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, DREAMers, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, 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, April 14, 2017. Act now and submit your questions!

Once a month, MVP Law Groups’ Managing Attorney, Kellie N. Lego publishes an electronic Immigration Newsletter. This emailed newsletter features current articles, relevant data and up-to-date information about U.S. Immigration. We invite you to join our mailing list.

Current Newsletter: MVP Immigration Newsletter – March 2017

Follow link to join: Join our mailing list!

On Monday, April 3rd, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced further measures to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. USCIS feels they are protecting the American worker by combating fraud in our H-1B nonimmigrant visa program and has made that a priority.

USCIS will take a more targeted approach when making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees. By filing an H-1B petition with the USCIS, an employer is giving the agency the authority to conduct random site visits to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations governing the H1B nonimmigrant visa program.

USCIS will focus on:

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Service Centers were released on 3/14/17 with processing dates as of 1/31/17.

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 (CSC)

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Cook Assistant, Japanese Cuisine.”

After audit, the CO denied the labor certification stating the prevailing wage on the ETA form 9089 did not match the one listed on the prevailing wage determination (PWD). The Labor application listed “$10.04” per hour and the prevailing wage determination listed “$10.14” per hour. The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial stating the prevailing wage discrepancy was “a minor typographical error”, “a clerical mistake of minor importance,” and that “no potential applicant was exposed to the clerical error.” They cited its Notice of Filing included the accurate wage. The Employer also argued in order to correct and re-file the labor application they would have to re-start the time-consuming recruitment process all over again.

After reviewing the reconsideration, the CO affirmed its denial of certification. He believed that under the PERM regulations, “employers must present an application that is complete and accurate to ensure the integrity of the PERM process.” The CO also pointed out that “$10.04” was typed twice on the application. The CO based his decision on the 20 C.F.R. 656.10(c)(1), which requires employers to certify in applications for permanent employment certification that the “offered wage equals or exceeds the prevailing wage.” The CO forwarded the case to BALCA for review.

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 – Family Based Immigration

If my relative is abroad and going through Consular Processing, do I need to be present with them for the interview?

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Computer & Information Systems Manager.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. Once the Employer responded to the Audit, the CO denied certification of the application for failing “to respond to the audit notification within the required time.”

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In its argument, the Employer submitted its audit response documentation that included a copy of its job posting from its website with an unreadable handwritten note displaying the dates of posting. In addition, the recruitment report signed by the Company’s President was submitted. In the report, the time frame for the job posting on the employer’s website was listed as November 30 to December 30, 2008.

On Monday, March 13, 2017, USCIS announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-2B petitions to reach the congressionally mandated cap (66,000) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. March 13, 2017 is now the “final receipt date” for cap-subject H-2B worker requesting employment start dates before October 1, 2017. The “final receipt date” is the date on which USCIS determined that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of H-2B workers for FY2017.

USCIS will reject new H-2B petitions that were received after March 13, 2017 and that request an employment start date before October 1, 2017, but there are some exceptions!

The exceptions are listed below:

The Nebraska Service Center (NSC) delaying adjudication of H-4 related I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) applications and I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) applications for H-4 Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that are filed concurrently with H1B petitions for premium processing.

While there is no premium processing available for H-4 or EAD applications, if they are submitted concurrently with a corresponding I-129 H1B petition that includes a premium-processing request, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) typically will adjudicate the H-4 and EAD applications in an expedited manner. Because premium processing service for H1B petitions is being suspended temporarily for up to six months, effective April 3, 2017, the NSC is being overwhelmed with requests before this April 3rd deadline. Because of the large number of cases, the NSC will first adjudicate the I-129 petitions, and then process the H-4 and EAD applications one to two week later. Applicants who don’t receive notice on about their H-4 or H-4 EAD applications by the end of April are advised to contact the USCIS National Customer Service Center.

Source of Information: