Posted On: January 31, 2011

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 2011 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.

H-1B Visa for FY2012
WAIT for the H-1B FY2012 Quota. The H-1B FY2012 Quota will open on April 1, 2011 with employment beginning on October 1, 2011. 65,000 visas are annually allocated to foreign nationals who possess a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent) in the specialty and the specialty occupation must require the degree. We can begin to prepare cases for the annual quota now; however, no cases will be filed with the USCIS towards the CAP until after April 1, 2011.

Contact MVP Law Group for more information!

Posted On: January 28, 2011

UPDATE - FY2011 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 January 26, 2011 seeking an employment start date in FY2011 will be rejected by USCIS.

Stay posted to MVP Law Group for H-1B filing specials for the FY2012 H-1B CAP! The CAP will open on April 1, 2011 for employment beginning on October 1, 2011.

Posted On: January 27, 2011

BALCA Affirms CO's Denial Where Employer Lost Original PWD

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 “Team Lead/Software Engineer.”

The Application was accepted by the CO on September 6, 2007. The Employer indicated on ETA Form 9089 a prevailing wage of $81,349 issued by the State Workforce Agency (SWA) with a determination date of July 15, 2007 to June 1, 2008. An Audit Notification was issued requesting either a copy of the original Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) from the SWA or a copy of the request for the PWD. The response to the audit by the Employer contained a so-called duplicate copy of the PWD because the original was lost. The so-called duplicate copy of the PWD had a wage of $89,544 with a determination date from October 30, 2007 to June 30, 2008. The CO denied certification on April 9, 2009 citing a violation of 20 C.F.R. § 656.10(c)(1).The Employer argued the offered wage to the alien did in fact surpass that of the so-called duplicate PWD and the lost original PWD. The case was forwarded to BALCA by the CO on February 4, 2010. In the instant case, BALCA agreed that the CO was correct in denying certification based on the fact that the PWD submitted in response to the audit notification was entirely different than the one attested to on ETA Form 9089.

PERM regulations 20 C.F.R. § 656.10(f), 20 C.F.R. § 656.40(a), and 20 C.F.R. § 656.41(a) control and provide that when filing for an application for permanent alien labor certification, all documentation attested on the application must be kept for at least five years. Additionally, a PWD must be requested from the appropriate SWA and an employer who wishes to review a PWD must make the request within 30 days of its issuance. Here, the Employer submitted an entirely different PWD, with a new monetary amount and a new determination period in response to the audit; information not initially provided on ETA Form 9089.

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

Posted On: January 25, 2011

Beginning February 1, 2011 - Expansion of Visa Services - Karachi

Starting February 1, 2011 the US Consulate General Karachi announced that visa services will be expanded. All residents of Sindh and Balochistan should begin to apply in Karachi for the following nonimmigrant categories beginning February 1:

• Business travel (B1)
• Tourist visas for senior citizens over the age of 65 (B2)
• Renewals of tourist visas that have expired within the past year (B1/B2)
• Crew Members (C1/D)
• Student and Exchange Visitors (F,J,M)
• Journalists (I)
• Petition-based visas, including temporary worker and intracompany transferees, traders and investors, persons of extraordinary ability, artists or entertainers, and religious workers. (H,E,L,P,O,R)

*All required supporting documentation for the specific visa must be provided to schedule an appointment.

All applicants are encouraged by the Consulate to apply at least three months prior to their intended departure date and are discouraged from purchasing non-exchangeable air tickets before receiving a valid U.S. visa.

Posted On: January 24, 2011

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 January 21st, 2011 62,800 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

*USCIS will continue to accept REGULAR cap-subject 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 tuned to MVP Law Group for FY 2011 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: January 24, 2011

AILA Profile: Representative Elton Gallegly (R-CA)

With the commencement of the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011, Representative Elton Gallegly (R-CA) was appointed to lead the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

Rep. Gallegly is best know for his restrictive immigration policies and push in creating the E-Verify program. He believes the solution to illegal immigration is straightforward: enforce current laws, eliminate incentives for individuals to illegally immigrate, and take away benefits we provide that make it easier for illegal immigrants to stay in the US. Since becoming a representative, Gallegly has chaired the Congressional Task Force on Immigration Reform which provided the fundamentals for IIRIRA in 1996 and he supported an amendment to IIRIRA that would have prohibited illegal immigrants from attending public school. Additionally, in 2006 he was named by Human Events Magazine as of the Top Ten Illegal Immigration Hawks in Congress and inducted in the US Border Control Hall of Fame.

