Posted On: September 30, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, September 30th, 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 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My priority date is current according to October Visa Bulletin. I want to apply for I-485, regarding my birth certificate – it is not available and as I understand it, I need to have a certified birth certificate in order to apply. Can I submit something else? Any suggestions?

Answer #1
A certified copy of an original Birth Certificate is requested (if you do not have an original BC, please obtain either a non-availability certificate or a re-issued BC), in addition, if your BC is not registered within a year of your birth, please obtain two birth affidavits.


Question #2 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
On F1/OPT, my employer filed an H-1B for me back in July, no decision yet. Am I covered under “cap gap”?

Answer #2
H-1B petitions that are timely filed, on behalf of an eligible F-1 student, that request a change of status to H-1B on October 1 qualify for a cap-gap extension. Once a timely filing has been made, requesting a change of status to H-1B on October 1, the automatic cap-gap extension will begin and will continue until the H-1B petition adjudication process has been completed. Timely filed means filed within the H-1B acceptance period beginning April 1, 2011. The paperwork (LCA and I-129) must also reflect a beginning employment date of October 1, 2011 to be covered under the CAP GAP.


Question #3 – Family Based Immigration – Green Card
What is the age limit on USC sponsoring foreign parent or foreign relative?

Answer #3
For parents of U.S. Citizens – the U.S. Citizen Petition must be at least 21 years of age. (Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens may immigrate to the United States in unlimited numbers. Currently, there is no annual limit or quota that applies to this category.)
For sisters and brothers of U.S. Citizens – the U.S. Citizen Petition must be at least 21 years of age. (Depending on the demand, these individuals will most likely have to wait in line, possibly for many years, prior to being able to obtain a green card.)


Question #4 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card (AC-21)
I have an approved I-140 filed by my previous company and they also submitted my I-485 back in 2007. I have since moved onto employment with another company on my EAD. Can I file AC21 Portability letter?

Answer #4
You may be eligible to file an AC21 106(c) Portability Request if the new position/duties are the same or substantially similar to the position/duties listed in your Labor application certified by the DOL.


Question #5 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How many H-1B nonimmigrant visas remain for the H1B CAP?

Answer #5
The USCIS has not provided an updated on the receipt of H-1B CAP subject petitions since September 9, 2011. As of September 9, 2011, there were approximately 32,800 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 3,300 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. For continuous FY2012 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our www.h1bvisalawyerblog.com.


Question #6 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Has the suspension been lifted for the issuance of Prevailing wage determinations? I am hearing conflicting information on the internet – forums.

Answer #6
As of September 30, 2011 – More AILA members are beginning to receive PERM prevailing wage determinations for requests that were submitted in early July 2011 (OES based). Notice has not yet been provided by the DOL that the suspension has been lifted.

As of September 15, 2011 - DOL Liaison has received reports that AILA members are beginning to receive PERM prevailing wage determinations for requests that were submitted as recently as June 23, 2011.

As of September 9, 2011 - Of the approximately 3,500 H-2B wage redeterminations to be completed by the end of September, DOL has completed approximately 2,700. DOL expects to be current on H-2B redeterminations by the week of Sept 18, 2011. After H-2B redeterminations are current, a few employees will continue to work on “straggler” H-2B cases and all others who were working on redeterminations will be reassigned to work on new H-2B prevailing wage requests. DOL expects H-2B prevailing wage determinations to be current (regulatory 30 days) by mid-October. After H-2Bs are current, DOL will shift resources to focus on PERM prevailing wage requests. DOL commits to have PERM prevailing wage requests current (processed within 60 days of filing) by November 1. DOL commits to have H-1B prevailing wage determinations current by the second week of November. The aforementioned dates were said to be the “worse case scenario,” absent something catastrophic (e,g. hurricane) or other major event/change. DOL agreed that stakeholders would benefit from updates on progress made toward these processing targets, and would consider publishing an update on the status of prevailing wages at the end of September on the OFLC website. DOL repeated that it will not waive any of the regulatory requirements and did not provide any additional guidance on alternative avenues for PERM cases that are ripe for filing but for the lack of a prevailing wage determination.

As of August 25, 2011 - The Department of Labor (DOL) Liaison has received reports from members that PERM prevailing wage determinations are beginning to be received for requests submitted in early June 2011. Additionally, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has been in discussions with other stakeholders on possible courses of action, including individual mandamus actions, if DOL does not resume issuing prevailing wage determinations promptly.

