Shihab Immigration News: January 2014

Shihab Immigration News: January 2014
Our purpose is to bring you the latest and most relevant immigration news. Immigration law is in constant flux, and laws are constantly being revised. Congress is about to change immigration in a drastic manner. Check out our Newsletter and Blog page to stay on the cutting edge of current immigration news.

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The U.S. Department of State recently released the February 2014 Visa Bulletin. Here are some highlights:

* The EB-2 and EB-3 visa categories for India have remained at a standstill since the December 2013 retrogression.

* EB-2 visas for Chinese nationals continue to progress more rapidly than the EB-3 visa category. For more information about how this affects you, check out our article, A Unique Opportunity for Chinese Nationals Seeking Employment-Based Immigrant Visas.

 * The F-2B visa category for Mexican nationals retrogressed
 just under one year.

* The F-2A category continues to be stagnant across the board since the cut-off date was imposed in October 2013.
* The F-3 visa category for Mexico has not changed since last month.

* The F-1 visa category for Mexico and the Philippines finally progressed after remaining stagnant since November 2013.
For a detailed analysis of the Employment-Based Immigrant Visa processing times for February 2014 Visa Bulletin click here.
To read more about the Family-Sponsored Immigrant Visas processing times for February 2014 Visa Bulletin click here.
 Contributed by Brittany S. Stenger, Esq.
We are excited to announce the opening of our LinkedIn Group: 
This group provides a forum for employers and individuals alike to post jobs and start discussions relating to employment in the United States. 

Employers are invited to post their current job openings in the "jobs" section of the group. Individuals are encouraged to invite friends and family members seeking employment in the United States to the group as well as posting job opportunities for other job seekers. Anyone is free to start discussions relevant to employment in the United States. 

We look forward to seeing you all there! 

Depending on your degree, you might meet the educational requirements to file your H-1B petition but when you go to file your PERM application, be denied for not have the required level of education.  Meeting the educational requirements for H-1B can be construed very differently when analyzing them in a PERM application.  The combination of work experience and education is treated differently by each petition.  It is very important to know what agency considers the equivalent of your degree.  It will have significant effects on what types of petitions you will have the ability to apply for.  

Continue reading this article here

Contributed by Matthew D. Minor, Esq.
The intersection of criminal law and immigration law is an extremely complicated area where both criminal and immigration expertise and knowledge is required. The Board of Immigration Appeals has recently decided various cases where criminal conduct was involved and the non-citizen was placed in removal proceedings. Many times the respondent is a lawful permanent resident of the United States and can qualify for relief as long as he or she has not been convicted of an aggravated felony. The process of determining whether a state criminal conviction qualifies as an aggravated felony can be extremely complicated and confusing. In fact, an aggravated felony conviction for immigration purposes is usually not "aggravated" nor a "felony" under the state law conviction. Recently the BIA has decided some cases that can shed some light into this area of immigration law. 


Read more here


Contributed by Barbara M. Fernandez, Esq.
Worried about the H-1B Cap? Consider Filing for a B-1 in Lieu of an H-1B 
As demand grows each year, it is becoming more difficult to receive an H-1B visa. As such, if there is a visa that may better fit your needs, petitioners should consider filing for a different type of visa in lieu of the H-1B visa. 
For instance, certain aliens who qualify for an H-1B may find that a B-1 visa is more appropriate and more widely available than the ever sought after H-1B. In fact,there is a specific category, called B-1 in Lieu of H-1B that is designed to permit foreign employers to send their employees to the United States.
Learn more about the B-1 in Lieu of H-1B option here. 

Contributed by Brittany S. Stenger, Esq. 

Three means Three: BALCA Case Finding Link to External Job Search Website Does Not Satisfy Posting Job Opening on Employer's Website   
Employers seeking to permanently employ a foreign worker must first obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. The labor certification confirms that there are no U.S. workers available for the position. Thus, in order to obtain a labor certification, the employer must perform specified recruitment steps to prove that U.S. workers are not available. In a recent Board of Immigration Appeals (BALCA) case, the Administrative Law Judge determined that including a link on the employer's webpage that redirects job seekers to an external job search website does not satisfy the recruitment step of placing the job posting on the employer's website.  
Read more about this decision here

Contributed by Brittany S. Stenger, Esq.

Our Promise
 Whether you are a human resource professional employing foreign professionals, a scientist, a professor, a small business owner, a multinational corporation, or a US Citizen pursuing an immigration case for a relative or loved one, our lawyers possess the legal skills and sensitivities needed to achieve your goals. It is of utmost importance that you, the client, are assured that your immigration lawyer has your best interest in mind and at heart, and that he or she will conclude your matter quickly, competently, and in an affordable manner. Gus M. Shihab, Esq. and the attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates hold these values at the forefront.