Posted On: May 31, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2012 CAP COUNTS

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 May 26th, 2011, 13,100 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 26th, 2011, 9,000 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 H-1B 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to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.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 2012 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 27, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 27th, 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
Are there any H1B nonimmigrant visas remaining?

Answer #1
As of May 20th, 2011, there were approximately 52,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 11,500 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to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.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 FY2012 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our www.h1bvisalawyerblog.com.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My Priority date will be current soon. I am prepared to file my I-485, what are the associated USCIS filing fees? Do I have to pay for EAD and AP?

Answer #2
You will need to make payment in the amount of $1,070.00 or less depending upon your age, which will cover the I-485 processing, the biometrics, the employment authorization document (EAD) processing and the Advance Parole document (AP) processing.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – TN Visa
What is required to obtain a TN visa at the border? What documents do I need to have to get the visa?

Answer #3
You must establish that the position in question requires the employment of a person in a professional capacity, consistent with the NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1. You will need to carry your educational documents (degree/transcripts/license, if applicable) and work experience documents (experience letters, resume, tax documents, etc.) to evidence your qualifications for the position. You will also need to present an offer letter and/or employment agreement from the company which clearly explains the position you are seeking to be employed in.


Question #4 – Family 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 #4
Once you have married and have submitted your paperwork to the USCIS, it is taking approximately 4-6 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 #5 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
One of our employees is going on vacation from 06/25/2011 – 07/28/2011 and we are getting his h1b ext. in June, as he expires in September 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 #5
The answer to your question depends upon the specifics of your case; whether an end client letter 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 9/2011, you could prepare and file the extension case once the beneficiary returns and it will still be deemed a timely filing. Knowing the above information, please consider all of the circumstances of the case before you make a decision to proceed forward.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I went for visa stamping and was issued 221(g) 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 14 days. I am worried, is this a normal thing? What can my employer do to speed things up?

Answer #6
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. Your employer has no control or authority over this process; therefore, there is nothing they can do to assist. 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 #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have been considering teaching for a while as a way to give back to my community and was wondering being on H1-B, would I be able to hold a part-time teaching position at a university or college, if given the opportunity?

Answer #7
You would be able to hold a part-time teaching position at a university or college; however, the University or College must be willing to sponsor your H-1B visa. The University or College 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 #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What is the grace period on an H1B extension? I reside in California, my current H1 visa expires on 6/25/2011 and I’ve filed for an extension on 4/9/2011. I got receipt already.

Answer #8
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 #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My priority date is current as of the June 2011 visa bulletin. I heard through various forum posts that we can call them and provide details of our case so that based on first come first call they would process and issue the GC faster, is this true?

Answer #9
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 #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Is a Nurse Practitioner considered a Specialty Occupation? A doctor’s office has given me a job opportunity (I’m on OPT) and I wanted to make sure before I accept that this is doable?

Answer #10
If you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field and the position requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in a stated filed, then you may be eligible for the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. In the medical industry, most of these occupations require graduate school. This type of position also requires extensive skill, knowledge and experience.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, June 10, 2011! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

Posted On: May 25, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2012 CAP COUNTS

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 May 20th, 2011, 12,300 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 20th, 2011, 8,500 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 H-1B 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 2012 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 24, 2011

BALCA Remands for Materiality Assessment of Section M-1

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

In Section M-1 of Form 9089 where the employer is suppose to check whether they completed the application, the Employer failed to check either “yes” or “no”. The CO denied certification of the application on March 23, 2010 citing the fact that Section M-1 was not completed. The case was forwarded to BALCA after the Employer submitted a corrected copy of Form 9089, with Section M-1 complete. The Employer stated he was only seeking reconsideration of the case instead of a formal appeal in a letter to BALCA on August 2, 2010.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.11(b) controls and it provides that after July 16, 2007 no request for modifications to an application will be accepted.

In the instant case, the Employer did submit an amended and complete copy of Form 9089 after receiving the original denial from the CO. Under regulation however, modification to an application can no longer be used for reconsideration of an application. BALCA noted that the attorney for the Employer did fill out the certification below section M-1. The Board thereafter stated they have not, “made a finding whether failure to make a selection in Section M-1 is or is not material under the circumstances of this case.” BALCA declined to affirm or reverse the denial of the case, and instead sent it back to the CO for further consideration.

