Posted On: May 31, 2012

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2013 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 25th, 2012, 48,400 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 25th, 2012, 17,500 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to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.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 2013 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 25, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 25, 2012

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


Question #1 – Employment Based Green Card
Does an approved labor certification allow me the legal right to work within the U.S.?

Answer #1
No. An approved labor certification only allows your employer to file an EB-2 or EB-3 category immigration petition on your behalf.


Question #2 – Permanent Residence
Can I work in India while holding US green card and not jeopardize my naturalization process in US?

Answer #2
There are various eligibility requirements to qualify for Naturalization - Be 18 or older; Be a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization; Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application; Have continuous residence in the United States as a green card holder for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the application; Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application; Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization; Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics); Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law.

Additionally, if you remain outside of the U.S. for a period of one year or longer, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) does have the authority to question you and may take your Green Card, as they consider trips of 1 year or longer without a re-entry permit, abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence in the United States.


Question #3 – Employment Based Green Card
What is the difference between a labor certification and a work permit?

Answer #3
A work permit or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is a document that the USCIS issues to aliens stating that they are eligible to work on a temporary basis within the U.S. In contrast, a labor certification DOES NOT give the alien authorization to work within the U.S. Rather, it deals with future employment. Instead, a labor certification is the first step that allows the employer to file an immigration petition on the alien’s behalf.


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
Any H1Bs left?

Answer #4
As of May 18, 2012, there were approximately 42,000 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas filed and 16,000 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas filed. 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 #5 – Employment Based Green Card
Does an approved PERM labor certification provide me legal status within the U. S.?

Answer #5
No. It will, however, often provide the foundation for a later filing that can afford you legal status in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder).


Question #6 – General
How can I check the status of my application with Immigration Services?

Answer #6
There are two ways in which to check the status of your application with the USCIS. You may contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 and speak with a Customer Service Representative. Or, you may go to www.uscis.gov and enter your receipt number into the case status box on the left hand side of the website.


Question #7 – Family Based Green Card
If my child is a U.S citizen can I obtain legal status in the U.S?

Answer #7
You cannot obtain legal status in the U.S. from your child until your child reaches the age of 21.


Question #8 – Employment Based Green Card
I have a part-time job and my employer agrees to file a PERM labor certification application on my behalf. Does a part-time position qualify for PERM labor certification?

Answer #8
No. The job offer must be for a permanent and full-time position. Part-time positions do not qualify. Please note, however, that the permanent and full-time requirements are for the future position when permanent residency is granted. You are not required to work full time at the time the labor certification petition is filed.


Question #9 – Employment Based Green Card
How much is the DOL filing fee for a PERM labor certification application?

Answer #9
No DOL filing fee is required for a PERM labor certification application.


Question #10 – General
Do I have to notify Immigration if I change my address?

Answer #10
Most non-U.S. citizens must report a change of address with the USCIS within 10 days of moving within the United States or its territories. Exceptions include: Diplomats (visa status A), Official government representatives to an international organization (visa status G), and Certain nonimmigrants who do not possess a visa and who are in the U.S. for fewer than 30 days. You may report a change of address by filing Form AR-11 either electronically or by mail with the USCIS.

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 8, 2012!

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

Posted On: May 24, 2012

USCIS Delay in Receipting I-129 Petitions

USCIS has informed AILA National that:

"Due to the high number of I-129 petitions filed with USCIS recently, customers will experience a longer than usual period of time to receive their receipt notice from USCIS. Usually customers who have received a delivery confirmation can expect to receive their USCIS receipt notice within 30 days of that date. However, due to the unexpectedly high volume of applications, it may be an additional 2 to 4 weeks. Customers who do not receive notification of receipt within 60 days of their delivery confirmation date should contact the appropriate Service Center for further information. This is a temporary situation and we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause."

AILA National suggests that checks should not be voided and a stop payment should not be placed on checks that have been received, but not yet receipted, by a USCIS service center. AILA National is in communication with USCIS regarding this issue.

SOURCE: "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 12052340 (posted May. 23, 2012)"

Posted On: May 23, 2012

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2013 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 18th, 2012, 42,000 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 18th, 2012, 16,000 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 2013 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 22, 2012

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 16, 2012 with processing dates as of March 31, 2012.

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: May 16, 2012

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2013 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 11th, 2012, 36,700 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 11th, 2012, 14,800 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 2013 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 14, 2012

MVP LAW GROUP – Immigration Q&A Forum, Friday, May 11, 2012

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


Question #1 – Green Card
How long can you live outside the United States and still keep your green card valid?

Answer #1
One should be able to use one's green card to return from trips abroad of up to one year. However, anytime a green card holder leaves the U.S., he or she is subject to being accused by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) of having abandoned the intention of living in the U.S., and is subject to having the green card taken away--on the spot. Staying longer than one year may also affect the naturalization process if and when you attempt to apply.


