16 July 2019

Join Me For a FREE Webinar: “Know Your Options – Employment Based Green Card in the EB-1 and EB-2 Context”

Reddy & Neumann, P.C. invites you to join our free webinar “Know Your Options – Employment Based Green Card in the EB-1 and EB-2 Context” on Thursday, August 8th, 2019 from 1:00pm to 2:00pm CST. The webinar will be presented by me and my colleague, Amanda Cardwell. Sign up here today! 

For those seeking permanent residence in the United States based on employment, this webinar will provide insight into the different options available under the EB-1 and EB-2 immigrant visa preference categories. Specifically, this webinar will include:

A discussion of all subcategories within the EB-1 preference category for priority workers, including:
• How to qualify as an individual with Extraordinary Ability;
• How to qualify as an Outstanding Professor or Researcher; and
• How to qualify as a Multinational Manager or Executive.

A discussion of the EB-2 preference category, including:
• How to qualify as a member of the professions holding an Advanced Degree;
• How to qualify as an individual with Exceptional Ability; and
• How to qualify for the National Interest Waiver.

This Webinar is made available by Reddy & Neumann, P.C. for educational purposes only. Information provided in this Webinar should not be construed as legal advice for your specific situation nor does it constitute an engagement with Krystal Alanis, Amanda Cardwell, or Reddy & Neumann, P.C. or establish an attorney-client relationship. For specific advice on your situation, please contact a licensed attorney.

9 February 2019

PERM Wage Determinations Causing Significant Delay in PERM Filings

There are usually 3 steps to the employment based green card process: (1) PERM Labor Certification, (2) I-140 Immigrant Petition and (3) Adjustment of Status to lawful permanent resident. As part of the PERM Labor Certification process, an employer must obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination from the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor issues a Prevailing Wage Determination based on multiple factors, including, but not limited to, the job description, the minimum requirements for the position, and the area of intended employment. An employer must offer at least the prevailing wage for the sponsored position.

In addition to obtaining a Prevailing Wage Determination, the employer must conduct recruitment to test the U.S. labor market to determine if there are any able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers for the job opportunity. Essentially, the employer must prove that the job opportunities, wages, and working conditions of U.S. workers will not be adversely impacted by hiring a foreign worker permanently for the job. This will involve the employer advertising for the sponsored position (see my PERM FAQs for more details on this process). The recruitment process will take a minimum of 60 days to complete.

Currently, we are witnessing an increase in Prevailing Wage Determination processing times, with wage determinations taking a minimum of 4 months to be issued. This in turn can cause a significant delay in filing the PERM Labor Certification application.  Continue reading

2 January 2019

Unprecedented Demand for H-2B Visas Leads to iCERT System Crash

The iCERT portal system, used to electronically file certain required applications for nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, crashed due to the overwhelming number of H-2B labor certification filings that occurred on January 1st, 2019.  Continue reading

27 November 2018

Fiscal Year 2018 PERM Statistics Released: PERM Labor Certification Filings Remain Steady

The Department of Labor (DOL) released PERM statistics for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018), indicating that filed PERM Labor applications remained steady with only a slight drop, and India continued to top the list of PERM Labor applications certified that year.  Continue reading

4 August 2018

Qualifying for the Job Using Experience Gained from the Same PERM Employer: Infeasibility to Train Exception

When an employer files a PERM Labor Application, it must demonstrate that the beneficiary fully qualifies for the sponsored position.

Generally if experience is required, a beneficiary cannot use the experience gained with the sponsoring employer to qualify for the sponsored position. But, as with most things, there are exceptions to this rule:  Continue reading

13 July 2018

August 2018 Visa Bulletin Released: EB-3 India Now Only 2 Months Behind EB-2

The August 2018 Visa Bulletin has been released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) with a few notable changes to cutoff dates:  Continue reading

14 May 2018

Qualifying for EB-2 Beyond the Advanced Degree – Exceptional Ability

There are 5 Employment Based immigrant visa preference categories that individuals may use to obtain lawful permanent residence (green card) in the United States. Frequently, individuals are sponsored for the Employment Based Second Preference category, referred to as “EB-2”.

Often, individuals qualify for the EB-2 category based on a U.S. advanced degree or its foreign equivalent (or a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or foreign equivalent and 5 years of progressive post-baccalaureate experience). Individuals who do not meet the advanced degree requirement are frequently sponsored for an EB-3 immigrant visa, which can mean longer wait times for a green card depending on country of birth. However, there is another option for an individual to qualify for EB-2 without an advanced degree if they meet the exceptional ability requirements.  Continue reading

25 April 2018

Helpful Tips: PERM Labor Certification

There are usually 3 steps to the employment based green card process: (1) PERM Labor Certification, (2) I-140 Immigrant Petition and (3) Adjustment of Status. The PERM Labor Certification process is lengthy and requires careful maneuvering to avoid missteps along the way.

The PERM labor certification is usually the biggest hurdle to clear. So today I want to discuss some helpful tips when working on a PERM application. This list is in no way exhaustive and merely touches the surface of this complicated process. It’s important to understand that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) role in this process is to protect U.S. workers. Keeping this in mind will help you avoid mistakes.  Continue reading

3 January 2018

Are Major Changes Coming for H-1B Extensions Beyond the 6 Year Limit?

UPDATE FROM AILA 01/09/2018 

“In a news update on January 8, 2018, the McClatchy DC news service reported
that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stated that it not considering a
regulatory change to the H-1B extension rules, as had previously been reported in a December 30,
2017 article by McClatchy DC. In particular, USCIS stated to McClatchy DC that the agency is
not considering changing its interpretation of section 104(c) of the American Competitiveness in
the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21), which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the six-year
limit for H-1B workers who have reached certain milestones in the green card process. USCIS
went on to note that “such a change would not likely result in these H-1B holders having to leave
the United States because employers could request extensions in one-year increments under
section 106(a)-(b) of AC21 instead.” USCIS did, however, indicate that the agency is considering
a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American, Hire
American” executive order, including conducting a “thorough review” of employment-based visa
programs.”


 

Over the last few days, news has spread regarding potential new regulations that could greatly impact H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limitation. The word around town is that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has discussed the idea to stop H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit based on certain language found under the law. Continue reading

5 July 2017

PERM Prevailing Wage Redetermination Request Approved – DOL Selected Wrong Job Classification

One of the prerequisites to filing a PERM Labor Certification is to have a prevailing wage determination issued by the Department of Labor’s National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC). The prevailing wage is the average wage paid to similarly employed  workers in a specific occupation in the area of intended employment. Among other things, the wage rate is based on the position title, the position description and minimum requirements, and the area of intended employment.

Upon submission of a prevailing wage application, we provide a Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) for the PERM position – the best match wins! The NPWC takes our “suggestion” into consideration, but they ultimately decide what classification the position falls under. Issues can arise if an improper classification is selected by the NPWC. Not only do job details differ across classifications, but wage amounts can differ considerably as well.

This is especially a problem where the NPWC’s selected classification has a higher corresponding wage than what is normal for the PERM position. The good news is, the NPWC allows employers to request a redetermination of prevailing wage where the underlying determination is incorrect. We recently had this issue arise and succeeded in our redetermination request on behalf of the employer. Continue reading