Original Update: The OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule was published on August 1. All Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this court order. The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended. Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed by OFLC.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I live in VA and my driver’s license is expiring. What do I need to do? My H1B extension is pending and I need to renew my license soon, like in three weeks! Any suggestions?

Answer #7
Information provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles website - If you are authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily and have been issued a limited duration driver's license, the license cannot be renewed. A subsequent license will be processed as an original license. However, you will not be eligible to receive an original driver's license if your authorized stay in the U.S. is less than 30 days from the date you apply. Each time you apply for an original driver's license you must show two proofs of identity (one proof of identity if under age 19), one proof of legal presence and one proof of Virginia residency. Proof of your social security number (if you have been issued one) is required also. If you present a valid legal presence document without an expiration date, you will be issued a limited duration license that is valid for one year. This does not apply to a U.S. birth document since it does not contain an expiration date. Foreign applicants applying should present the following - USCIS form I-797 displaying applicant’s name (Depending on the purpose and nature of the form, the I-797 may not be accepted. The I-797 for an I-765 petition is not accepted); and an unexpired foreign passport with an Unexpired or expired U.S. visa and unexpired or expired I-94. You most certainly can upgrade your filing to Premium Processing.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
One of our consultants is nearing his 6th year on H-1B visa status, but he has an approved I-140 filed by a different company. Is it possible to use that approved I-140 to get a three year extension with our company.

Answer #8
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 #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Similar question to #7. I live in MD and my driver’s license is expiring. My H1B extension is pending and I need to renew my license. Any suggestions?

Answer #9
Information provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration website - If you hold a Maryland Driver’s License with the “T” restriction indicating that your license is a Limited Term driver’s license, expiring on the date that your lawful status in the U. S. expires, you will be required to provide new or extended proof of your lawful status. You will be required to provide proof of a social security number (SSN) that can be verified by the Social Security Administration, or proof of ineligibility for an SSN. The name(s) on the actual Social Security Card or other acceptable document used to provide proof of a valid, verifiable SSN or proof of ineligibility MUST match the source document(s) used to provide proof of the applicants' Age and Identity and licensure if required. If you held a valid Maryland driver's license, permit or identification card prior to April 19, 2009, you may be eligible for a subsequent license, permit, or identification card without proof of lawful presence or social security number, but it will not be acceptable for official federal purposes. (1) Please check your renewal notice for any errors. (2) Present your renewal notice, expiring license, and fee in person to any one of the MVA locations. (3) Pass a vision screening (4) Present new lawful status documentation if your Maryland license is expiring due to the expiration of your lawful status. You most certainly can contact the MVA itself and ask if that facility would accept your I-129 receipt notice as proof of your pending extension or upgrade your filing to Premium Processing.


Question #10 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
We appealed a denial of I-140 Immigrant Petition filed on behalf of one of our employees. How much longer can we expect to wait for a decision to be made?

Answer #10
According to the Administrative Appeals Office, Appeals filed under the EB2 preference category (Professionals with Advanced Degrees) are currently being reviewed within 31 months of filing the appeal. Appeals filed under the EB3 preference category (Skilled and Professional workers) are currently being reviewed within 35 months.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, October 14th, 2011!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.

Posted On: September 26, 2011

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, September 30th, 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, September 30th, 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: September 20, 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 September 16th, 2011 with processing dates as of July 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 provided 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: September 19, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: DOL Temporarily Suspends the Processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations

As of September 15, 2011 -
DOL Liaison has received reports that AILA members are beginning to receive PERM prevailing wage determinations for requests that were submitted as recently as June 23, 2011.

As of September 9, 2011 -
Of the approximately 3,500 H-2B wage redeterminations to be completed by the end of September, DOL has completed approximately 2,700. DOL expects to be current on H-2B redeterminations by the week of Sept 18, 2011. After H-2B redeterminations are current, a few employees will continue to work on “straggler” H-2B cases and all others who were working on redeterminations will be reassigned to work on new H-2B prevailing wage requests. DOL expects H-2B prevailing wage determinations to be current (regulatory 30 days) by mid-October. After H-2Bs are current, DOL will shift resources to focus on PERM prevailing wage requests. DOL commits to have PERM prevailing wage requests current (processed within 60 days of filing) by November 1. DOL commits to have H-1B prevailing wage determinations current by the second week of November. The aforementioned dates were said to be the “worse case scenario,” absent something catastrophic (e,g. hurricane) or other major event/change. DOL agreed that stakeholders would benefit from updates on progress made toward these processing targets, and would consider publishing an update on the status of prevailing wages at the end of September on the OFLC website. DOL repeated that it will not waive any of the regulatory requirements and did not provide any additional guidance on alternative avenues for PERM cases that are ripe for filing but for the lack of a prevailing wage determination.