Question #2 – 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 #2
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 #3 – Employment Authorization/Travel Document
How soon can I renew my EAD and Advance Parole (AP)?

Answer #3
You can file the renewal 120 days prior to the expiration date. However, AP applicants are advised to reapply within 30 days or less remaining on their current I-131 document


Question #4 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
I am on OPT, I am working and I have an offer for a job. Are there any H-1B visas left under the CAP?

Answer #4
As of May 4, 2012, there were approximately 32,500 H-1B Regular CAP subject nonimmigrant visas filed and 13,700 H-1B Masters Exemption nonimmigrant visas filed. 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 #5 – Employment Authorization/Travel Document
My spouse has H4 and is currently not working; do I need to renew EAD? Can I renew later when I need it?

Answer #5
You do not need to renew EAD. You can reapply for EAD anytime while your I-485 is pending.


Question #6 – General
If my case was issued an RFE, what does that mean? Does it automatically mean that my case will be denied? What chance do I have of getting my visa granted if an RFE was issued?

Answer #6
A Request for Evidence (RFE) is issued when additional evidence is required, as the adjudicator believes that it cannot make a decision based on the initial evidence/documentation provided. A USCIS adjudicating officer could issue an RFE pertaining to the alien applicant's eligibility, the Petitioner’s financials, the legitimacy of the Petitioner’s company, etc. Many cases do receive RFE’s, and after submission of additional legal arguments, explanations, and evidence, the cases are often approved. Receiving an RFE on a submitted case does not automatically mean that the case will be denied.


Question #7 – Marriage Based Immigration –Green Card
What is a “Stokes” interview? I heard a co-worker talking about it and I have a cousin who is being sponsored by her husband for family based green card and would like to know what it is so I can tell them?

Answer #7
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.


Question #8 – Employment Authorization/Travel Document
My H-1B is expiring, should I extend H-1B or be on EAD?

Answer #8
You can work on EAD while your adjustment of status application (I-485) is pending. However, in the unforeseen event that your adjustment of status application is denied by the USCIS, you would fall out of status. Therefore, it is a good idea to maintain H-1B status as long as you can. However, this is decision that you have to make.


Question #9 – Employment Based Immigration – Green Card
I appealed my denied my labor application to BALCA. My employer just got notice that my appeal has been docketed. When can I expect a decision?

Answer #9
According to the United States Department of Labor website, it is approximately taking up to two (2) years for a case to be reviewed by BALCA from the date of filing the appeal.


Question #10 – H-1B Nonimmigrant Work Visa
If I am on an H-1B visa, do my wife and children automatically receive H-4 status or do they have to apply for it?

Answer #10
No, they would have to apply for the H4 visa status. If the beneficiary’s spouse/children are in the United States on another status other than H status, e.g. student status, an application to change their status to an H status should be filed. If the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s spouse/children are outside the United States and the beneficiary wishes to apply for a derivative visa (referred to as an H4 visa) abroad, and the H4 visa application can be made and is available on walk-in basis at the U.S. Consulate abroad along with or after the grant of the H1B approval, no other processing is required for an H4 visa abroad. Contact the consulate abroad or an Information Officer at the United States Department of State Visa Office at 202.663.1225 for the procedures or documents that may be required.


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 25, 2012!

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

Posted On: May 11, 2012

JUNE 2012 VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click here to view the June 2012 Visa Bulletin.

The June 2012 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. There are no numbers presently available in the EB2 classification for China and India. According to the Visa Bulletin, numbers will be available for China and India Employment Based Second Preference cases beginning October 1, 2012 under the FY2013 numercial limitations. Every effort will be made to return the China and India EB2 cut-off date to the May 1, 2010 date which had been reached in April 2012.

Note: Readers should be advised that it is impossible to accurately estimate how long that may take, but current indications are that it would definitely not occur before Spring 2013.

**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: May 8, 2012

LATEST UPDATE: H-1B FY2013 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 4th, 2012, 32,500 H-1B Regular CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 65,000 cap.

As of May 4th, 2012, 13,700 H-1B Masters Degree CAP subject non-immigrant visa petitions have been filed with the USCIS towards the 20,000 cap.

*USCIS will continue to accept 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 2013 H-1B CAP updates!

Posted On: May 7, 2012

MVP "Immigration Q & A Forum" - This Friday, May 11, 2012

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, priority dates, the monthly visa bulletin, adjustment applications, etc., 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 11th, 2012. 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. Therefore, your communication with us through this forum will not be considered as privileged or confidential.

Posted On: May 4, 2012

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times

Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times were released with processing dates as of May 1, 2012.

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 21 months; for an I-140EB3 Appeal for a Skilled or Professional Worker is 34 months.

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