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

Posted On: May 23, 2011

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 27th, 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, May 27th, 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: May 20, 2011

BALCA Affirmed Denial - Proof of Job Order Placement Required

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 “Maintenance and Repair Workers, General.”

The Employer’s Application for Permanent Employment Certification was denied on August 28, 2007 by the CO who cited that in section H of Form ETA 9089, the job opportunity listed was not offered to the alien in section J of Form ETA 9089. In the Employer’s request for review, he stated it was a careless mistake to check the “no” box in Section H16 instead of the yes “box”, referencing the view of Matter of Health America. An additional request was submitted by the Employer on September 11, 2008. An audit was then issued and the Employer was requested to provide documentation of the job order placed with the State Workforce Agency (SWA), a copy of the job order issued by the SWA or other evidence to prove publication by the SWA. The documentation submitted by the Employer was found unsatisfactory to the CO in proving the SWA ran the job order and certification was denied on August 26, 2009. After the case was forwarded to BALCA, the Employer filed a Statement of Intent to Proceed on January 12, 2010.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(e)(1)(i)(A) controls and it provides that one of the ways an Employer must inform US workers about a job opportunity is by placing a job order with the SWA in the area of intended employment for 30 days.

In the instant case, the Employer did not provide any of the documentation specifically requested by the CO’s Audit Notification to verify the job order placed with the SWA serving the area of intended employment. The documents the Employer did provide were not sufficient enough to conclude that the job order was received and published by the SWA.

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

Posted On: May 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 May 17, 2011 with processing dates as of March 31, 2011.

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.

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: May 18, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2012 CAP COUNTS

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 May 13th, 2011, 11,200 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 13th, 2011, 7,900 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 H-1B 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 2012 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 18, 2011

BALCA Affirmed - Must Document Employee Referral Program Recruitment Efforts

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 “Senior SAP Basis Technology Analyst.”

In the Employer’s Application for Permanent Employment Certification, three additional recruitment steps were listed because the job advertised was a professional position. The Employer’s ETA Form 9089 was audited on November 15, 2007. The CO requested recruitment documentation in the Audit Notification and the Employer responded to the audit with a screenshot of its internal job posting website. This screenshot included the dates on which the posting began and ended. Certification was denied by the CO on the grounds that documentation of the additional recruitment steps was insufficient as well as no employer notices or memorandum that specifically indentified incentives offered were submitted. A request for reconsideration was submitted by the Employer on June 18, 2009 who argued the screenshot qualified as sufficient evidence under the regulation. The Employer also sent information detailing the talent referral program in the request for reconsideration. The CO upheld his previous decision in denying certification even after the employer’s request for reconsideration and forwarded the case to BALCA on February 12, 2010. The CO filed his Statement of Position stating the Employer’s inability to submit documentation on time was a just cause for denial.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.24(g)(2)(i) ,(ii) controls and it provides that an Employer’s request for reconsideration may only include documentation that Employer originally did not have to opportunity to present or documentation the CO specifically requested.

In the instant case, the Employer had the opportunity to submit documentation of advertising and the specific incentives in the audit response but failed to do so. Additionally, evidence was submitted by the Employer in the request for reconsideration that was not previously submitted or asked for by the CO. Therefore the evidence cannot be used in the reconsideration of the case and the CO’s denial of certification was valid.

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

Posted On: May 16, 2011

BALCA Vacates Denial in the Interest of Fundamental Fairness

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently vacated the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification for an alien worker for the position of “Practical Nurse.”

After accepting the Employer’s Application for Permanent Certification on October 26, 2007, the CO issued an Audit Notification which requested documentation of the Notice of Filing. The Employer responded to the Audit and submitted three pieces of evidence, but an actual copy of the Notice of Filing was not included. A status update of the case was requested by the Employer on June 9, 2008 since no reply had been given since the submission of the audit response. A second request for a status update was sent on November 25, 2008. The denial of the case was issued on December 9, 2008 by the CO who cited failure to produce a copy of the Notice of Filing as well as a difference in the wages listed on the Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) and ETA Form 9089. The Employer submitted a request for review that included copies of the Notice of Filing and PWD. The Employer also stated in his request for review that the two documents were previously submitted in the audit response. Additionally, the Employer clarified a second PWD was acquired when it was realized the state department of labor had left the prevailing wage blank. However, the CO concluded the denial was valid on November 17, 2009. The CO argued that the Employer did not originally submit the Notice of Filing following the Audit Notification and the copy included in the request for review could not be considered as it was new evidence; however, the CO did accept the Employer’s explanation as to why the wage on the PWD and Form 9089 did not match. The case was then forwarded to BALCA and a Notice of Docketing was issued on December 7, 2009. In the appellate brief, the Employer argued that the Notice of Filing was included in the Audit response, suggesting it may have been lost. The Employer’s attorney also contested there was a copy of the Notice of Filing in her copy of the audit response.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.20(b) controls and it provides that an application can be denied by the CO if the Employer fails to provide the requested documentation following an Audit Notification.

