February

Blog Posts in February, 2014

  • USCIS Reaches FY 2014 H-1B Cap

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY 2014. USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption. After today, USCIS will no longer accept H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2014 cap or the advanced degree ...
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  • Sweeping Bi-Partisan Senate Immigration Plan Unveiled

    A bipartisan Senate group of four Democrats and four Republicans will unveil a sweeping immigration bill to overhaul the country’s immigration system. The bill is titled “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013.” This extensive bill is a major attempt to comprehensively address illegal immigration, border security, and the present backlog for legal ...
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  • Estimated Timelines for Receipt Notices/Rejection Notices for FY2014 H-1B Cap Cases

    USCIS has received a total of approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions for FY2014. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. USCIS conducted the selection process for advanced degree ...
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  • Immigration Reform Bill

    The proposed Senate immigration reform bill, titled "the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013" seeks to make sweeping changes to U.S. immigration law, with provisions effecting a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, as well as proposing structural and procedural changes for employment-based immigration. The bill also provides for an increase in ...
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  • U.S. firms say H-1B restrictions may help them

    Some U.S. IT service companies say the heightened restrictions regarding the use of H-1B and L-1 workers in the comprehensive immigration reform bill may help its firms compete against India's offshore IT service providers. The reform bill raises the costs of offshore IT service providers and prohibits employers of a large number of H-1B and L-1 workers from employing more than 50% of its ...
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  • Department of Labor Released H-1B Statistics for First Quarter of FY2014

    The Department of Labor released statistics on the Labor Certification Applications (LCAs) it received in regard to H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 specialty occupation nonimmigrant visa petitions. Of the 67,645 LCAs received for H-1B petitions, 47,860 are designated for Computer Systems Analyst positions. The statistics also show the top 10 employers who filed LCAs for H-1B petitions. On top of the list is ...
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  • Department of Labor Released Statistics on PWD for First Quarter of FY2014

    The Department of Labor released statistics on the Applications for Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) it received in regard to PERM Labor Certification applications for certain employment-based immigration categories, as well as in regard to H-1B specialty occupation and H-2B temporary non-agricultural nonimmigrant visa petitions. As of the end of the first quarter of FY2014 (December 31, 2013), ...
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  • U.S. Consulate in Toronto Announced New Document Submission Procedures for E-Visa Applicants

    Effective March 1, 2014, the Consulate General in Toronto will implement new document submission procedures to provide streamlined process for E-visa applications. If you are applying an E-visa first time or renewing your E-visa, you will need to email a comprehensive package of supporting documentation to the U.S. Consulate’s office at EVisaCanada@state.gov for review by consular staff at least ...
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  • Do the Proposed Changes to H-1B Visas Go Far Enough?

    The comprehensive immigration reform bill proposes changes to the H-1B program that leaves both employers and critics of the program dissatisfied. The bill increases the number of H-1B visas from 65,000 to 110,000 per year, but also imposes added conditions that may make it more difficult for employers to obtain H-1B visa, including a requirement to advertise positions on the Department of Labor's ...
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  • USCIS Released Short Instructional Videos on Completing Form I-9

    February 20, 2014 USCIS recently release three short videos demonstrating how to complete each section of the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the ...
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  • House Republicans Released Immigration Reform Guidelines

    On January 30, 2014, House Republican leaders unveiled long-waited guidelines for overhauling the nation’s immigration system. The guidelines address a number of principles, including strengthening border security, implementing a workable electronic employment verification system that may replace the current paper-based I-9 verification system, changing the current legal immigration system, ...
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  • Immigration Reform Stalls and GOP Blames Obama Administration

    Just a week after House Speaker Boehner released a list of House Republicans’ immigration principals, Boehner declared on February 6, 2014 that his caucus is unlikely to move forward until President Obama gains their trust regarding his administration’s enforcement of immigration laws. This effectively means that most likely no comprehensive immigration bill will be introduced to the House of ...
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  • US immigration bill to increase H1B visa by the Economic Times

    The comprehensive immigration reform bill drafted by a group of eight bipartisan Senators, known as the Gang of Eight, seeks to balance provisions on immigration sought by both Republicans and Democrats. The bill proposes an increase in the number of H-1B visas, while imposing heightened restrictions that could be a "death knell" for Indian-American IT firms.
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  • Employer I-9 Compliance, Auditing and E-Verify

    Employer I-9 Compliance, Auditing and E-Verify I-9 verification is a federally mandated process used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. The law governing the I-9 compliance, commonly known as the employer sanction law, was added by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and can be found in Section 274A of the ...
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  • Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Program Now Permanent

    In January 2012, the Department of State introduced a Nonimmigrant Visa Interview Waiver Pilot Program. This pilot program allowed certain foreign visitors who attended interviews in conjunction with a prior visa application to renew their initial visas without having to undergo another interview. This pilot program is not permanent. Per modified 9 FAM 41.102, consular officers are now authorized ...
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