H-1B Cap Filings Begin Friday, April 1, 2016

February 1, 2016 Leave a comment

April 1 is nearing.  Even though H-1B filings begin the first business day, which is Friday, April 1, 2016, the H-1B individuals will not be able to arrive in the United States until late 2016 (Oct/Nov) or early 2017 to work for employers (given the delays at Consulates).  Here are some thoughts:

Thursday, March 31, 2016 is when we could begin shipping H-1B cases to USCIS with an employment start date of October 1, 2016.

Just as last year, the Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) which is required as part of filing of an H-1B petition, is actually taking up to 7 days to be certified. Thus, if you would like to file an H-1B petition on or shortly after April 1, 2016, consider leaving several weeks of buffer time between document transmittal to our office, preparation, LCA processing delays, etc.  Moreover, things that are beyond our control such as US government shutdown or such similar event, which resulted in LCA website being down for about a month in 2013 could happen again.

It is imperative to note that the regular H-1B quota is 58,200, not 65,000.  This is because 6,800 out of 65,000 are allotted for Chile and Singapore. In addition, there will be 20,000 H-1B available for potential employees who have earned a U.S. masters or a higher degree.

We strongly advise that employers discuss with us at the earliest convenience about the upcoming H-1B cap filings.  

Categories: H-1B Posts Tags: , ,

February 2016 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

January 8, 2016 Leave a comment
Employment-
Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JAN13 01JUL09 C C
3rd 01JAN16 01OCT13 01JUL05 01JAN16 01JAN10
Other Workers 01JAN16 01JAN07 01JUL05 01JAN16 01JAN10
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious
Workers
C C C C C
5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)
C 01MAY15 C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 01MAY15 C C C

H-1B & L-1 Fee Increase

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Bill for 2016. The U.S. Senate adopted the Omnibus Appropriations Act (the “Act”) by a vote of 65-33; the House did so by a 316-113.

H-1B & L-1 Fee Increase

The Act includes, among other things, the following changes to the currently expired H-1B/L-1 fees for companies with more than 50 employees and companies where 50% or more of the employees hold H-1B or L-1 status:

  • Additional L-1 fees for companies with more than 50 employees and where 50% or more of the total employees are in H or L status increase from $2,250 to $4,500;
  • Additional H-1B fees for companies with more than 50 employees and where 50% or more of the total employees are in H or L status increase from $2,000 to $4,000;
  • Fees must be paid on initial petitions as well as extension petitions;
  • Fees are authorized for ten years, running through September 30, 2025;
  • The funds generated by these fees will be split between the 9-11 programs and the Biometric Entry-Exit program;
  • The addl. fee goes into effect immediately.  In fact, the US Consulates in India are already charging it.

Fees Breakdown

While we await the final guidance from USCIS on the precise fees to be paid, the following appears to be the breakdown:

  • H-1B initial filing: $325* + $1500** + $4000*** + $500**** = $6325
  • H-1B first extension: $325 + $1500 + $4000 = $5825
  • H-1B second/subsequent extension: $325 + $4000 = $4325
  • L-1 initial filing: $325 + 4500 + 500 = $5325
  • L-1 first or subsequent extension: $325 + $4500 = $4825

*Form I-129 Fee

**ACWIA H-1B training Fee

*** 9-11 Response and Biometric Entry-Exit Fee

****Fraud Detection and Prevention Fee

Precise fee details will be posted on this blog once there is guidance from USCIS.

January 2016 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

December 22, 2015 Leave a comment
Employment-
Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JAN13 01JUL09 C C
3rd 01JAN16 01OCT13 01JUL05 01JAN16 01JAN10
Other Workers 01JAN16 01JAN07 01JUL05 01JAN16 01JAN10
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious
Workers
C C C C C
5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)
C 01MAY15 C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 01MAY15 C C C

December 2015 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Applications

November 12, 2015 Leave a comment
Employment-
Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JAN13 01JUL09 C C
3rd 01SEP15 01OCT13 01JUL05 01SEP15 01JAN10
Other Workers 01SEP15 01JAN07 01JUL05 01SEP15 01JAN10
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious
Workers
C C C C C
5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)
C 01MAY15 C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 01MAY15 C C C

November 2015 Visa Bulletin – Employment-Based Visa Numbers – Eligibility to File Adjustment of Status Application

October 9, 2015 Leave a comment
Employment-
Based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JAN13 01JUL09 C C
3rd 01SEP15 01OCT13 01JUL05 01SEP15 01JAN10
Other Workers 01SEP15 01JAN07 01JUL05 01SEP15 01JAN10
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious
Workers,
C C C C C
5th Non-Regional
Center (C5 and T5)
C 01MAY15 C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 01MAY15 C C C

Court Denies TRO in Revised October Visa Bulletin lawsuit

October 9, 2015 Leave a comment

In the context of revised October 2015 visa bulletin that the State Dept. issued after retracting the visa bulletin issued earlier in September, there was tremendous amount of anxiety, frustration, and anger among several thousands of immigrants waiting to file the adjustment applications.  A class action lawsuit was filed to have a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the State’s Dept. regarding the revision to the visa bulletin.

However, the court where the class action lawsuit was filed issued an order denying the motion for temporary restraining order, stating “While the Court appreciates the confusion caused by the two Visa Bulletins published in September and the potentially wasted expenses Plaintiffs incurred as a result, because Plaintiffs fail to meet the critical elements for a temporary restraining order at this time, the Court cannot issue injunctive relief.”

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