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
[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
If you are an international student, planning to graduate soon, and want to take the OPT -> H1B path, be careful about the timing of your graduation and your OPT start/end date. In short, plan your graduation date so that your OPT expires after April 1. Continue reading
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
The Visa Bulletin updated every month by the Department of State is an indication of how much longer a Green Card applicant must wait until he can get his green card. Starting from the October 2015 Visa Bulletin, the structure of the Visa Bulletin has changed in a few ways. These changes are great news for those who have a long waiting period, since they can now file I-485 much earlier, which potentially means that they can get their Employment Authorization Document (work permit) and Advance Parole (travel document) much earlier. The new changes will also enable some applicants to continue to stay and work in the U.S., who would have otherwise had to leave the U.S. and wait in their home countries. Continue reading
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
[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
Some people say that if you want to apply for a green card under the EB-2 or EB-3 category, you need to have an H1B visa. This is not true for everyone. Even though H1B is preferable, it is not a prerequisite. Here is why…
Green card applications under EB-2 or EB-3 can mean many years of waiting for many people. The challenge is to keep a valid non-immigrant visa while you are waiting for your green card. The reason why H1B is popular is because it allows “dual intent.” This means you can have the intent to immigrate even though H1B is a non-immigrant visa. Practically, what this means is that you can apply for green card at any time, and can keep using your H1B visa to travel abroad until the very moment you become a permanent resident. Even if your green card application is denied, as long as you have a valid H1B, you can try again. This is the same case for people holding an L1 visa (intracompany transferee). Continue reading
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
Happy New Year! 2014 was a busy year for the immigration community. Here are some of the highlights of what happened in 2014, and what we can expect in 2015. Continue reading