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Question #1 – Asylum

How does someone apply for Asylum status in the US?

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Computer SW Engineers, Applications.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. He requested the Employer provide its recruitment documentation and a copy of its Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD). The Employer responded and the CO denied certification on two grounds. First, the wage offered in the Notice of Filing and job order was lower than the PWD. The Employer offered $59,467 and the PWD was $59.467.20. In addition, the CO stated the Employer failed to make available copies of employer notices on its employee referral program with incentives.

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO arguing the 0.0003% discrepancy should not cause their labor application to be denied. They indicated their use of “the Department of Foreign Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) Data Center Online Wage Library to determine the appropriate annual wage.” The Employer also stated that it had provided a flier of its Employee Referral Program as well as data in its Recruitment Report about the program. Despite the Employer’s claims, the CO delivered a second denial and forwarded the case to BALCA for assessment.

The American Immigration Council (AIC) has released all fifty states and the District of Columbia, for a total of fifty-one updated state-by-state fact sheets highlighting immigration data and facts. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants in each state.

With national immigration policy being discussed, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this AIC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; Iowa, Kansas and Kentucky!

The AIC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. As our economy continues to grow, Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. As United States economic continues to grow, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin.

Click the link to view the July 2018 Visa Bulletin

The monthly Visa Bulletin has changed. The bulletin now summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during the reported month for: “Application Final Action Dates” (consistent with prior Visa Bulletins) and “Dates for Filing Applications,” indicating when immigrant visa applicants should be notified to assemble and submit required documentation to the National Visa Center using Consular Processing (outside of the US) or file on their own with USCIS Form I-485 (within the US).

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, June 22, 2018. Act now and submit your questions!

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 “Hardwood Floor Installer.”

Upon evaluating the Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, an Audit was issued. In this Audit Notification, the CO asked the Employer to explain why US workers were rejected. After reviewing the Audit response, the CO denied the labor certification stating the Employer rejected three US applicants for reasons that were not job related. The CO “found the rejections were based on the failure to meet the Employer’s job requirement of having two years of hardwood floor installation experience.” He discovered three of the candidates have other experience in the construction industry that he believed would meet the requirements for the job.

The Employer requested reconsideration and BALCA review. They argued the CO was wrong in judging these three candidates were qualified for the position. Even though the applicants did have experience in “general carpentry/and or construction,” they did not believe this experience was enough to meet the requirements of the Hardwood Floor Installer job. The Employer included a Business Necessity Letter in its Audit response materials. The Employer pointed out that one of the candidates did have skills in hard wood flooring installation but he did not list how he obtained that experience. The employer also provided proof to the CO of letters that they had sent to the US worker applicants asking for them to contact the company with further information on their qualifications. The Employer claimed none of them responded to the letters.

AILA has published a copy of the USCIS’s presentation given on May 17, 2018, entitled, “USCIS Webinar – (5-17-18) – Overview of Online Tools and Services”. This copy of the webinar is presented as a PDF file, “USCIS Presentation on USCIS Online Tools and Services”.

*MyUSCIS is an online service that helps users navigate the immigration process. It offers up-to-date case status information, naturalization preparation tools, and resources to find citizenship preparation classes and doctors. Through myUSCIS, users can also establish an online account and file to renew or replace their Green Card and apply for naturalization. *USCIS Outreach

Source of Information:

The American Immigration Council (AIC) has released all fifty states and the District of Columbia, for a total of fifty-one updated state-by-state fact sheets highlighting immigration data and facts. These fact sheets highlight the demographic and economic impact of Immigrants in each state.

With national immigration policy being discussed, we thought that it would be a good time to provide some statistics on the Immigrant population in the United States as provided by this AIC research. Once a week we will be posting a blog with information on three states at a time. This week we will highlight; Idaho, Illinois and Indiana!

The AIC has compiled research which shows that Immigrants are an essential part of each of these states’ economy, labor force and tax base. As our economy continues to grow, Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs. As United States economic continues to grow, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic and political future of each of these states.

USCIS announced on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, that because of the large amount of petitions received in the first five business days, they will be using a computer-generated lottery to randomly select petitions for the temporary increase in H-2B visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. Under a temporary rule, USCIS increased the H-2B cap by up to 15,000 additional visas for FY 2018. All H-2B cap-subject petitions received by the USCIS between May 31st and June 6th will be included in the lottery.

For more detailed information about this subject please review the USCIS News Alert, “USCIS to Conduct Lottery for Temporary Increase in FY 2018 H-2B Cap“.

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