From The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates
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The H1B Cap 2013 Is Coming:
Get Ready to File before Visas Run out
If you are seeking an H1B visa, you should know that there is a limit to the number of H1B visas the USCIS may issue each fiscal year. This limit is known as the H1B cap, which is 65,000 per fiscal year plus another 20,000 set aside for H1B those with a master's degree or higher from a US college or university.
The USCIS will begin accepting applications for new H1B visas when new numbers become available starting April 1, 2013. The earliest start date for these H1B petitions can be October 1, 2013. Once the once the cap is reached, no more new H1B numbers will become available until April 1, 2014, and those visas cannot have a start date earlier than October 1, 2014.Click here to read more
New USCIS Immigrant Fee
Effective February 1, 2013
Foreign nationals who seek permanent residence in the United States and receive an immigrant visa will need to pay a new USCIS Immigrant Fee of $165 beginning February 1, 2013. Any individual who on or after February 1, 2013 receives an immigrant visa package from a United States consulate or embassy abroad (including Canada and Mexico) will pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee. Applicants must pay this fee online through the USCIS website. Applicants should submit payments after they receive their visa package from DOS and before they depart for the United States.
H1B Cap: What If You Miss The Cap?
Optional practical training (OPT), cap gap, and STEM: If you are a student in OPT, your OPT time may be extended by the "cap gap." If you have a degree related to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics, (STEM) and an E-Verify employer, an additional 17 months is added to your OPT time for a total of 29 months.Other possibilities: If none of the above apply, look into the B1 visitor visa in lieu of the H1B. This category has limits, including that any salary or compensation must come from abroad and not a US source. The J1 exchange visa or the H3 trainee visa may be options as well.
H1B porting under AC21: If you already have H1B status, and you want to change employers, you can take advantage of portability and file for a new H1B visa without being subject to the cap. You must have already been counted towards the cap and must be moving to a same or similar job.
NAFTA TN, O1, and L1: If you are a foreign national of Canada or Mexico, you may qualify for a NAFTA TN Visa. If you have had several achievements in your area of occupation, look at the O1 extraordinary ability or achievement visa. If you will be transferring from an affiliated foreign company to the US for a brief period, look at the L1 intercompany transferee visa.
Other possibilities: If none of the above apply, look into the B1 visitor visa in lieu of the H1B. This category has limits, including that any salary or compensation must come from abroad and not a US source. The J1 exchange visa or the H3 trainee visa may be options as well.
NBC4 News Interviews Gus Shihab
About US Immigration Reform
Immigration Attorney Gus M. Shihab was interviewed on NBC4 News recently to talk about a recent ICE pursuit and capture of undocumented immigrants here in Columbus Ohio. Attorney Shihab explained that the United States is suffering from a dysfunctional immigration system. He told NBC4 News that most undocumented immigrants follow all the laws, with the only exception being immigration status, and most are law-abiding people that just want to live here and work hard and earn a living to support their families. He said laws need to change to bring about a reform of the immigration system for those undocumented yet law-abiding foreign nationals. Click here to read more.
Upcoming Immigration Reform
Immigration reform was a hot topic in the past presidential election, albeit for a short period of time. Now that the election is over, many are looking ahead to the possible changes that could be taking place. There are several areas of possible reform where immigrants are eager to see changes. These areas include, people who entered without inspection, undocumented youth, highly educated immigrants and undocumented workers.
Obviously, the most important area of reform for those without status is legalization. It is estimated that there are about 11 million undocumented people currently in the United States. It will be interesting to see how difficult any path to citizenship will be, especially how long the undocumented person needs to be in the country before they can apply for the new hypothetical temporary status and for how long they must maintain that status before they can get their green card. The new roadmap to naturalization might be a long winding one, but many will probably be excited just to have a chance to become U.S. citizen, where before there was little legal recourse available to them and they were forced to live on the fringes of society. Click here to read more.
Gus Shihab, Esq.
|Shihab Immigration Blog |
Follow the Shihab Immigration Blog for up-to-date analysis and interpretation on the visa and immigration law issues and processes.
US Immigration laws are currently in state of constant flux and change. Visit the Shihab Immigration Blog at least once a week to keep abreast of this complex and ever changing area.
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