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Question #1 – Green Card

If my wife just received her EAD, can she apply for a Social Security Number or does she have to wait until her Green Card is approved?

USCIS has launched a new searchable H-1B Employer database, entitled “H-1B Employer Data Hub” and a new Web Page, entitled “Understanding Our H-1B Employer Data Hub” to explain the new Data Hub’s capabilities. The H-1B Employer Data Hub will allow the public to search H-1B petitioners by different important parameters such as fiscal year, employer name and others. USCIS will be updating the data used by the H-1B Employer Data Hub on a quarterly basis.

Please review USCIS News Alert, “USCIS Launches H-1B Employer Data Hub” for more details.

Source of Information:

The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) provides an updated ‘processing times’ in table form, with information on FY2019 quarterly completions; January 2019 to March 2019. These figures indicate the time that it takes from the date the case is received at AAO coming from the Service Center or District Office to completion.

AAO Processing Times were released with processing dates as of 4/15/19. If you filed an appeal, please review the link below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

Note: Starting with the January 2017 Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) Processing Times Report, the AAO has changed how it presents processing time data. The AAO will now provide, by form type, the total number of case completions for the fiscal year quarter and the percentage completed within 180 days, cases completed divided by their projected case goal.

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 “Electrical Helper.”

Procedural Case History – Case was originally accepted by DOL on December 3, 2007. June 11, 2008 CO denied certification. Appeal File was sent to BALCA on April 30, 2010. On April 21, 2011, BALCA vacated the denial and remanded for further processing. This labor application was for a nonprofessional position.

The Atlanta National Processing Center issued a letter directing the employer to provide evidence that it was a bona fide business entity. Additionally, the CO issued an Audit notification in June 2011. The CO asked the employer for copies of the newspaper tear sheets from its Sunday newspaper advertisements. The CO gave the Employer a one month deadline to submit its response. The Employer provided its response as well as a note asking for a 30 day extension on the tear sheets. The employer’s lawyer stated they had requested it but had not received it at the time of mailing the response.

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, May 3, 2019. Act now and submit your questions!

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced that they reached the H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2020. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject petitions that are not prohibited multiple filings. Remember, USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1B petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. USCIS noted that they received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the FY 2020 filing period!

For more information please read the USCIS news alert, “USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2020 and Reaches the Advanced Degree Exemption Cap“.

Source of Information:

Beginning on May 1st, specific Israeli nationals who are lawfully present in the United States will be able to request a change of status to the E-2 treaty investor classification! An eligible Israeli national will be able to file Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, to request a change of status to E-2 classification.

Please review USCIS News Alert, “Israeli Nationals Eligible for Treaty Investor Visas” for more details.

*The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business.  Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.  (For dependent family members, see “Family of E-2 Treaty Investors and Employees” below.)

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; Florida, Georgia and Hawaii!

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 Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Indian Vegetarian Cook.”

After receiving and reviewing the Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit. He directed the Employer to present a signed notarized statement attesting to the sponsorship of the Alien. In addition, the CO requested answers to several questions concerning the position and the Foreign Worker. The Employer responded to the Audit request in a timely manner.

Once the CO received the audit materials, he denied certification of the application. The Employer did not provide the notarized statement that was requested in the Audit Notification Letter. The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. The Employer stated that “by signing and submitting the ETA Form 9089, it had attested it had a job opportunity available.” The CO re-affirmed his decision and stated that the Employer’s failure to send back a notarized letter with the Audit was a valid reason for denying certification. The CO forwarded the case to BALCA for review.