Already since the start of the 112th Congress, Gallegly has proposed legislation to require the creation of electronic Social Security cards as well as an employment eligibility database. It’s likely we could see legislation from him being proposed on topics such as ending birthright citizenship, requiring the use of E-Verify, making English the official US language, and requiring proof of citizenship to receive benefits in the near future.

Posted On: January 21, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 21st, 2011

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.


Question #1 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Is the H-1B FY2011 CAP still open?

Answer #1
YES! As of January 14th, 2011 60,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visa petitions had been filed with the USCIS toward the 65,000 annual CAP. USCIS will continue to accept cap-subject 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.


Question #2 – Marriage Based Immigration –Green Card
I am marrying a United States citizen in a few weeks, do you know when I can expect to have my interview and eventually get my green card?

Answer #2
Once you have married and have submitted your paperwork to the USCIS, it is taking approximately 3-4 months nationwide to obtain an interview appointment. This is an estimate as all cases are not the same and the circumstances in one case may be different than in another. If there are any prior marriages, criminal charges, or other circumstances that could affect the case, processing may take even longer.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have been considering teaching for a while as a way to give back and was wondering being on H1-B, would I be able to hold a part-time/adjunct teaching position at a university, if given the opportunity?

Answer #3
You would be able to hold a part-time/adjunct teaching position at a university; however, the University must be willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. The University would have to go thru the normal process of preparing and filing the necessary forms and paying the necessary USCIS filing fees, if applicable, as well as paying all legal fees involved.


Question #4 – Temporary Work Visa – L1 Intra-company Transferee
What is the grace period on an L1A extension? I reside in California, my current L1A visa expires on 3/25/2011 and I’ve filed for an extension on 12/17/2010. I got a receipt for it.

Answer #4
Under regulation 8 C.F.R. §274a.12(b)(20), a person lawfully employed under A-3, E-1,E-2,E-3,G-5,H-1B, H-2A/B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1/O-2, P-1/P-2/P-3, R or TN status who timely files an application for extension consistent with 8 C.F.R. §214.1, is automatically given 240 days from date of expiration. This extension does not apply to persons seeking a change of status. During 240 days, there is no INA 245(c) bar to adjustment of status.


Question #5 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I had gone for visa stamping and was issued 221(g) blue form. This is the reason given: "Your petition is not currently reflected in the PIMS database. Processing of your case will be suspended until we can verify your petition details." According to the visa officer, I should get my passport in 10 days. I am worried, is this normal?

Answer #5
It is a normal process and there is no reason to be alarmed, this is a standard procedure, so unfortunately, you must wait until your status/case can be confirmed and then you will receive your visa stamp. As stated below by the DOS, extensions of stay and change of status petitions take longer to verify through the database.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has instructed consular posts that approvals of H, L, O, P and Q visa petitions must be verified through the Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) before a nonimmigrant visa can be issued. PIMS is an electronic report generated by DOS’s Kentucky Consular Center that collects nonimmigrant visa petition approval information from USCIS. PIMS contains data on initial petition approvals and on L blanket petitions that were approved in 2004 or later. PIMS does not contain information on approvals of extension of stay or changes of status petitions. Consular officers adjudicating visa applications must consult PIMS to verify the approval of the underlying nonimmigrant visa petition. If the petition approval cannot be verified through PIMS, the officer must contact the Kentucky Consular Center, which in turn attempts to verify the approval through USCIS’s Computer Linked Applications Information Management System (CLAIMS). DOS officials state that PIMS verification typically takes no more than 24 hours and that verification through CLAIMS typically takes two business days. Most cases involving initial nonimmigrant visa petitions are verified within these timeframes. However, they have received many reports of longer processing times for extension of stay and change of status cases. These cases must be verified with the assistance of the Kentucky Consular Center and can take longer to be processed. DOS has indicated that there are no current plans to include extension and change of status approval information in PIMS, which may result in significant delays for many applicants. Foreign nationals who will be applying for nonimmigrant visas should expect longer processing times due to the new PIMS and CLAIMS verification requirement. How long the electronic process will take may vary from case to case. However, same-day and next-day visa issuance should not be expected.


Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Regarding a change of job, is there a recommended wait time after the green card that I can change my employer. On the EAD there was a 6mth after which I could do this, but was wondering after the GC if there is any such thing. Appreciate your answer.

