The H-1B is one of the most in demand and popular employment visas for individuals seeking work authorization in the U.S. However, the H-1B is just one of a list of nonimmigrant visas available for those seeking temporary work authorization in the U.S.
May 10, 2018 | The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released their Spring 2018 Regulatory agenda.
Every PERM application must establish the “minimum requirements” for the position. Showing DOL the minimum requirements for the position gets tricky though because "minimum requirements" for the job does not mean "preferred requirements" for the job. Employers often have preferred requirements for any job but when breaking it down further, the absolute bare minimum requirements for the job is what matters at the end of the day for the PERM.
The EB-5 immigrant investor program began in 1990 as an initiative for immigrant entrepreneurs to invest into business in the United States. The EB-5 remains as a pathway for permanent residency for foreign investors and entrepreneurs.
USCIS administers the immigration program by facilitating permanent residency in the United States for entrepreneurs, as well as their spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21.
The Online Application for Nonimmigrant Visa (DS-160) is used to collect biographical information from all individuals seeking a nonimmigrant visa. The consular officer uses the information collected in the DS-160 to determine the applicant's eligibility for a visa.
A notice was posted by the U.S. Department of State proposing new requirements of all nonimmigrant visa applicants completing the DS-160. The proposal, "60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Application for Nonimmigrant Visa" can be found here in the federal registrar and is open for the public at large to submit comments to the proposal. Any member of the public may submit comments on the proposal until May 29, 2018.
Earlier this month, USCIS Director Cissna provided a letter to Senator Charles Grassley (R – IA) updating USCIS’ efforts in ensuring “the integrity of the immigration system, specifically the nonimmigrant worker programs.” Cissna specifically states to the Senator that “USCIS is reviewing existing regulations, policies, and programs, and developing a combination of rulemaking, policy regulations, policies, and programs, to implement the ‘Buy American and Hire American’ Executive Order.”
USCIS Current Guidance on STEM OPT Training and Client Sites
USCIS provides on their website that the employer that signs the Form I-983 must be the same entity that provides the practical training experience to the student.
Moreover, the employer that signs the Form I-983 must be the same entity that provides the practical training experience to the student, utilizing its own personnel.
USCIS states that the training experience must take place on-site at the employer’s place of business or worksite(s) to which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has authority to conduct employer site visits to ensure that the employer is meeting program requirements.
Per USCIS: “ICE must always have access to a student’s worksite; if the student is sent to different worksite locations as part of the training opportunity, ICE must be able to access such worksite locations.”
The E-2 Investor Visa allows an individual to enter and work inside of the United States based on an investment he or she will be controlling, while inside the United States. This visa must generally be renewed every two years, but there is no limit to how many times one can renew.
The E-2 nonimmigrant classification allows a national of a treaty country (a country with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation) to be admitted to the United States when investing a substantial amount of capital in a U.S. business. Certain employees of such a person or of a qualifying organization may also be eligible for this classification.
See U.S. Department of State's Treaty Countries for a current list of countries with which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation. Below is a FAQ guide of common E-2 visa questions:
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), recently reported data showing a pick up in entrepreneurial activity on a global scale.
The fact that we have more innovation and business creation in the world cannot be ignored. So, what does entrepreneurship mean for the U.S. economy? It widely means economic growth, job creation, and global competitiveness.
April 11, 2018 | USCIS completes lottery for FY 2019 H-1B cap
USCIS announced today that April 11, 2018, the Service completed their H-1B visa lottery selection for FY 2019.
Out of 190,098 H-1B petitions, the Service ran their random computer generated selection process for both the bachelor's and master's cap which selected enough petitions to process for the annual H-1B cap of 65,000 visas (plus 20,000 with master's degrees or higher).
This morning, USCIS reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 H-1B visa cap for fiscal year 2019. USCIS also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa amount for the master's cap. For the sixth consecutive year in a row, USCIS has reached the annual visa cap amounts within the first week of opening their annual filing window for H-1B visas. Since USCIS reached their cap, any additional H-1B applications received will not be considered after today.
USCIS started the Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program in 2009 as an additional way to verify information in certain visa petitions. The types of petitions most subject to random site visits are H-1B and L-1 petitions. Usually a site visit is conducted by a Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) officer to check in and verify the facts stated in filed petitions after visa approval to ensure visa compliance. Employers with H-1B and L-1 approvals should note that a site visit can be conducted at anytime and any day at their worksite(s). Officers select petitions to review and check at random.
Specialty occupation RFEs are very common now. USCIS gives a very careful look at the job duties of every H-1B petition. Officers spending more time carefully screening the H-1B job duties to ensure that they meet specialty occupation requirements i.e. officers need to be certain that the job offered to the H-1B individual really does require a bachelor's degree or higher in a specific occupation.
USCIS released a new memo last Friday, March 23rd, in light of a new decision that came out of the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), Matter of S- Inc. The memo explains in short that two H-1B petitioners cannot file two separate H-1B filings in the H-1B lottery that are for essentially the same job opportunity to the same beneficiary. The job opportunities made by each employer must not be speculative and must be materially distinct if two petitioners are filing for the same beneficiary in the lottery.
The E-3 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa that applies only to nationals of Australia who will be working as professionals in specialty occupations.
What is a Specialty Occupation?
Generally put, a "specialty occupation" requires at least a bachelor's degree, or its equivalent.
How to qualify for an E-3 visa?