As of August 25, 2011 -
The Department of Labor (DOL) Liaison has received reports from members that PERM prevailing wage determinations are beginning to be received for requests submitted in early June 2011. Additionally, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has been in discussions with other stakeholders on possible courses of action, including individual mandamus actions, if DOL does not resume issuing prevailing wage determinations promptly.

Original Update: The OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule was published on August 1. All Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this court order. The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended. Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed by OFLC.

We will continue to post new information as soon as it becomes available.

Source: AILA Doc. No. 11072571

Posted On: September 16, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, September 16th, 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
How many H-1B nonimmigrant visas remain for the H1B CAP?

Answer #1
As of September 9, 2011, there were approximately 32,800 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 3,300 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas remaining. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn. For continuous FY2012 H-1B Cap updates, please refer to our www.h1bvisalawyerblog.com.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Does green card processing duration depends on the country of birth or country of nationality? (I am asking this because I am a Pakistani National but born in United Arab Emirates so wanted to know if my processing will take less time or not)

Answer #2
It is based on country of birth. Since you are not from China, India, Mexico or the Philippines, your case would fall under ‘All Chargeability Areas’ and the time period whether from Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates would be the same.


Question #3 – 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 #3
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 #4 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
We are a new company utilizing the H-1B temporary work nonimmigrant visa program. Quick question: it’s okay to give copies of the entire petition to the H-1B employee once approved?

Answer #4
You MUST provide each applicant with a complete copy of the entire petition (including the LCA), it is a REQUIREMENT, and you must retain a complete copy of the petition within the applicant’s immigration file (public access file).


Question #5 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have transferred my H1 from Employer A to Employer B and it got denied. Employer B has appealed the denial. Now my question is: Can I go out of US and come back when appeal is in process. If so what will be option?

Answer #5
Depending upon your I-94 card, if it has expired, you need to depart the country, as receiving a denial leaves you without a valid nonimmigrant visa status, in violation of U.S. immigration laws and can negatively affect your re-entry to the U.S. in the future. You will either need to wait in your home country or elsewhere until a decision is made, or until you find another sponsoring employer willing to sponsor your H-1B nonimmigrant visa for temporary employment in the United States.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
Same set of facts as above. What will be approximate processing time for appeal to be decided?

Answer #6
The current processing time for an H-1B appeal is 21 months.


Question #7 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I’ve been working at my current company for nearly 5 years and have a bachelor’s degree in EE. Can I change jobs within the company after the five year mark and be able to use the experience for my current job towards my labor certification and moving to an EB-2 category?

Answer #7
No, you cannot use the experience obtained in your current job to apply for another position within the same company. The experience needed for EB-2 classification cannot be from your current employer.


Question #8 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
Is it possible to apply for Green Card for me and my wife in parallel to H1 and H4?

Answer #8
Yes, it is possible to initiate a GC case parallel to the H-1B/H4 proceedings if there is a legitimate permanent position available within the company and the employer is willing to sponsor you for the permanent position.


Question #9 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My OPT Extension Period ends on May 15, 2012 also my student visa expires on the same day. Do I have to apply for H1 this year or can I apply next year?

Answer #9
If your employer wishes to continue your employment, they should file an H-1B petition on your behalf under the FY2012 Cap which opened on April 1, 2011 and is still available. Employment does not begin until October 1, 2011; if however, the CAP is reached within the next few days, you will not be able to petition again until next year and will begin to accrue unlawful status unless you transfer to another nonimmigrant visa status or return to your home country once your OPT expires.


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
After graduation I worked for a company ‘A’ as a database administrator using my optional practical training /OPT/ for less than a year. Initially I was on a student visa until my employer sponsored me for a H1B visa, which was successfully selected to an H1B visa status and to begin in October 2011. Unfortunately for personal reasons I left USA and returned to my country on the 28th of August. On August 31, 2011 the H1B visa was terminated by my former employer. At this time I have another employment opportunity stateside and wish to reclaim my visa status. I’m writing you to get information as to what I can do to return my status for the H1B visa. Can you please provide me with any information on the process required to do this? Does my future employer need to sponsor me as before? Currently I’m in my home country, is it possible to do this from here? How long does the procedure take? I hope you can help me with my situation.