In the instant case, the Employer did respond to the Audit Notification in a timely manner but the documentation submitted did not include the Notice of Filing, which the Employer suggests may have been lost or accidently left out of the response. BALCA found that the Notice of Filing was fully intended to be included in the audit response and its absence was either due to mistake by the sender or recipient.

Accordingly, the Board vacated the decision of the CO in denying labor certification and returned the case to the CO for complete processing.

Posted On: May 13, 2011

June 2011 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the June 2011 Visa Bulletin.

The June 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.

*Section D explains that the determination of the June cut-off dates was delayed in order to monitor the demand by applicants to "upgrade" their status from Employment Third to Employment Second preference.

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

Posted On: May 13, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 13th, 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
Are there any H1B nonimmigrant visas remaining?

Answer #1
As of May 6th, 2011, there were approximately 54,800 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 12,700 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 FY2012 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our www.h1bvisalawyerblog.com.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My Priority date will be current soon. I am currently on EAD through my spouse’s I-485 filing and wish to file my I-485 when my priority date becomes current. Can I file while on EAD or do I need to obtain an H-1b or stop working and get an H4? I apologize, I have been reviewing forums and they all say different things.

Answer #2
Based on the limited facts you have provided… pursuant to Section 245, you would be considered a restricted alien– (9) any alien who seeks adjustment of status pursuant to an employment based immigrant visa petition under Section 203(b) of the Act…who is not maintaining a lawful nonimmigrant status at the time he or she files an application for adjustment of status. Restricted aliens are not eligible to adjust unless they qualify under 245(k).


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I found a company willing to sponsor me, but they asked if I could extend my OPT (I have 8 months remaining) because the attorney said that the process to obtain an H-1B takes longer than that. Is this true? Please help.

Answer #3
The current processing time period for an H-1B petition based on change of status is roughly 3-4 months, with premium processing - 15 calendar days from receipt of the case. The H-1B CAP for FY2012 is still open and you would be able to file under the current quota, so I am not sure where the attorney is obtaining this information from.


Question #4 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card
Are there any types of restrictions on a conditional permanent resident card? Once my husband gets his green card, can he travel (internationally)?

Answer #4
Yes, he may travel internationally provided the trip is less than 6 months out of the year. The restrictions are mostly just the time frame, given most GCs are issued for 10 years, they want to make sure at the end of the two (2) years, prior to renewal of the GC, that you are still in a legitimate marriage and that the marriage was not for fraudulent purposes. Once the two (2) years are over and the conditions are removed after he applies to remove them, he should receive a GC valid for 10 years.

Within 90 days of the two-year anniversary of obtaining conditional residence, you and your husband will be required to file a Joint Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence (Form I-751). Once the conditions are removed, your husband will officially have Lawful Permanent Residence in the US.


Question #5 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I found a company willing to sponsor me, but they are strongly considering not sponsoring me due to the costs associated with sponsoring me – lawyer fees, filing fees, etc. Can I pay these fees directly to USCIS and lawyer or can I reimburse my sponsoring company, or arrange some type of payment plan?

Answer #5
NO. Lawyer fees and USCIS filing fees MUST be paid solely by the employer, not by the beneficiary. This action would be in violation of the laws governing the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program.


Question #6 – Student – F1 Visa Status
I want my youngest brother to come to USA to go to school; he has mentioned it many times. What do we need to do?

Answer #6
Please visit the following website http://www.ice.gov/sevis/students/index.htm as it will provide the steps for how your brother can obtain an 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 brother 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 http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant VisaOne of our employees is nearing his 6th year on H-1B visa status and he has an approved I-140 filed by a different company. Is it possible to use the approved I-140 to get a three year extension with our company?

