from The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates
Warm thoughts and kind regards to our clients, family, and friends as we would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving this 2012 year!
H-1B Employers: Get Ready to File
Before Next Year's Cap Is Reached!
H1B petitioners should start planning now to get ready by January 2013 before next year's cap is reached. Beginning April 1, 2013, the USCIS will begin accepting H1B visa petitions for new employees with a start date of October 1, 2013. When the cap is reached, new H1 visas will no longer be available until 2014.
This year's visa cap was reached on June 12, 2012, leaving only a small window of time to obtain a new H1 visa. It is anticipated that the visa cap will be reached even more quickly next year due to a large turnout as a result of the improving economy and decreasing unemployment. We expect next year's cap is likely to be reached in April. Click here to read more
RSVP To Attend the Next Shihab Webinar
EB-3 to EB-2 conversion: what is "interfiling"?
December 13 at 3:00 pm EST
Our next free webinar will discuss the EB-3 to EB-2 conversion update: what is "interfiling"? We are seeing a large influx of permanent residence applications from people who want to convert their EB-3 case to an EB-2. We consider right now is the ideal time to process such conversions. If you currently have an approved I-140 with a priority date which would cause an EB-2 petition to become current, you should pursue a new permanent residence application based in PERM.
If you currently have an application for adjustment of status pending, there is no need to file a new I-485 with the new EB-2 petition thanks to a novel procedure known as interfiling. Interfiling lets you use your current adjustment application which was previously filed on the basis of a lower preference category to continue to be processed on the basis of a new I-140 with a higher preference category. This is a significant cost saving for families who may have 3 or more applications for adjustment of status pending based on a prior EB-3 petition. Interfiling would allow you to process your EB-2 PERM and I-140 then "interfile" your pending I-485 to the newly approved EB-2. Please call us to discuss this matter more or attend our upcoming webinar. To register for the webinar click here
International Travel Issues
The H1B portability provisions allow you travel abroad while in between employers so long as the H1B petition with your previous employer is still valid and you can reenter under another valid status. Let's say you have an H1B visa status to work for Company A. Then while your H1B status is still valid, your employment with Company A ends, and then you leave the United States. You return to the United States a few months later on a B2 visitor visa. While you are in the United States, you want to begin employment with Company B. How soon can you begin working?
You can port even when you are not in H1B status. If your H1B visa for Company A is still valid, once Company B files an H1B petition on your behalf, you can begin working for the company immediately under the H1B portability provisions. You can still take advantage of portability even if you are not in H1B status, so long as you are in the United States in an authorized period of stay. You do not have to be in H1B status, you have to have a valid H1B petition.
What documents do you need international travel while porting? If you have ported to new employment with a pending H1B petition, and you have a valid H1B visa stamp, and you have the I-797 receipt notice for that pending petition, you can use these documents to travel internationally. You can get a new visa stamp at the consulate, but it is not required because your I-797 receipt notice is evidence of your new employer. When you return to the United States, be sure to check your I-94 form before leaving immigration inspection to make sure the name of your new employer is on the back so you are properly admitted to work.
What Is My USCIS Case Processing Time?
If your case is currently pending and waiting for approval, you can find out how long the USCIS should take to process your case here at this link.
All you need is to input the USCIS Field Office or Service Center where your case was filed.
H1B Degree Equivalency:
What Counts As Work Experience?
To qualify for H1B employment, you must establish that you are a professional/specialist by showing that you have at least a bachelor's degree or an equivalent level of work experience or specialized training. This problem arises when a foreign degree is deemed to be less than the equivalent of a US degree.
Experience and training equal college education on a three-for-one rule. The USCIS will recognize that three years of such experience and training equals one year of college education. Thus, three years of college plus three years of experience and/or training would equal a four-year college degree.
The USCIS may ask for more than the law requires
The USCIS has been known to ask for evidence that all of the beneficiary's work experience and/or specialized training was at the professional-level position. But, this is not the correct standard. According to the law, all that is required is for the beneficiary's experience and/or training to cumulate to a professional-level position. Experience and training that is not at the professional-level still is counted for purposes of the three-for-one rule. When a person begins experience or training in a career without a professional-level degree, typically that person does not begin at the professional-level. Therefore, to require three full years of professional-level experience and/or training actually requires much more than three years. All that is required is that the person reached the professional-level at the end of those three years.
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.
Call our law firm today for a free in depth analysis of your immigration law issue.
Shihab Webinar Series
Converting Your EB-3 Green Card Petition to EB-2