Friday, November 21, 2014


Last night President Obama announced the Immigration Accountability Executive Actions (IAEA), which is a series of wide-ranging changes to immigration policy.  Most of the major changes are centered on the undocumented community.  However, some changes will impact the business community.  At this point, only summary policies have been released by the administration.  Over the next few days and weeks, more details will emerge.  None of the changes are expected to take effect until after the New Year

MU Law will be holding a client teleconference on Tuesday December 2, 2014 at 2PM ET / 11AM PT for all clients and friends of the firm.  If you or anyone in your organization would like to dial-in to the teleconference, please contact Annalisa Smith ( to register.

Here are the key components of the IAEA, with a focus on the policies that will impact clients and friends of MU Law:

1. Allowing earlier filing of the I-485, Adjustment of Status: Green card applicants will no longer have to wait until their priority date is current in order to file their I-485, Adjustment of Status. This is especially helpful for India and China EB-2 applicants and all EB-3 applicants in the US.

a. By allowing green card applicants to file their I-485, Adjustment of Status much earlier in the green card process than under the current process, applicant’s spouses will be able to obtain work authorization (EAD cards) many years earlier than under the current policy. 
b.  Once an I-485 is pending for 180 days, applicants are able to leave their green card employer-sponsor provided that they have found a “same or similar” position.  The President has also announced that the USCIS will be providing guidance on the definition of “same or similar”.  The forthcoming guidance is expected to be more liberal than the current interpretation.

2.  H-4 Work Authorization.  This long-proposed rule will allow spouses of H-1B workers to obtain work authorization.  Earlier this summer, the USCIS floated a proposal that limited the EAD to H-4 spouses whose H-1B workers have been in the green card process for at least one year.  A final regulation is expected in December or January.

3. PERM.  The Department of Labor is expected to “modernize” the PERM process, including a potential “harmless error” provision.

4. Entrepreneurs.  The administration will be “clarifying” rules regarding using the national interest waiver and parole processes for entrepreneurs.  It is expected that these rules will be liberalized to encourage investment and entrepreneurs.

5. L-1B Guidance.  The L-1B visa system is riddled with inconsistent decision-making.  The USCIS will be offering guidance to help on this issue.

6. OPT.  Optional Practical Training will be expanded.

7. Deferred Action expansion.  This provision is the focus of much of the media attention.  Some undocumented and illegal people in the US will be able to gain temporary three year work authorization and no longer be under the threat of deportation/removal. 

a. Deferred Action for Parents (DAP): Parents of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (of any age) who have been continuously present since January 1, 2010, and who pass background checks and pay back taxes; and

b.  DACA Expansion: The age cap on DACA will be removed and the date when continuous presence must have started will be changed from June 15, 2007 to January 1, 2010. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Musillo Unkenholt will hold a free teleconference on Wednesday September 17, 2014 at 3PM ET / 12 noon PT.  All clients and friends of the firm are encouraged to dial-in to the call.  If you would like to register for the call, please send an email to:

The agenda for the teleconference includes:
* H-1B onboarding starts Oct 1: What do employers need to do to stay compliant?
* When does my H-1B worker have to start working?  The 30/60 day rule.
* When do I have to start paying an H-1B worker's salary?
* Form I-9 compliance
* E-Verify compliance
* Managing Social Security number issues.
* Handling Professional licensure issues.
* Working with the Consulate for H-1B Visa Issuance.
* H-1B cap 2014 final numbers and projections for 2015.
* What Congress and Pres. Obama are expected to do in 2014 in employment-based immigration.

Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MU VISA ADVISOR: MU Law closing at 12 noon on July 30

Musillo Unkenholt LLC turned five years old on July 1, 2014!  It would have been impossible to have our five years of success without the hard-effort and talent of our Legal team.  In celebration of our fifth birthday and in recognition of everyone's hard work, we will closing the office at 12 noon (ET) on Wednesday July 30.  We are having a group outing at the Cincinnati Reds baseball game.  If you contact us during the afternoon of July 30, rest assured that we will promptly return your call or email on Thursday.

Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue. 

Friday, April 11, 2014



The USCIS has just announced that it received 172,500 H-1B cap-subject petitions for this year’s H-1B cap.  The H-1B cap is 85,000, of which 20,000 are reserved for graduates of US Masters Programs.  Essentially the USCIS received 200% of the H-1B cap allocation.  Put another way, only 50% of the H-1B petitions will be accepted under the H-1B lottery.

The USCIS has inputted all 172,500 and processed the H-1B lottery for both the H-1B masters cap and the H-1B regular cap.  The USCIS has not yet announced when it will notify H-1B lottery winners and losers, although the Premium Process Service petitions should start being notified by April 28.

A higher percentage of masters cap H-1B petitions are accepted than H-1B regular cap petitions because H-1B master cap petitions that do not win the H-1B masters lottery are re-submitted into the H-1B regular cap lottery.

As soon as MU Law begins receiving confirmation of H-1B lottery winner and losers will immediate contact our clients.

Monday, April 7, 2014


In a surprise to no one, USCIS announced today that it has reached the H-1B cap for both the regular and master’s cap.  The USCIS is expected to hold an H-1B lottery within the next week. 

If your H-1B petition is filed under the Premium Processing Service (PPS) you should hear of its acceptance no later than April 28.  However if your PPS petition is not accepted, it may take until mid-May before you find out that the case was not accepted under the H-1B lottery. 

Reminder:  The PPS does not give a petitioner any greater chance at winning the H-1B lottery, but it does allow for speedier notice and decision-making.

If your H-1B petition is filed under the Regular Processing path it may be until May or even June before your find out if your H-1B petition is accepted under the lottery or not.  Last year it took about 10 weeks before all H1-B petitioners were notified of their acceptance or rejection.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014



In anticipation of the H-1B cap filing date of April 1, 2014, MU Law will be holding a free teleconference for our clients on February 12, 2014 at 2PM / 11AM PT.  Interested clients should email MU’s Lauren Gramke, who can register you for the teleconference.

Last year the H-1B cap was reached in the first week; we expect that the demand will be greater this year.  It is imperative that all H-1B cap-subject Petitions are filled on April 1, 2014 in order to insure that the H-1B Petition qualifies under this year’s H-1B cap.

H-1B cap-subject petitions include:
* International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school

* International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case

* Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1

* H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization

* Prospective international employees currently living abroad

In addition to the H-1B cap discussion, MU lawyers will also provide an employment-based immigration legislation update.

Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue.