USCIS has completed the H-1B cap random selection process. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, “lottery”, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 Bachelors cap and the 20,000 Masters cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS announced that 199,000 H-1B petitions were received in this filing period (last year 236,000 H-1B petitions were received during the cap season). Continue reading
WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has reached the congressionally mandated 65,000 visa H-1B cap for fiscal year 2018. USCIS has also received enough H-1B petitions to meet the 20,000 visa U.S. advanced degree exemption (master’s cap).
USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all non-selected cap-subject petitions that are not duplicate filings. Continue reading
It’s that time of the year again, where submission of prevailing wage applications will result in a 90 day validity period of the Prevailing Wage Determination. My colleague, Paloma Feghali, and I, are revisiting this post from last year. Continue reading
On April 3rd, 2017, USCIS will begin accepting new H-1B petitions subject to the cap for Fiscal Year 2018. If you plan to hire a professional, foreign worker, you should begin preparation for the H-1B visa process now. Based on last year’s numbers where USCIS received 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, the cap will most certainly be reached in the first week of April 2017. If you miss the opportunity to file a new H-1B petition this year, you will not have the opportunity to file until April 2018. Continue reading
Pay raises in the middle of the PERM process can be tricky. What do you do if you’ve issued a pay raise to the PERM beneficiary between recruitment and filing the PERM application? Continue reading
As part of the PERM Labor Certification process, an employer must obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) from the Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL issues a PWD based on the specific position, the requirements for the position, and the area of employment. An employer must, at a minimum, pay a foreign worker the prevailing wage for that position.
We have noticed a gradual increase in PWD processing times. Currently processing times have increased to almost 4 months. This can cause a significant delay in processing the PERM labor certification application. Here’s why: Continue reading
In order to sponsor a foreign worker for a green card, an employer must usually submit an Application for Permanent Employment Certification (ETA Form 9089) to the Department of Labor (DOL). Once an application is approved, or “certified”, the DOL Certifying Officer (CO) who reviewed the case will issue an original labor certification on blue paper and mail this document to the employer or attorney of record. The labor certification will be valid for 180 calendar days and will need to be submitted with the I-140 Immigrant Petition during the 2nd step of the employment based green card process. An initial I-140 Petition cannot be submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) once the labor certification has expired.
But what if the original labor certification was never received by the employer and is no longer valid? Where there is no evidence that it was delivered, will the DOL then reissue a labor certification with new validity dates to allow an employer to timely file an I-140 Petition? This issue was discussed in a recent Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals decision, Gazebo Contracting Inc., 2012-PER-02679 (BALCA August 12, 2016). Continue reading
During the PERM recruitment process, an employer may advertise for a position that requires certain experience that is considered typical for the position. Such experience must be limited to actual minimum requirements necessary to perform the PERM position. This creates difficulty in establishing the employer’s actual minimum requirements because “actual minimum requirements” is a term of art not specifically defined by the Department of Labor (DOL).
The Department of Labor (DOL) released 3rd Quarter PERM statistics for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016, and it looks like filed PERM Labor applications continue to rise and India continues to top the list of PERM Labor applications certified so far this year.
Review of Applications Certified in FY 2016 to Date (October 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016): Continue reading
Question C.9 on the PERM application states, “Is the employer a closely held corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship in which the alien has an ownership interest, or is there a familial relationship between the owners, stockholders, partners, corporate officers, or incorporators, and the [foreign worker]?”
It seems like such an easy question, but if the employer indicates on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089 (PERM application) that a familial relationship exists, you should expect an audit from the Department of Labor (DOL). Under these circumstances, the DOL usually initiates an audit to ensure no undue influence exists in an offer of permanent employment to the foreign worker. While an audit does not mean that the PERM application will be denied, you will want to be prepared with supporting documentation. Continue reading