H-1Bs are not Displacing American Workers

January 2016

The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates
                                                                                                                     January 2016

Our purpose here is to bring you the latest and most relevant immigration news. Immigration law is in constant flux, and we want to help you stay on the cutting edge of the field.

Gus M. Shihab

Gus M. Shihab, Esq.
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Good News For H-1B Visa Cap Seekers In 2016 - Prepare Now

H1B 2016
With the H-1B visa filing season approaching, 2016 will perhaps present an interesting opportunity.  With the recent legislation doubling the governmental filing fee, it is anticipated there will be lesser turnout for employers who have less than 50% H-1B visa employees. Also, the new filing fee may have an unintended consequence of changing the "character" of petitioning employers as larger, more H-1B visa populated employers will partner with smaller employers to petition H-1B visa employees. These new dynamics, we expect, will cause a reduction in the number of petitions in 2016 thereby increasing the chances for other petitioners to make inthe lottery.  READ ON....

US citizenship

Receiving a Request for Evidence (RFE) can be a dreaded experience when you've submitted a petition to USCIS. With a little extra documentation and strong explanations, though, this unpleasant inquiry can be overcome or avoided altogether. In preparing your petition, it is very important to provide as much information as you can that is carefully and clearly presented to avoid the most common types of RFEs. These areas to pay special attention to include:
* Your business entity information
* Evidence that the job is a "specialty occupation"
* Proof of the employer's need for the H-1B employee's services
* Proof of an employer-employee relationship
* Documentation of the H-1B employee's qualifications
* Proof of proper maintenance of status (for extensions)
With the proper documentation in these areas, you will greatly reduce your chances of receiving an RFE.  Read More......

Visa Cap 2016 
There is some good and bad news for H-1B cap exempt institutions of higher education, related or affiliated nonprofit entities, and nonprofit government research organizations. The good news is that a new proposed rule will expand the definition of the meaning of a "related or affiliated" nonprofit entity. The bad news is that the new rule has more narrowly defined the meaning of being "employed at" a qualifying institution for the purpose of the H-1B visa cap exemption.
Now, in order to be considered "employed at" a qualifying institution, the H-1B employee must spend at least 51% of their work week at the institution. This can be problematic for many H-1B employees that work at different sites throughout the week. On the other hand, the new rule will now recognize related or affiliated entities that are based solely on a written, formal affiliation agreement with a cap exempt institution. This has become a much more common practice in the industry, and the new expanded definition of "related or affiliated" nonprofit entity is a welcome change.  Read On....

Following its monthly release, we break down and analyze the Visa Bulletin. This document is how the State Department announces who is eligible to petition for permanent residence. We also provide other relevant case processing time information.

For employment-based visas, the good news for Indian nationals this month is that EB-2 final action dates have jumped forward seven months. EB-3 final action dates have also progressed by one month, and EB-1, EB-4, and EB-5 categories enjoy current status with no wait times.
 For family-sponsored visas, there is less good news. Initial filing dates have stagnated and remain unchanged this period. Final action dates seem to be the focus this period-advancing anywhere from not at all, to a few weeks or a month at best.

For employment-based visas, China has seen a one-month advancement this period in the EB-2 final action date. The EB-3 category fares better this period, with a three month advancement. The EB-1, EB-4, and EB-5 categories all enjoy "current" status this period with no wait times.

All Other Areas
For employment-based visas, all other areas are current for all categories except the EB-3 visa. The EB-3 final action date has remain stuck at October 1, 2015.
For family-sponsored visas, initial filing dates have stagnated and remain unchanged this period. Final action have progressed anywhere from not at all, to a few weeks or a month at best.  Contact us for more information.  

Above is an analysis of employment based immigration categories. For our analysis of family categories, click here.