13 July 2015

USCIS Resumes Accepting Premium Processing Requests for H-1B Extensions!

We have received some good news today: Beginning today (July 13, 2015), USCIS will resume accepting premium processing requests (Form I-907) for all Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, H-1B extension of stay petitions!

On May 19, 2015, USCIS announced that premium processing service would be suspended for Form I-129 H-1B extension of stay petitions from May 26, 2015 to July 27, 2015 in order to implement the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses final rule in a timely manner and begin adjudication of applications for employment authorization filed by H-4 nonimmigrants under the new regulation. Premium processing remained available for all other types of Form I-129 H-1B petitions during the temporary suspension.

USCIS has now determined that its workload will allow them to resume premium processing service for H-1B extension of stay petitions on July 13, 2015.


11 April 2015

AAO Says H-1B Amendment Required for Change in Work Location

UPDATE 05/27/2015: USCIS is now accepting comments on the guidance it issued on when to file an amended H-1B petition after the AAO decision, Simeio Solutions.

USCIS has instructed that all comments on the guidance be sent to ope.feedback@uscis.dhs.gov. For complete information on the comment process, visit the Feedback Opportunities section of www.uscis.govThe final date for comments is Friday, June 26, 2015.

UPDATE 05/22/2015: USCIS has issued guidance on when to file an amended H-1B petition for a change in work location.

Filing Amended H-1B Petitions

  • “If your H-1B employees were changing worksite locations at the time of the Simeio Solutions decision, you have 90 days from the date of this web alert (May 21, 2015) to file amended petitions for H-1B employees who changed their place of employment to an MSA or area of intended employment requiring coverage by a new or different LCA than that submitted with the original H-1B petition. Therefore, if you have not filed an amended petition for an H-1B worker who moved worksite locations before May 21, 2015, you have until August 19, 2015 to file an amended petition.”
  • “If your H-1B workers changed their worksite location before the Simeio Solutions decision, USCIS will not take adverse action against you or your employees if you, in good faith, relied on prior non-binding agency correspondence and did not file an amended petition due to a change in an MSA or area of intended employment by May 21, 2015. However, as noted above, you must now file an amended petition for these H-1B employees by August 19, 2015.”
  • “If you do not file an amended petition for these employees by August 19, 2015, you will be out of compliance with USCIS regulation and policy and thus subject to adverse action. Similarly, your H-1B employees would not be maintaining their nonimmigrant status and would also be subject to adverse action.”
  • “If your amended H-1B petition is denied, but the original petition is still valid your H-1B employee may return to the worksite covered by the original petition as long as the H-1B employee is able to maintain valid nonimmigrant status at the original worksite.”
  • “If your previously-filed amended H-1B petition is still pending, you may still file another amended petition to allow your H-1B employee to change worksite locations immediately upon your latest filing. However, every H-1B amended petition must separately meet the requirements for H-1B classification and any requests for extension of stay. In the event that the H-1B nonimmigrant beneficiary’s status has expired while successive amended petitions are pending, the denial of any petition or request to amend or extend status will result in the denial of all successive requests to amend or extend status.”

For more information, please visit:USCIS Guidance on When to File an Amended H-1B Petition after the Simeio Solutions Decision.

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26 January 2015

A Surge is Near! DOL Releases its First Quarter Stats on H-1B LCAs

Hi All! The Department of Labor (DOL) has released statistics on H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCA) from the First Quarter (Q1) of Fiscal Year 2015 (FY2015). These statistics include the number of LCAs received, top occupations, states, and employers, as well as the number of certified, denied, and withdrawn LCAs, number of positions requested and certified, and percentage of applications timely processed.

Based on the data for Q1, FY2015, we are already seeing more LCAs filed than last year. This means that we will again see a surge of LCA filings for the second quarter (January 01, 2015 to March 31, 2015) with the additional preparation for the H-1B cap season that will begin on April 01, 2015. For example, last fiscal year “LCAs received” jumped from 67,641 in Q1 to 231,401 in Q2.

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13 August 2014

Recapture PLUS 7th Year H-1B Extension? YES, YOU CAN!

Hi ALL! Welcome back!

A question was recently posed to me concerning an H-1B, 7th year extension, but there was a little twist involved:

What if I still have time left before the end of my 6th year on H-1B, can my employer request the 7th year extension in anticipation that the filed Labor Certification will still be pending at that time?

 The answer is YES. Continue reading