in its appellate brief.

PERM regulations 20 C.F.R. §656.17 (e) (1) (ii) controls and it provides that when an employer advertises a professional occupation, there are additional steps they can take advantage of: advertising the position on the company website and advertising the positing on job search websites. These steps should be documented and all applications for employment filed with the Department of Labor must be kept by the employer for 5 years. In the instant case, the Employer failed to provide enough documentation that the position was indeed advertised on multiple websites. The only supporting data from the Employer was a signed recruitment report.

Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

In the Matter of Trans Atlantic Systems, Inc.

Posted On: September 8, 2010

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2011 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 September 3, 2010, 36,600 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of September 3, 2010, 13,400 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

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 to MVP Law Group for future FY2011 H-1B Cap updates!

Posted On: September 3, 2010

MVP LAW GROUP – Q&A Forum, September 3, 2010

Question #1 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B & L1A/L1B Nonimmigrant Visas
I am a U.S. small business employer. I have read different articles about the new public law and its applicability to nonimmigrant visas, but I am somewhat confused based on what I have read. Does the new public law fee apply to me and my company?

Answer #1
Under Public law 111-230, Employers with 50 or more employees in the U.S., for which more than 50% of their workforce utilize H and L visas are subject to the new fee. Employers to which the Public law is applies will have to pay an additional fee of $2,000.00 for each H-1B filed, in addition to normal USCIS filing fees associated with the H-1B visa. Additionally, Employers are required to pay an additional fee of $2,250.00 for each L1 petition filed in addition to the USCIS filing fees already required. If your company employs less than 50 employees, you are not subject to the new fee. If you are a larger company and have 50 or more employees and have less than 50% of those employees on H1B/L1 visas, then you are not subject to the new fee.


Question #2 – Temporary Work Visas – OPT/F1 to H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I am currently on OPT and my 12 months of OPT expired yesterday and I essentially wanted to apply for my H1B before that. When I spoke earlier to my hr manager, she stated that once my labor certification for H1B petition was cleared, I would not have to worry about the dates or me going out of status.

Answer #2
Most importantly, if you have not filed for your H-1B petition at this point, you must STOP working, as you do not have authorization from the USCIS to work. You have a grace period after your OPT expires to either leave the country or file a petition to change status. If your employer is interested in filing for your H-1B nonimmigrant visa, I would recommend that they do so immediately as H-1B visas are still available under the FY2011 Cap. Regardless of whether or not you have a labor certification cleared, you cannot continue working and must immediately make plans to either depart the U.S. or file for a change of status.


Question #3 – Student Visa – F1
I am a Chinese citizen and I would like for my nephew to obtain a college education in the United States. Please let me know what I need to do? Thank you.

Answer #3
Please visit the following website as it will provide the steps for how your nephew can get his F1 visa to come to the U.S. for school. The first step for a prospective nonimmigrant student is being accepted for enrollment in an established school which is SEVP certified. There is a list of SEVP certified schools on the website listed above. Therefore, as his first step, your nephew must first apply for enrollment at a college of his choice which is listed on the SEVP certified list. Once he has been accepted by that SEVP certified school, he will then need to apply for his F1 student visa. All of the steps for obtaining such status are available on the website listed above, and additional information can be found on this
website
.


Question #4 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Do non-profits come under the same category as far as H1B is concerned?

Answer #4
If you are the beneficiary of an H-1B nonimmigrant visa for a company that is a not-for-profit, and they have sufficient proof of their non-profit status, then any new H-1B nonimmigrant petition filed by that company is not subject to the annual H-1B nonimmigrant visa CAP. An H-1B petition for new employment can be filed at any time.


Question #5 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card – Marriage Based (K1)
What happens if my wife and I do not file to remove the conditions on her permanent residency?

Answer #5
If you do not apply to remove the conditions near the expiration of her two-year conditional period then the permanent residency automatically expires and she is subject to deportation and removal. To avoid this, within 90 days of the expiration of the conditional period, she must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.


Question #6 –Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have vacation plans to go to Indonesia in the first week of October 2010. Can I file my H-1B extension petition prior to my departure from the U.S.?

Answer #6
You may file your H-1B extension prior to your departure; however, unless you upgrade your case to Premium Processing, your vacation plans will need to be delayed. When you have a case pending with the USCIS, you CANNOT leave the United States, as they will interpret it as abandonment of your pending case.


Question #7 – Naturalization/Citizenship
I’d like to become a U.S. Citizen, I have been a Green Card holder for the past 7 years, have no criminal background, but am worried about what is to be expected out of me during the citizenship test and interview. Can you provide me with some resources for help to ease my concerns?

Answer #7
As part of the Naturalization Test and Citizenship Awareness, Education, and Outreach Initiative, USCIS will host a Naturalization Information Session at George Washington, Law School - Lerner Hall, 2000 H Street NW, Rooms LL101-LL102 in Washington, DC, 20052 on September 10, 2010 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm to provide accurate information on eligibility requirements and steps to become a U.S. citizen. This event is part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to demystify the naturalization process for immigrants and is just one out of several USCIS hosted information sessions throughout the country. The sessions provide an overview of the naturalization process and detail the contents of the naturalization test, and raise awareness of free USCIS educational resources available for immigrants interested in pursuing U.S. citizenship.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What triggers H-1B employer site visits?

Answer #8
There are three ways in which H-1B employer site visits are triggered: (1) site visits conducted as part of a fraud inquiry; (2) site visits conducted as part of a Benefit Fraud Compliance Assessment; and (3) site visits conducted as part of an ASVVP Compliance Review.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card (AC-21)
I have an approved I-140 filed by my previous company and they also submitted my I-485 back in 2007. I have since moved onto employment with another company on my EAD and do not wish to go back to work for my former employer. What happens if my former employer cancels my approved I-140? Can I file an AC-21 Portability letter?

Answer #9
To answer your first question, if your former employer cancels your approved I-140, then you will have to start the Employment based green card process over from the beginning, unless you have another employment based preference category immigrant petition pending/approved or you filed an AC-21 portability request prior to the cancellation of the approved I-140.

You may be eligible to file an AC21 106(c) Portability Request if the new position/duties are the same or substantially similar to the position/duties listed in your Labor application certified by the DOL and your former employer hasn’t canceled your approved I-140.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can I still file for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa, to begin work in the U.S. on October 1, 2010?

Answer #10
As of August 27, 2010, there were 30,100 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 7,000 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. 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. For continuous FY2011 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our website.


MVP Law Group would like to thank everyone who contributed a question or comment. We hope the information provided is helpful.

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, September 17, 2010! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

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. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.