Answer #6
Although the regulations are silent on this issue, we recommend that you wait at least six (6) months before changing your employer to avoid issues if you intend on applying for citizenship when you become eligible.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
The Processing Time Table indicates it takes about 2 months, as on 31/10/2010 update. So I wasn't sure what that 2 months meant, and above all it was last updated on 31/10/2010. Can you tell me why it is taking so long?

Answer #7
Although the USCIS processing times may state 2 months, you have to factor in that when it is posted, that data is already 45 days old. Also, due to the FY2011 H-1B CAP still being available, the USCIS is busy with attempting to adjudicate change of status petitions, extensions and transfers all within the same processing times. Although this explanation is not an excuse, I just want you to be aware of the background with the processing times for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My I-140 Immigrant petition has been approved. My next step is to apply to adjust status to permanent resident. What kind of documents do I need to have for AOS application?

Answer #8
In order to apply for AOS, your priority date needs to be current, once your priority date is current, you will able to file the Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status to Permanent Resident along with the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. There are numerous background documents that will need to be submitted along with your petition, including: a sealed medical examination from a civil surgeon in your area, birth certificates, copies of federal tax returns, bank statements, and an employment verification letter, among other documents.


Question #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I've been working on this product that i want to launch, if all goes well, sometime this year. This will be an E-Commerce business. With regards to me being on H1-B, would I be able to start up my own small company?

Answer #9
As a temporary H-1B nonimmigrant worker, you are NOT ALLOWED to start up your own small company. There are other types of visas available if you are seriously interested in starting your own company, but you are not allowed to start up your own small company on your H-1B visa status. If you are interested in other possible options, please contact our office to speak with one of our experienced Immigration Attorneys.


Question #10 – Marriage Based Immigration –Green Card
What is a “Stokes” interview?

Answer #10
A “Stokes” interview is the last opportunity the USCIS provides for you and your spouse to prove the bona fides of your marriage. If the USCIS does not think that your marriage is legitimate, they will schedule a “Stokes” interview. The husband and wife are separately questioned by a USCIS Officer regarding their relationship history, daily interactions, relationship in general, presence on social networking websites, etc. The interview/questioning is recorded and an attorney is permitted to attend.


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, February 4th, 2011! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

Posted On: January 20, 2011

Alien Illegally Re-entered U.S.- Sentenced to 54 Months in Federal Prison

Following an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Florida Highway Patrol and the Social Security Administration, Ronald Smith was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison on January 5, 2011.

Smith, a citizen of Jamaica had been deported from the U.S. in 2003 after being found guilty of several crimes including intent to distribute cocaine and illegal possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. After being deported, the investigation revealed Smith returned to the U.S. illegally and fraudulently used a U.S. citizen’s identity to obtain a driver’s license, job and health care. Smith was convicted of impersonating a U.S. citizen, falsely representing a social security number, aggravated identity theft, and illegal re-entry after deportation. After he serves his 54 month sentence in federal prison, Smith will be removed from the United States.

Posted On: January 19, 2011

Updated Service Center Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on January 14, 2011 with processing dates as of November 30, 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

Please be aware that the data given above is approximately 45 days old at the time of posting.

Given this information, 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: January 19, 2011

Patterson and Federal Officials Reach Immigration Pact

On December 30, 2010 New York Governor David Patterson announced that he had made negotiations with federal officials to protect illegal aliens in New York who don’t have criminal records. However, his efforts to appeal to his opponents and convince them of his newly adopted program were unsuccessful.

The Secure Communities program allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use fingerprints collected by the police to “detain and deport immigrants who are considered a threat to public safety and national security.” Patterson signed onto the program with DHS back in May of 2010 and the program is scheduled to go into effect by 2013. Though Patterson added new language to the agreement, which stated DHS would only focus on immigrants who pose a threat or have criminal records; Immigration Officials can still deport immigrants without a criminal background.

Posted On: January 18, 2011

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 January14th, 2011 60,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

*USCIS will continue to accept REGULAR cap-subject 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 tuned to MVP Law Group for FY 2011 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: January 18, 2011

Maryland's Own 'DREAM' Tuition Act

This month Senator Victor Ramirez (D-MD) is expected to introduce a proposal to the General Assembly that if passed would offer illegal immigrants in Maryland who attended state high school for two years and whose parents pay taxes – IN-STATE TUITION.

Supporters of the bill explain it is suppose to encourage students who went to high school in Maryland to continue their education in college even if they are illegal immigrants. Back in 2003, Governor Robert Ehrlich Jr. (R) vetoed a similar bill, but supporters are hopeful that if it’s approved by the General Assembly, current Governor Martin O’Malley (D) will view the bill more sympathetically. California, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Utah have already passed in-state tuition measures for illegal immigrants. Although a law barring all states from offering in-state college tuition to illegal immigrants unless the offer was given all across the country was passed in 1996, states have been able to pass in-state tuition measures by linking it to their attendance to a state high school. Not everyone in Maryland is likely to pass the proposed measure though, Delegate Patrick L. Donough (R-MD) recently called for an investigation into Montgomery College and their tuition benefits to undocumented workers.

MVP Law Group is hopeful Senator Victor Ramirez’s Maryland DREAM Act will pass in the General Assembly.

Posted On: January 17, 2011

Improvements to Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificates

On December 22, 2010, the Department of State announced the implementation of a newly redesigned Consular Report of Birth Abroad Certificate. (CRBA). In the past, CRBAs have been printed at US Embassies and Consulates but beginning January 3, 2011, all CRBAs will be printed at the passport facilities in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and New Orleans, Louisiana.

This new streamlined and centralized process will allow the production of CRBAs to be more controlled as well as decrease the possibility of fraud. In addition to the production location change, CRBAs issued after January 3, 2011 will feature the title of “parent” instead of “mother” or “father.” This change was instituted in order to “provide a gender neutral description of a child’s parents and in recognition of different types of families.”

Posted On: January 14, 2011

USCIS - "Enlace" Public Engagement (Spanish-language ONLY)

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is offering a Spanish-language only event called “Enlace” where agency updates will be given, a presentation will be shown, and an open forum for general questions will be conducted.

The topic for the event is “How Do I Help My Relative Become A Permanent Resident in the United States?

The engagement is to be held on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at the USCIS Washington Field Office, 2675 Prosperity Avenue in Fairfax, Virginia, 20598 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm (EDT).

To participate in the event, email Public.Engagement@dhs.gov with the word “ENLACE” in the subject line. If you cannot attend the event, you can participate from anywhere in the U.S. online at www.uscis.gov/espanol or via telephone by calling 1-888-323-9701 and using the password “SERVICIO.”

MVP Law Group urges Spanish-speaking individuals interested in the immigration process to attend the Enlace event either in person, online, or by telephone. Additionally, MVP offers numerous services to assist individuals in obtaining temporary work visas and green cards. For more information visit: www.mvplg.com.

Posted On: January 13, 2011

Updated List: SEVP Approved Schools

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently updated the 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.

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. 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 or an explanation of the SEVP/student visa, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Posted On: January 13, 2011

Global Entry Program Reaches 100,000 Members

The Global Entry Trusted Traveler Pilot Program launched by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced on December 27, 2010 that membership has surpassed 100,000 individuals.

The Global Entry program was launched by CBP in hopes of streamlining the process at airports for pre-approved travelers through the use of self-service kiosks. Currently the kiosks are located at 20 major airports around the United States and help to reduce waiting times by approximately 70 percent. In order to qualify for the Global Entry program and become a pre-approved traveler, an individual must either be a US citizen or lawful permanent residents able to pass an intensive background check. The Netherlands has an agreement set up that links the US’s Global entry program with Amsterdam’s Privium program allowing citizens of the Netherlands to apply as well. Applications must be submitted online at www.globalentry.gov in addition to a fee of 100 dollars to cover a five-year membership. To finish the process, the individual must go to any of the 20 airport sites in order to complete an in person interview and fingerprint data collection.

Once a member of the Global Entry Program, upon arriving at an airport an individual only has to insert their passport or lawful permanent resident card into a kiosk, provide fingerprints to compare with the fingerprints on file, and answer customs declaration questions. More information on the Global Entry program including detailed requirements and available locations can be found at www.cbp.gov/travel.

Posted On: January 12, 2011

February 2011 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the February 2011 Visa Bulletin.

The February 2011 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...are you eligible to file in another category?...contact MVP Law Group online.

Did you file in EB3 or EB2 and still waiting...and/or 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: January 12, 2011

E-VERIFY Connection

On December 21, 2010 the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released its first ever E-Verify news publication called “E-Verify Connection.”