Answer #10
The normal process for H-1B sponsorship starts when you or your employer contacts our office to initiate the process. Your employer would contact our office, discuss the regulations and expectations of H-1B sponsorship, and sign a legal agreement detailing the legal fees associated with the preparation and filing of the H-1B visa petition. An H-1B questionnaire and documents checklist will be emailed to you for your review and completion. 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 paperwork. Once your forms have been prepared and thoroughly reviewed, we email the final documents to your sponsoring employer for their review, signatures and posting requirements. 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. It is possible for our office to prepare and file your paperwork while you are in your home country. If the case is filed under regular processing, a decision will be made in approximately 3-4 months. If the case is filed under premium processing, a decision should be made within 15 calendar days after submission of the case unless an RFE is issued.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, September 30th, 2011!

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

Posted On: September 15, 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 September 9, 2011, 32,200 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of September 9, 2011, 16,700 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

*USCIS will continue to accept 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: September 14, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: DOL Temporarily Suspends the Processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations

As of September 9, 2011 -
Of the approximately 3,500 H-2B wage redeterminations to be completed by the end of September, DOL has completed approximately 2,700. DOL expects to be current on H-2B redeterminations by the week of Sept 18, 2011.

After H-2B redeterminations are current, a few employees will continue to work on “straggler” H-2B cases and all others who were working on redeterminations will be reassigned to work on new H-2B prevailing wage requests. DOL expects H-2B prevailing wage determinations to be current (regulatory 30 days) by mid-October.

After H-2Bs are current, DOL will shift resources to focus on PERM prevailing wage requests. DOL commits to have PERM prevailing wage requests current (processed within 60 days of filing) by November 1.

DOL commits to have H-1B prevailing wage determinations current by the second week of November.

The aforementioned dates were said to be the “worse case scenario,” absent something catastrophic (e,g. hurricane) or other major event/change.

DOL agreed that stakeholders would benefit from updates on progress made toward these processing targets, and would consider publishing an update on the status of prevailing wages at the end of September on the OFLC website.

DOL repeated that it will not waive any of the regulatory requirements and did not provide any additional guidance on alternative avenues for PERM cases that are ripe for filing but for the lack of a prevailing wage determination.


As of August 25, 2011 -
The Department of Labor (DOL) Liaison has received reports from members that PERM prevailing wage determinations are beginning to be received for requests submitted in early June 2011. Additionally, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has been in discussions with other stakeholders on possible courses of action, including individual mandamus actions, if DOL does not resume issuing prevailing wage determinations promptly.

Original Update: The OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule was published on August 1. All Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this court order. The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended. Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed by OFLC.

We will continue to post new information as soon as it becomes available.

Source: AILA Doc. No. 11072571

Posted On: September 13, 2011

October 2011 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the October 2011 Visa Bulletin.

The October 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.

Posted On: September 12, 2011

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, September 16th, 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, September 16th, 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: September 2, 2011

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, September 2nd, 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 – Employment Based Immigration – Prevailing Wage
Has the suspension been lifted for the issuance of Prevailing wage determinations? I am hearing conflicting information on the internet – forums.

Answer #1
As of August 25, 2011 - The Department of Labor (DOL) Liaison received reports from members that PERM prevailing wage determinations are beginning to be received for requests submitted in early June 2011. Additionally, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has been in discussions with other stakeholders on possible courses of action, including individual mandamus actions, if DOL does not resume issuing prevailing wage determinations promptly.
Original Update: The OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule was published on August 1. All Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this court order. The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended. Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed by OFLC. They hope to comply with the court order before October 1, 2011.
We have not received any information that the suspension has been lifted as of yet. Stay tuned to MVP Law Group, as we will continue to post new information as soon as it becomes available.


Question #2 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
My spouse and daughter have received their Green Cards but I have not. I filed for our GCs through my employer – employment based. What do I need to do to fix this? Is there a problem with my case? Could my GC be denied? Please advise.

