The DHS recently released a report which provided statistics on the characteristics of persons who obtained permanent resident status in FY2012. these statistics highlight the need for the reform of our legal immigration quota system. Only 4% of persons who became permanent residents had advanced degrees and only 12% came under the employment based categories EB1, EB2, or EB3.related topics: FY2012 DHS report on permanent residents, green card quotas, Immigration reform, retrogression
Both IT and health care staffing companies have traditionally been major users of H-1b visas. Due to the recent prediction by the USCIS of the H-1b quota for FY 2014 likely being reached in the first week of filing, many staffing companies are concerned that the artificial restrictions being placed on hiring of the best candidates possible will harm their growth in 2013. Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a leading professional association for companies employing or using contingent workers, recently published on this topic. One of our partners, Mike Hammond was quoted in the article.related topics: h-1b, H-1b cap, Immigration reform, Staffing Industry Analysts
Posted by MikeHammond on March 16, 2013 in Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN
In a public announcement released yesterday, the USCIS has announced that it believes that the H-1b cap for FY 2014 will be hit within a few days of the opening and predicts that cases filed after April 5th will not be accepted. The announcement further stated that they believe an excess of cases may be received in the first 5 days thus requiring a lottery for the first time since 2008.related topics: H-1b cap, H-1b FY 2014, H-1b lottery
Posted by admin on March 13, 2013 in Green Cards
Yesterday the DOS released the April Visa Bulletin. The EB3 category for all other countries moved forward two (2) months and the EB2 category for persons born in China also advanced 6 weeks. Other categories remained virtually stagnant. Retrogression relief from Congress is sorely needed.related topics: April Visa Bulletin, retrogression
Posted by Cadence Moore on March 12, 2013 in Green Cards
On February 6, 2013, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) issued a decision in Matter of Oracle America, Inc., that discussed the use of travel requirements in a notice of filing that covered multiple positions, some of which did not involve travel. The employer submitted an Application for Permanent Employment Certification for a role that did not list any travel requirements. In response to an audit, the employer provided a notice of filing that listed multiple available positions. It also included the phrase “may be assigned to various unanticipated sites throughout the United States.” The employer argued that because this phrase involved the word “may,” travel was not a mandatory requirement for all positions. Relying on previously issued statements from the Department of Labor in regards to advertisements used in the PERM program, BALCA concluded that the phrase used by the employer “could lead a potential applicant to believe that travel may be a part of all of the . . . positions, and thus could dissuade a potential application from applying who does not want a position involving business travel. With these statements from BALCA, employers should be careful to only use multiple position advertisements when all of the roles require travel or all do not. By doing so, these types of denials can be avoided.related topics: BALCA
Posted by admin on March 11, 2013 in Immigration ComplianceI-9, I-9 employer handbook
Posted by admin on March 2, 2013 in US Immigration Policy
Over the past week, several groups have expressed public support for improvements in our legal immigration system and have touted the benefits of increased legal immigration. These include a wide range of advocates including: NYC Mayor Bloomberg teaming with Silicon Valley leaders, a group of Midwestern business leaders, and a conservative Republican group. We remain hopeful that relief for legal immigrants will not be overlooked.related topics: Immigration reform, mayor bloomberg, politico, retrogression
Posted by Cadence Moore on February 28, 2013 in Green Cards
On May 30, 2012, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) issued a decision that discussed whether the notice of filing must indicate the location where it was posted. In this case, the employer submitted an Application for Permanent Employment Certification for the position of Traditional Heating & AC Systems Installer. The case was selected for audit, and the employer responded. In its response, a copy of the notice of filing was provided. The Certifying Officer (“CO”) denied the case because it determined that the notice of filing did not indicate its posting location. The employer argued that the attestations on the Permanent Employment Certification were sufficient to confirm that the notice of filing was posted in an appropriate place. BALCA reviewed the regulations under 20 C.F.R. § 656.10(d)(1)(ii), which state that “the documentation required may be satisfied by providing a copy of the posted notice and stating where it was posted.” BALCA said that this language shows “that there may be other ways to satisfy the requirements besides stating where the [notice of filing] was posted.” However, the employer did not present any other information that discussed where the notice of filing was placed. Consequently, a denial was appropriate. This case demonstrates that alternative methods may be used to prove where a notice of filing is posted. However, the safest method is for employers to list the location of posting on the notice of filing to avoid potential denials.related topics: BALCA
A few weeks ago, Charlie Oppenheim, from the Visa Office at the Department of State met with several AILA representatives including super lawyer and friend Michael Nowlan and discussed visa demand, retrogression, and priority date movement for the balance of FY 2013. In summary, it was a somber meeting with lots of bad news for those of you hoping for quicker priority date movement. The predictions provided were summarized and published in the March Visa Bulletin. In addition, there were several items of interest I wanted to share:
-The India EB2 cutoff date continues to see very little forward movement due to upgrades (EB3 to EB2 while maintaining the earlier priority date). In December 2012 alone, India EB2 had 125 cases approved that were from 2003 or earlier.
- USCIS does not appear to be working to develop any processes or procedures to better capture upgrade EB cases, and so there is no better information expected from that agency to assist Mr. Oppenheim’s office in better managing these numbers. Upgrades are impacting other categories as well. Worldwide EB3 had 1,100 upgrades in December 2012 alone for cases which had priority dates of 2011 or earlier. In 2007 for example, there were only 72 upgrades for the year.
-EB1 India and China appear to have used their numbers for this year, but the rest of open EB1 numbers can “fall across” to satisfy the need from India and China for EB1, so no retrogression is expected at this time.
-Current numbers indicate that there are approximately 42,000 India EB2 cases in line with priority dates prior to May 2010. There are 12,000 India EB3 cases with priority dates before January 2004. India EB3 has 44,000 cases with priority dates before August 2007
-For 2012, 45% of the visa numbers in the queue are for the principal applicants, and 55% are for dependents.
The need for immigration reform which addresses the long waits for legal immigrants is sorely needed.related topics: Charlie Oppenheim, retrogression, visa bulletin, Visa office
Posted by MikeHammond on February 20, 2013 in US Immigration Policy
Yesterday, USA Today published excerpts of the Presidents Immigration plan and unfortunately, the President’s plan does not include any relief for persons legally pursuing immigrant status but delayed due to retrogression. Instead, his plan puts persons here without status, illegally or undocumented (choose your term) in many cases ahead of persons who are already in the EB2 and EB3 lines. This should come as no surprise to the business community who employ internatioanl workers as this adminsitration has been consistent in its promotion of a ”culture of no !” The bi-partisan efforts in the Senate offer much better hope for legal immigration relief.related topics: culture of no, Immigration reform