Highlighted in the newsletter was the new photo matching capability to help confirm the authenticity of documents, the new E-Verify seals and the invalid status of birth certificates of US citizens born in Puerto Rico issued prior to July 1, 2010. In addition, on the E-Verify website individuals can now download E-Verify guidance manuals, see a timeline of the program’s milestones and review its statistical reports for Fiscal Year 2009. Additionally, free webinars are offered on the website both for existing members and interested individuals looking for more information.

The MVP Law Group, P.A. provides assistance to employers interested in establishing an effective employment compliance program which includes training administrative personnel and other employees. If you are interested, please contact our office.

Posted On: January 11, 2011

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 January 7th, 2011 58,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

*USCIS will continue to accept REGULAR cap-subject 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 tuned to MVP Law Group for FY 2011 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: January 11, 2011

NAT Applicants - Changes to Naturalization Civics Test

For those individuals taking naturalization tests AFTER January 5, 2011 please note that there are some changes to the civics test answers due to the recent federal elections. Questions 20, 23, and 47 will have different responses.

For question 20 which asks: “Who is one of your State’s US Senators now?” please choose a senator for your state that will serve in the 112th Congress. A list of current members of the US Senate can be found at www.senate.gov.

For question 23 which states: “Name your US Representative” also make sure to write the name of your representative that will be serving in the 112th Congress. A list of the members of the US House of Representatives can found at www.house.gov.

Question 47 asks, “What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now?” For this question, please answer John Boehner as he is the Speaker for the 112th Congress which began January 5, 2011.

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.

Posted On: January 10, 2011

Judge Dolly Gee: Immigrants have Right to Representation

On December 22, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that two men with severe disabilities must be provided with representation in their deportation cases.

The ACLU of Southern California is optimistic after the ruling as they hope someday all mentally disabled detainees will receive representation. Immigration courts are not required to provide attorney representation for individuals. A current lawsuit filed by the ACLU alleges, “Federal officials have deprived the detainees of their Constitutional right to due process.” They argue mentally disabled detainees are unable to get a fair hearing without representation. As a result of the Judges’ ruling, the Federal Government will have to find pro-bono representation or pay for representation for the two men.

MVP Law Group supports Judge Gee’s ruling to provide representation for the two mentally disabled men and is supportive of the ACLU’s suit to require representation for all mentally disabled detainees.

Posted On: January 7, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, January 7th, 2011

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.

Question #1 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Is the H1B CAP still available?

Answer #1
As of December 31st, there were approximately 7,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining. As of December 31, 2010 a sufficient number of Masters CAP cases have been received by the USCIS. USCIS will continue to accept cap-subject 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 #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My priority date is current as of the January 2011 visa bulletin. I heard we could call them (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.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have exhausted my 6 years on H-1B visa and returned to my home country. I have been here for 180 days; can I now apply for a new H-1B visa under the current cap to return to U.S.? Please let me know so we can move forward immediately.

Answer #3
According to the regulations, once you have exhausted the 6 year limit on H-1B, you must return to your home country for one (1) year before you can petition again for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa.


Question #4 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
One of our employees is going on vacation from 02/03-03/10 and we are getting his h1b ext. in June and he has to go for visa in home country and he is requesting us to premium process his H1 ext. and wondering whether we can do it right now and can get approval before he leaves and he wants to appear for Visa with the new one. Please suggest whether we can do it right now or can we do it after he comes back from the vacation.

Answer #4
The answer to your question depends upon the specifics of your case; whether an end client will need to be obtained and if it can be obtained within the time period, whether forms and filing fees can be returned within a reasonable time; whether the LCA will be certified within the time frame given; etc. There are many circumstances that will need to be considered before a final decision is made on whether to prepare and file the extension now or wait until the return of the beneficiary to the U.S. We can file cases with the USCIS within 6 months of the current visa's expiration. Therefore, if his current H-1B expires on 6/2011, you could prepare and file the extension case now. Knowing the above information, please consider all of the circumstances of the case before you make a decision to proceed forward.


Question #5 – Marriage Based Immigration – Conditional Permanent Resident
I would like to know the procedure for removing conditions. When can I file? I’m married to a U.S. Citizen and my conditional green card is set to expire in May 2011.