Answer #7
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 #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I used all my 6 years on H-1B visa and returned to my country. I have been here for almost 6 months now and have a new job offer. 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.

Answer #8
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 a new H-1B nonimmigrant visa. However, you may qualify for some other type of nonimmigrant visa.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I have an approved I-140 filed by company A and they also submitted my I-485 back in 2007. I have since moved onto employment with company B on my EAD. Can I file AC21 Portability letter?

Answer #9
You may be eligible to file an AC21 106(c) Portability Request if the new position and duties are the same or substantially similar to the position/duties listed in your Labor application certified by the DOL and company B is willing to take over your Green Card sponsorship.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
What document determines how long I can stay legally in the United States: my visa, my I-94 card or the expiration of my current passport?

Answer #10
Short answer: The visa stamp issued by the U.S. State Department displayed in your passport allows you to enter the U.S. at a port of entry. The I-94 card issued by an Immigration Inspector at the port of entry is your admission ticket and displays the time period you are authorized to stay in the United States. If your I-94 card expires and you did not obtain an extension, and you remain in the U.S. without taking further action, this inaction will result in you accruing unlawful presence in the U.S.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, May 27, 2011! Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

Posted On: May 12, 2011

BALCA Remands - Employer’s Job Search web advertisement met requirements of 20 CFR §656.17(f)

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

The CO issued an Audit Notification on October 2, 2007 requesting additional documentation in regards to the Employer’s recruitment efforts. The Employer responded to the audit by producing copies of its recruitment report and an ad listed on a job search website. Certification was denied by the CO because the recruitment done through the web site neglected to list the employer’s name, marking it as “confidential”. In a request for review, the Employer argued that the Employer’s full name and address were in fact listed on the ad at the following website http://hotjobs.yahoo.com. Though the Employer tried to prove the “advertisement could clearly be matched to the sponsored job opportunity,” the CO found the Employer did not overcome the original deficiencies of the application’s denial. The case was then forwarded to BALCA on November 19, 2009 and the Employer filed a Statement of Intent to Proceed. In the Statement of Position filed on January 22, 2010, the CO restated the reason for denial as the Employer’s identification as “confidential” on the website advertisement.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f)(1) controls and it provides if an employer places an advertisement on a job search web site other than the employer’s, there are certain requirements such as including the “name of the employer.”

In the instant case, the Employer’s name was marked as “confidential” but if a searcher clicked on the links of the website they would be taken to the advertisement which did contain the employer’s name and address. BALCA found a potential employee would have been able to find the full information by clicking on the links available in the listing. Further, the web page without the Employer’s name was not the advertisement itself; the advertisement was a link that could be found on the web page that did include the Employer’s name.

Accordingly, the Board vacated the decision of the CO in denying labor certification and returned the matter to the CO for completion of processing.

Posted On: May 11, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2012 CAP COUNTS

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 May 6th, 2011, 10,200 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 6th, 2011, 7,300 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 H-1B 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 2012 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 10, 2011

BALCA Finds SWA Job Order Must Comply with §656.17(f)

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 “High School Science Teacher.”

After the Employer neglected to respond to an Audit Notification, the CO denied certification on February 27, 2007. The Employer then proceeded to argue that they had never received the Audit Notification and requested a review of the case. Once the CO re-issued the Audit Notification on May 27, 2008 the Employer did respond. Following a review of the Employer’s response, the CO denied certification on the grounds that the requirements for the job didn’t match on ETA Form 9089 and the order placed with the State Workforce Agency (SWA). The ETA Form 9089 listed a wage lower than that on the job order as well as the fact that the Employer did not submit two recent letters of recommendation to fulfill the requirement of the ad placed on Edjoin.com. In a request for review, the Employer argued the requirement difference on the forms occurred as a result of SWA’s mistake and the Edjoin.com ad shouldn’t have asked for two letters of recommendation. The case was then forwarded to BALCA on November 18, 2009 and a Notice of Docketing was issued. In a Statement of Position, the CO explained the case was denied because the SWA requirements are greater than those listed on ETA Form 9089 and the requirements on the website ad exceed those listed on the application as well.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f)(6) controls and it provides: “advertisements must not contain any job requirements or duties which exceed the job requirements or duties listed on the ETA Form 9089.”

