Immigrantly

Immigration thoughts from an Immigration Lawyer.


Leave a comment

New Rule for High Skilled Worker

On November 18, 2016, the USCIS announced its Final Rule for the proposed rule announced almost a year ago, affecting certain employment-based immigrants and high skilled non-immigrant workers. This Final Rule will become effective on January 17, 2017. For most parts, the new rules are beneficial for those affected. The followings are some of the highlights of the new rules.  Continue reading


1 Comment

Proposed New Rule for High Skilled Worker

[Update]: The Final Rule of this proposed rule was announced on November 18, 2016. For details, please see “New Rule for High Skilled Worker“.

On the last day of 2015, the USCIS announced a “Proposed Rule Affecting Certain Employment-Based Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visa Programs” and asked for public comments. These rules, if become law, will greatly benefit the high skilled non-immigrant workers as well as those applying for green card. The followings are some of the highlights of the proposed rules.   Continue reading


Leave a comment

Who is responsible for H1B fees and Green Card fees, the employer or the employee?

Most visa categories and green card categories do not have requirements as to who must pay the fees associated with the application. However, H1B and PERM (EB2 and EB3 categories) are the exceptions. Immigration laws require that the employer (sponsor) pays at least a portion of the fees. This not only increases the burden on employers, but also puts burden on potential employees who are desperately trying to get a job offer.  Continue reading


Leave a comment

New H1B Rule: Amended petition is needed when you change your work location

on July 21, 2015, USCIS published its “Final Guidance on When to File an Amended or New H-1B Petition After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC.” Under this new rule, whenever a company wants to relocate its H1B worker(s) to a different metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the company must file not only a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor, but also an amended or new H1B petition with the USCIS. This new rule is based on USCIS’ Administrative Appeal Office (AAO)’s recent precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC on April 9, 2015. Continue reading


Leave a comment

New H1B Rule: Amended petition may be needed when you change your work location

[Update] On July 21, 2015, USCIS published its final guidance regarding this issue. Check the final guidance here.

It had been the rule that whenever a H1B worker changes work location to a different metropolitan statistical area (MSA), the employer had to refile a Labor Condition Application (LCA). Now, the new rule requires that the employer not only refile a LCA with the Department of Labor, but also file an amended H1B petition with the USCIS. This new rule is based on USCIS’ Administrative Appeal Office (AAO)’s recent precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC on April 9, 2015. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Pros and Cons of Employment Authorization for H4

On February 24, 2015, USCIS announced that it will grant employment authorization (EAD) to certain H4 holders, whose number is estimated to be as high as 179,600 people in the first year. USCIS will start accepting applications starting May 26, 2015. On February 26, USCIS hosted a teleconference, clarifying some of the rules and procedures of EAD application. Continue reading


40 Comments

3 things to be aware of when changing status from L1 to H1B

If you currently hold an L1 visa and want to change your status to H1B visa, or if you are an employer who is planning to hire an L1 visa holder, these are the things you need to be aware of:

1. An L1 visa holder can change his/her status to H1B, but will still be subject to H1B CAP.

“Change of status” only means that the applicant does not need to travel to his/her home country to get a new H1B visa stamp. He/she can change status from L1 to H1B within the United States. But this is a different issue from H1B CAP. If the applicant never had an H1B before, he/she will still be subject to the CAP. So, what usually happens is that one currently works on L1B, on April 1, he/she files an H1B petition. If the petition is approved, the applicant will work on L1B until September 30, and switch to the H1B sponsor company on October 1. If the petition is denied or the applicant was not selected for the lottery, the L1 visa is still valid, provided that the applicant still works for the same employer. Therefore, he/she can try again next year for H1B or seek for alternatives to H1B. Continue reading


Leave a comment

How fast can I complete an H1B transfer (change of employer)?

The common term “H1B transfer” refers to the change of employer (COE). When you are unhappy with your current employer, and have finally found a new employer, you would probably want to start working with the new employer as soon as possible. But how soon can it be? These are the steps and timelines for an H1B COE procedure. Continue reading