Answer #5
You can file to remove the conditions 90 days prior to the expiration of your second anniversary as a conditional resident. It is very important that you file Form I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence) within the 90 day window of time. If you file too early, the USCIS will send your application back. You may file at any time during the 90 day window, but it is suggested that you file fairly early in the window. If you fail to properly file Form I-751 within the 90 day period, your conditional resident status will automatically be terminated and the USCIS will order removal proceedings against you and a hearing will be conducted where you will be given the opportunity to rebut the government’s allegations against you.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visas – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
One of our employees is nearing his 6th year on H-1B visa status, and he has an approved I-140 in the EB2 category filed by a different company. Can we use that approved I-140 to get a three year extension with our company?

Answer #6
Yes. Pursuant to AC21 law, an H-1B immigrant may extend his or her status beyond the 6 year limitation if a labor certification, I-140, or employment based adjustment of status application has been filed where 365 days or more have elapsed since the filing of the labor certification or I-140. Or, 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 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card: Biometrics
The fingerprints that the USCIS have on file are set to expire soon. Should I take Info pass appointment to give them a new set of fingerprints?

Answer #7
As written on the I-797C, Notice of Action, in some types of cases USCIS requires biometrics. In such cases, USCIS will send you an appointment notice with a specific date, time and place for you to go to a USCIS Application Support Center (ASC) for biometrics processing. You must WAIT for that appointment notice and take it to your ASC appointment along with your photo identification.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My husband received his GC and his DOB is wrong on the card. How do I fix this?

Answer #8
You will need to file Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. If you believe this was an administrative error on the part of the USCIS, you will need to check box d in Part 2, number 2 of the application. Along with the Form I-90 and accompanying filing fee please attach the incorrect card and evidence of the correct information (original birth certificate; passport; previous approval notices, etc). You will need to submit the USCIS filing fees (made payable to the “U.S. Department of Homeland Security”) even though you believe it was an administrative error. If you send the form with accompanying documentation without the filing fees, the case will be returned until you provide those fees. If the USCIS agrees that the error was administrative in nature, they will issue a new card and return the filing fees.


Question #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Can you sponsor my H-1B or find a company to sponsor me? I am ready to come to the U.S. and work; I have BS in Computer Science and three year experience in computer programming. What’s the process?

Answer #9
We are a law firm that will assist in the preparation of the paperwork (Forms and documents) for your H-1B non-immigrant petition once you find an employer willing to sponsor you for employment; however, we cannot find you H-1B sponsorship. In summary, once you have secured an H-1B sponsor (U.S. employer), we can then assist in the process.

The normal process for H-1B sponsorship starts when you or your employer contacts our office to initiate the process. You or your employer would contact our office, sign a legal agreement detailing the legal fees associated with the preparation and filing of the H-1B visa petition, you would then complete the H-1B questionnaire, and send all requested background documents to our office to begin the process. Once the legal payment, the completed questionnaire and background docs have been received in our office, we would be able to begin preparing your case. Once your forms have been prepared and thoroughly reviewed, we email the final documents to your sponsoring employer for their review and signatures. These forms must then be returned to our office with the requisite USCIS filing fees, and will be filed on your behalf with the USCIS. Upon receipt of the H-1B petition, the USCIS will issue a receipt notice containing a specific number which will allow you to monitor your case while it is being processed.


Question #10 – Employment Based Immigration – Employment Authorization Document (EAD)/Advance Parole Document (AP)
My EAD and AP are expiring this year. When is the earliest that I can file my renewal petitions?

Answer #10
According to the USCIS, you can petition for an EAD renewal no more than 120 days in advance of the expiration of your current EAD. For instance, if your current EAD card expires on October 16, 2011, the earliest you can file is on or after June 19, 2011.

According to the USCIS, you can petition for AP renewal no more than 30 days in advance of the expiration of your current AP or the USCIS could issue an RFE requesting your current AP document before issuing a new AP document.


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, January 21st, 2011! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyerblog.

Posted On: January 6, 2011

Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of January 1, 2011.

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 15 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 26 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 29 months.

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

Posted On: January 4, 2011

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 December 31st, 2010, 57,300 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of December 31st, 2010, 20,000 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap. THE H-1B MASTERS CAP HAS BEEN REACHED!

*USCIS will continue to accept REGULAR cap-subject 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 tuned to MVP Law Group for FY 2011 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: January 3, 2011

REMINDER - Submit Your Questions

MVP "Q & A Forum" - This Friday, January 7th, 2011

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, priority dates, 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, January 7th, 2011. 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. And, therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Meetesh Patel, Kellie Lego and the entire staff of MVP Law Group would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year!