In the instant case, the SWA job order violated the above regulation because the requirements exceeded those stated on ETA Form 9089. Additionally, BALCA found it was the Employer’s responsibility to make sure the job order complies with the filing requirements even if the SWA made a mistake when entering the information.

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

Posted On: May 9, 2011

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 13th, 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, May 13th, 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: May 5, 2011

BALCA Affirmed Denial - Evidence of Recruitment with Private Employment Firms

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 “Senior Software Engineer.”

On the Employer’s Application for Permanent Employment Certification, three additional types of recruitment were listed because the job advertised was a professional position. An Audit Notification was issued by the CO on October 5, 2007 requesting documentation on the Employer’s additional recruitment steps which included: listing the job on a job search website, using the employee referral program and listing the job with a private employment firm. The Employer responded to the Audit Notification on October 19, 2007 and submitted documentation which included: a copy of ETA Form 9098, a letter from HR stating the need for the job’s requirements, the posting of the available notice for the job (dated May 21, 2007 to June 1, 2007), the recruitment report, prevailing wage determination, copies of additional postings, list of recruitment agencies used, and a copy of the employee referral program. Certification was denied on February 11, 2008 by the CO who cited failure to provide, “adequate documentation of additional recruitment steps for professional occupations” as the reason for denial. The CO went on to say the Employer lacked evidence to support the company listing minimum requirements for the job that exceeded the SVP level as well as failed to demonstrate the recruitment efforts by the private employment firms. The Employer submitted a request for review on February 29, 2008 arguing the previous evidence submitted was adequate. Following the Employer’s request for review, the CO still denied certification. The CO accepted the Employer’s argument and additional documentation concerning the business necessity but did not accept the evidence to support the recruitment efforts by private employment firms. The case was then forwarded to BALCA and a Notice of Docketing was issued on October 8, 2009. In a Statement of Position, the CO defended the denial of certification, arguing sufficient documentation was not provided by the Employer to show individuals were given the opportunity to apply for the position or, “that any recruitment was done in a timely manner.”

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(e)(1)(ii)(F) controls and it provides that an employer may consult private employment firms as one of their additional recruitment steps for a professional position. The regulation also stipulates documentation must be provided that is “sufficient to demonstrate that recruitment has been conducted by a private firm for the occupation for which certification is sought.”

In the instant case, the Employer submitted additional evidence of the private employment firm’s recruitment efforts that was not in the original record; therefore the evidence could not be considered. BALCA found the CO properly denied certification and concluded that the Employer failed to comply with regulations.

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

Posted On: May 4, 2011

Administrative Appeals Office Processing Times

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

If you filed an appeal, please review the link 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 18 months; for an I-129 L1 Appeal - 22 months. The current processing time for an I-140 EB2 Appeal for an Advanced Degree Professional is 30 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 32 months.

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

Posted On: May 3, 2011

BALCA Affirmed Denial of Unsigned ETA 9089 Submitted by Mail

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 “Cook.”

After accepting an application for Permanent Employment Certification on August 28, 2007, the CO issued a denial of the application citing nine different reasons. The Employer requested review of the case on September 14, 2007 and argued that although portions of the application had been “mistakenly overlooked,” he had complied with all the regulations. The letter of request for review from the Employer did not satisfy the CO and the case was forwarded to BALCA on January 6, 2010. The official denial from the CO stated the application was denied on the grounds that the alien did not sign Section L-2 of ETA Form 9098 and the offered wage was lower than the prevailing wage noted on ETA Form 9098. Following a Notice of Docketing issued by BALCA, the Employer filed an appellate brief arguing that they were unable to submit ETA 9098 with the alien’s signature because the alien lives in a remote area of Kosovo with limited mail service. Additionally, the Employer noted in the brief that the higher end of the salary range offered does coincide with the prevailing wage determination listed on ETA Form 9098.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(a) controls and it provides that it is the Employer’s responsibility when applying for labor certification on behalf of an alien to submit a fully completed ETA Form 9098 which includes signatures from the employer, alien, and attorney/agent.

In the instant case, BALCA found the burden to be on the Employer as he failed to ensure the application was fully complete upon submission. Without signatures from all necessary parties, a visa petition cannot be processed and is therefore denied.

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

Posted On: May 2, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2012 CAP COUNTS

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 April 29th, 2011, 9,200 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of April 29th, 2011, 6,600 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 H-1B 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 2012 H-1B CAP updates!