Answer #2
Based on the small amount of information you have provided, it seems like there may be an issue with the issuance/mailing of your Green Card. Your spouse and daughter would not have received their Green Cards if there was a pending issue with your case. From the information you provided, you are the primary applicant and your spouse and daughter are your derivatives. Therefore, the USCIS would not approve the I-485 Application to Adjust status for the derivatives without first approving it for the primary applicant. Follow up with the USCIS after 30 days from the date your spouse and daughter received their Green Cards by calling 1-800-375-5283.


Question #3 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
How many H-1B nonimmigrant visas remain for the CAP for FY2012 beginning October 1, 2011?

Answer #3
As of August 26, 2011, there were approximately 36,000 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 4,200 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 #4 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My current H-1B visa expires on 9/14/2011 and I’ve filed for an extension in late July and received a receipt for it. Can I continue working without the new approval?

Answer #4
Yes, 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 the date of expiration. During 240 days, there is no INA 245(c) bar to adjustment of status.


Question #5 – General
Is a new I-9 form required when an applicant applies for an extension to their employment authorization and are then granted the extension?

Answer #5
A new I-9 form is not required, but Section 3 of the original form should be completed by the authorized representative of the Company prior to the expiration of the applicant’s employment authorization.


Question #6 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa: Traveling
I am planning on traveling out of US for short trip. I heard from friends that I may not be able to obtain a new visa stamp for my recently approved I-129 and come back. Please advise.

Answer #6
If you MUST travel on H-1B status, we recommend that you have the following: at least two months’ worth of pay stubs, a copy of the approved H-1B petition, an original employment verification letter, the original approval notice, and any other documentation that would demonstrate compliance with the laws governing the H-1B program and the establishment of a bona fide job opportunity.


Question #7 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
I have an H-1B application pending since early June 2011, no RFE issued yet. Can I contact USCIS and make a service request for them to look further into the case and why it is taking so long?

Answer #7
Please review the processing times prior to calling for the Service Center where your case is being adjudicated. If your case is in fact outside of the normal processing time, the Petitioner/Authorized Representative or an Attorney for the Petitioner/Applicant should contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center, which can be reached at 1-800-375-5283, to initiate the service request for a petition that is outside of the normal processing time.

If making a service request to the Customer Service Center, please have the following information available so the Representative will be better able to assist you: your full name, the applicant’s full name, your complete company mailing address, the applicant’s complete mailing address, the applicant’s date of birth, the applicant’s receipt number for the pending application/petition, and the filing date of the applicant’s pending application/petition. If your case is outside of the normal processing time, the Officer should initiate a service request and will provide you with a timeframe for a response and a referral number in case you have to call back because no correspondence was issued within the timeframe suggested.


Question #8 – Temporary Work Visa – H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa
My brother needs to file H-1B. If he needs to apply for his new H1B under the quota, is the quote full or is it still open for this year or would he need to wait till April for new quota to open and wait till October 2012 to start work.

Answer #8
The FY2012 quota, with employment beginning October 1, 2011 remains open. As of August 26, 2011, there were approximately 36,000 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas remaining and 4,200 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.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card - EAD Renewal
I filed for my EAD renewal back in May 2010 and it is still pending. My current EAD expires next week. What are my options moving forward - can I expedite the EAD renewal process since my card is expiring next week, can I continue to work with the receipt notice?

Answer #9
To my knowledge you normally cannot expedite an EAD renewal request; however, after an EAD renewal has been pending for 75+ days, you may initiate an ‘outside the processing times’ Service Request with the USCIS. If you do not receive your EAD approval by the time your current EAD expires, you MUST WAIT and NOT WORK until your EAD is approved. You MAY NOT continue to work using the EAD receipt notice as the receipt is not evidence of an approval.

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


Question #10 – Temporary Work Visa – H2B Nonimmigrant Visa
How many H-2B nonimmigrant visas remain under the 2nd half of FY2011, if any? Under the 1st half of FY2012?

Answer #10
As of 8/26/11, USCIS receipted 30,999 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap amount for the second half of the fiscal year (FY) 2011 (April 1 - September 30). This count includes 29,921 approved and 1,078 pending petitions.

As of 08/26/11, USCIS receipted 4,326 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap amount for the first half of Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, (October 1 - March 31). This count includes 3,173 approved petitions and 1,153 pending petitions.


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

Our next “Immigration Q & A Forum” is scheduled for Friday, September 16th, 2011!

Please remember to submit your questions/comments on our h1bvisalawyer blog.