Immigration and Firm News

Below are some alternatives for employers and current/prospective employees who were not selected for the H-1B cap cases for FY 2016 beginning October 1, 2015.  As mentioned in an earlier post, there were 233,000 applications for 85,000 slots! If you are among the two thirds of applicants who were rejected, there may be some other options available as described below.  Some of the options described below are for nationals of specified countries. They are highlighted to help employers focus on … [Read more...]

USCIS announced today that it received a whopping 233,000 H-1B visa petitions during the seven-day filing period that began April 1, 2015!  These are for "specialty occupations" that will be effective in the NEXT fiscal year (FY2016) beginning October 1, 2015. Because there were only 65,000 general category visas available plus an additional 20,000 for the advanced degree cap, that means there were more than two and a half times the number of applicants than visas that are available.  USCIS just … [Read more...]

USCIS is releasing regulations on February 25, 2015 that will allow some H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B specialty occupation employees to work in the US.  USCIS will not begin accepting applications for work authorization (Form I-765) until May 26, 2015. Although these rules were announced by President Obama in his November 20, 2014 Executive Action list of to-do projects, proposed regulations on H-4 work authorization were actually published for comment earlier in 2014.  Focus on the word "some" … [Read more...]

Finalize those offers now and prepare for April 1, 2015 H-1B Cap Filings It’s that crazy time of year again when immigration lawyers and employers try to finalize offers to candidates needing H-1B cap-subject visa petitions so they can be filed during the short five-day period beginning April 1, 2015. Given growth in the economy and recent statistics showing increased job creation, immigration attorneys expect that, like last year and every year before, demand for cap H-1Bs will exceed … [Read more...]

USCIS has issued proposed rules to enhance the usability of some work visas to make some of the procedures less disruptive for employers and employees and to attract and retain international experts.  The Obama Administration is trying to improve some of the visa issues that make it difficult for employers to keep or attract highly skilled foreign workers. Comments by the public are due on or before July 11, 2014.  Comments can be emailed to Include DHS Docket No. … [Read more...]

DHS has issued proposed regulations to allow the spouses of H-1B workers to apply for work authorization. The public has until July 11, 2014 to comment. Comments can be emailed to using in the subject line "DHS docket number USCIS-2010-0017" or by commenting online using the preceding docket number to search. The purpose of the regulation is to address "personal and economic hardship for the families of H-1B nonimmigrants the longer they remain in the United States" … [Read more...]

Once again, it’s that crazy time of year for immigration lawyers and employers trying to squeeze in the last few H-1B petitions for the short filing season of one week (April 1-April 7, 2014).  If demand exceeds supply, which most immigration practitioners predict, there will be a lottery. Last year, there were 124,000 applications for 85,000 spots. That means that once again, employers cannot predict if they will be able to hire their candidates, who on top of everything else, will not be … [Read more...]