Monday, June 26, 2017

POST H-1B CAP 2017 & TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WEBINAR

MU VISA ADVISOR: POST H-1B CAP 2017 & TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WEBINAR 
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Come join us as MU Law explores the latest legal topics on the H-1B Cap 2017 & the Trump Administration by hosting a free educational webinar

Who's Invited?
Clients & Friends

When?
June 29, 2017 @ 3PM / 12PM PT

Where? 
The Webinar will take place on Livestorm.co 

Please click the link below to register
Please register for the conference at Livestorm.co

You will be provided a link for the event once registered! 
______________________________________________________________________________________________

This year, the H-1B cap was reached in the first week with approximately 199,000 petition filings. Our webinar will feature in a range of topics including:

Alternatives for employees not chosen in this year’s CAP; Preparing your employee for the consulate interview; H-1B Dependency Rule & Issues with staffing companies; H1-B Amendments; Site Visits, and more.

The webinar will also have a special update on the new Trump Administration. MU Law’s Chris Musillo, who has recently traveled to Washington DC, will provide an update on what potential changes will be coming to employment-based immigration considering the new administration and recently issues memos.

The webinar will last for approximately 90 minutes, including a live Q&A session at the end.

We hope to see you there! 
______________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information on the agenda of the webinar, please see below. Thank you.

  1. H-1B Cap 
    • Alternatives for employees not chosen in this year's CAP
    • Preparing your employee for the consulate interview
    • On-boarding an employee
  2. H-1Bs in 2017
    • H-1B Dependency Rule (LCA & 50/50 rule) 
    • H-1B issues for Staffing Companies and Third-Party Placements
      • What is Third-Party Placement v. In-House work?
    • March 31, 2017 Computer Programmer Memo
      • Rescinds the December 22, 2000 Terry Way memo issues to the Nebraska Service Center 
      • Implications for future H-1B filings 
    • H-1B Amendments 
      • Short Term Placement Rule (30-day rule)
      • Amendment pending but employee is now moving to new work site. What is the Employer's strategy? 
      • Employee is still abroad but work site changes
      • Pending H-1B CAP case but the assignment no longer exists 
    • Site visits
      • How can the Employer prepare for a site visit? 
      • How can you prepare your employee for a site visit? 
  3. Immigration in the era of the Trump Administration
    • Traveling and Consular Process
    • Potential regulatory changes 
    • Potential legislative changes 
  4. Q&A


Thursday, May 4, 2017

USCIS COMPLETES DATA ENTRY OF H-1B CAP PETITIONS

USCIS has just announced that it has completed data entry of all fiscal year 2018 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in their computer-generated random process.  It may take a week or so for all of the H-1B cap receipts to be delivered.  If a Beneficiary has not received an H-1B receipt notice in the next week or so, it stands to reason that they have not “won” the H-1B lottery.

Shortly, USCIS will begin returning all H-1B cap-subject petitions that were not selected.  USCIS is unable to provide a definite time frame for returning these petitions.  USCIS will issue an announcement once all of the unselected petitions have been returned.

In order to balance the distribution of H-1B cap cases, USCIS is transferring some Form I-129 H-1B cap subject petitions from the Vermont Service Center to the California Service Center.  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

USCIS RECEIVES 199,000 H-1B CAP PETITIONS

USCIS announced on April 17, 2017, that it has received 199,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions, which is about 20% fewer than the 236,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions that were received in 2016 and the 233,000 that were received in 2015.  USCIS is in the process of running the H-1B lottery and notifying H-1B cap winners.  Petitioners should expect about 43% of their H-1B cap filings to be H-1B cap winners.

As announced on March 3, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Amend the H-1B petition to notify the USCIS of the filing of a new LCA and/or geographic change in employment;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second, contemporaneous part-time H-1B position. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

USCIS LIMITS ENTRY-LEVEL H-1Bs FOR IT WORKERS; ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL WORKSITE ENFORCEMENT

The USCIS has issued a Policy Memorandum that will likely lead to denial of Computer-related positions where the employer uses a Level 1 OES wage.  Accordingly, MU Law recommends that all clients use at least Level Two OES wages, or use alternative wage surveys.  The new Policy Memorandum takes immediate effect and will be used for all H-1B petitions: H-1B cap, H-1B extensions, H-1B transfers, and H-1B amendments.   

The March 31, 2017 Policy Memorandum rescinds a seventeen-year-old December 22, 2000 Policy Memorandum, issued by Nebraska Service Center then-Director Terry Way.  There is little doubt that the new Policy Memorandum is a direct result of immigration restrictionists in the USCIS who feel emboldened by the new Trump presidency.  It remains to be seen how restrictive USCIS officers will be as they interpret forthcoming computer H-1B petitions.

At virtually the same time, USCIS also has issued additional measures aimed at perceived abuses in the H-1B program.  The April 3, 2017 press release says that these site visits will focus on:
-Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data;
-H-1B-dependent employers (those who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers, as defined by statute); and 

-Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

USCIS SUSPENDING H-1 PREMIUM PROCESSING, STARTING APRIL 3

USCIS will no longer accept Premium Processing Service (PPS) filings for any H-1B petition, starting April 3, 2017.  USCIS says that the suspension could last for 6 months.   PPS will not be available for H-1B cap cases, H-1B cap-exempt cases, H-1B extensions, H-1B amendments, or any other type of H-1B petition.

USCIS claims that by suspending the PPS program for H-1B petitions, it will help them reduce overall H-1B processing times.  

Here is the full press release:


USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.

Who Is Affected

The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption (the “master’s cap”). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.
While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, we will have to reject both forms.
We will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:
  1. The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, and
  2. We did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.
This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.

Requesting Expedited Processing

While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.
We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.

Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:
  • Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
  • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark. 



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

H-1B & TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TELECONFERENCE FEB 15, 2017

MU VISA ADVISOR:   

In anticipation of the H-1B cap filing date of April 1, 2017, MU Law will be holding a free teleconference for our clients and friends on February 15, 2017 at 2PM / 11AM PT.  Interested clients and friends should email MU’s Annalisa Smith , who will register you for the teleconference.

Last year the H-1B cap was reached in the first week.  We expect that the demand will be even greater this year.  It is imperative that all H-1B cap-subject petitions are filled on April 1, 2017.

We will also have a special update on the new Trump administration.  MU Law's Chris Musillo is traveling to Washington DC in early February.  On this call, Chris will provide an update on what potential changes will be coming to employment-based immigration in light of the new administration.

H-1B Teleconference Agenda
  • H-1B Cap Basics and Projections
  • H-1B Dependency
  • H-1B issues for Staffing Companies and Third Party Placements
    • What is Third- Party Placement v. In-House work?
    • Employer-Employee relationships
  • Hot issues:  
    • Cap-gap for F-1s
    • CPT / OPT maintenance
    • NIV maintenance
    • H-4 EAD rule
    • H-1B amendments: lengthy processing times
  • Top 10 things H-1B employers can do to stay compliant
  • Legislative Update
    •  What we can expect from the Trump administration and the Republican congress.
  • Q&A
Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue.