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My Law,LLC Immigration Law Firm WebSite: E-mail: Phone: 1-(630) 903-9625

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

H1B Visa (FY-2019)

While many regulations like increasing the H1B wage to 130K USD, Pre-registration of petitions and picking them by salary offered & qualification, increasing H1B cap, etc. have been discussed extensively and either part of the current H1B bills that are in process or Fall 2017 Regulatory agenda, none of these will be implemented for the H1B 2019 season.

How many H-1B Visas are available for the FY-2019 Quota?

58,200 (65,000 minus 6,800 taken out for Chile and Singapore H-1Bs) H-1B Visas are available per year in the Bachelor’s degrees quota.

20,000 H-1B Visas are available per year in the U.S. Master’s degrees quota.

When can I file my H-1B Visa Petition with USCIS?

Monday, April 2nd, 2018 is the first day USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for quota (cap) subject cases for FY (Fiscal Year) 2019, commencing October 1, 2018.

Because demand for H-1B workers remains high the quota likely will be filled in the first 5 business days of April.

Friday, April 6th, 2018 is likely the last day USCIS will accept H-1B petitions for quota (cap) subject cases for FY (Fiscal Year) 2019.

USCIS is required to accept petitions received during the first five business days of April.  With April 1st 2018 being a Sunday, the fifth business day will be Friday, April 6, meaning petitions must be sent via Next Day Delivery no later than Thursday April 5th 2018.

U.S. Master’s cap petitions will be sorted from non-U.S. Master’s cases and subjected to the random process to select the 20,000 that will be processed.

All cases not selected as part of the U.S. Master’s lottery will be entered into the bachelor’s cap lottery, in which 58,200 cases (65,000 minus 6,800 carved out for Chile and Singapore H-1Bs) will be subjected to the random system to select those that will be adjudicated.

My Law, LLC                                            
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
Phone: (630) 903-9625
1700 Park Street, Suite 203
Naperville, IL 60563


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Diversity Green Card Visa (DV) Lottery

The DV Lottery program offers a lottery for up to 50,000 immigrant visas annually, “drawn from random selection among all entries to individuals who are from countries with low rates of immigration” to the U.S., according to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.
That random selection, according to the State Department, is through a computer-generated drawing for foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence, or a green card, in the U.S. each year.
President Trump has called for its elimination, and the termination of chain migration, which happens when immigrants can enter the country, simply to be united with a relative already living in the U.S.

U.S. Naturalization Application Fee

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers a full fee waiver and a partial fee waiver.
USCIS will waive the full naturalization filing fee of $680 ($595 for applicants age 75 or older) if you are receiving income-based public assistance. Don’t put off becoming a U.S. citizen. Naturalizing is your best protection against restrictive changes in our immigration laws.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

USCIS is challenging an unusually large number of H-1B applications

Starting this summer, employers began noticing that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was challenging an unusually large number of H-1B applications. Cases that would have sailed through the approval process in earlier years ground to a halt under requests for new paperwork. The number of challenges — officially known as “requests for evidence” or RFEs — are up 44 percent compared to last year, according to statistics from USCIS. The percentage of H-1B applications that have resulted in RFEs this year are at the highest level they’ve been since 2009, and by absolute number are considerably higher than any year for which the agency provided statistics.

In the meantime, the uncertainly alone is taking a toll on those who rely on the visas to work. Some applicants whose cases remained unresolved by Oct. 1, the annual effective date for new visas, have been sent home from their jobs. After the recent terrorist attack in New York, Trump called for the elimination of another visa lottery program – the Diversity Visa Lottery – saying immigration should be merit-based.

Monday, November 6, 2017

More Scrutiny on L-1B Visa Extensions

The Trump administration is escalating scrutiny for extension of L1B applications to the same level as new applications to fit into the larger theme of protecting American workers which cuts to the heart of Trump's appeal and his rise to power in the US. 

The updated guidance makes it clear that extensions will not happen by default. The burden of proof falls entirely on the petitioner. With every additional move, the USCIS is basically sending strong and repeated signals that the difficulty level of coming through the H1B/ L1 route and then staying in the US on the same visa is unlike at any other time in the history of these work visas.

“The updated guidance instructs officers to apply the same level of scrutiny when reviewing nonimmigrant visa extension requests even where the petitioner, beneficiary and underlying facts are unchanged from a previously approved petition. While adjudicators may ultimately reach the same conclusion as in a prior decision, they are not compelled to do so as a default starting point as the burden of proof to establish eligibility for an immigration benefit always lies with the petitioner,” says Lee Francis Cissna, newly appointed director of the USCIS.

My Law, LLC                                           
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
Phone: (630) 903-9625
1700 Park Street, Suite 203
Naperville, IL 60563


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

H-1B visa renewals are getting tougher

Fresh changes in rules notified by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for renewal of non-immigrant visas will severely impact H-1B visa holders. Petitions for renewal of such visas, particularly when the underlying facts that supported the original petition have not changed, are currently considered with a presumption of approval, but that will no longer be the case, USISC said. Consequently, the burden of proof will be on the petitioner to substantiate his application even when nothing has changed since the previous petition.

The new rules are in line with the Donald Trump administration’s 'Buy American, Hire American' policy, the USCIS said. The new changes were announced even as a comprehensive review of the H-1B programme is under way.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

USCIS Is Denying Pending Advance Parole for Abandonment Due to International Travel

USCIS has been denying Advance parole advance parole applications for abandonment in instances where the applicant has traveled abroad during the pendency of the application. The pending Advance parole application is being denied even if the applicant has a separate valid advance parole document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa to return to the United States.

In the denial notification, USCIS points to the Advance parole instructions where it states that "[i]f you depart the United States before the Advance Parole Document is issued, your application for an Advance Parole Document will be considered abandoned."

In the past, USCIS has approved advance parole renewal applications for individuals who travel abroad during the pendency of the application with a valid Advance Parole Document or a valid H, K, L, or V visa.

Now the current policy is that traveling internationally while an application for advance parole is pending will result in the denial of that application notwithstanding prior practice to the contrary.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

My H1B is pending after Oct 1 cap gap – Can I still work?

Cap-gap extension was implemented by USCIS to assist foreign students when an F-1 student graduates, obtains an OPT for 1 year and the OPT ends the following year sometime between April and October.  OPT student finds a job that sponsors him or her.  As a result, the employer files the H-1B  on April 1st.

However, the visa won’t take effect until October 1st. If a student’s OPT expires in between April and October, they are caught in a “cap-gap”. Meaning, if their OPT expires between April and October. USCIS allows the students to work until September 30. In most cases, H1-B is approved by this date. And the student’s status changes to H1-B starting October 1.

However, this year things have taken a drastic turn. The number of requests for evidence have risen in number. Premium processing stands cancelled. It is most likely that USCIS is going to adjudicate cases after October 1. This is the reason everyone is asking : My H1B is pending after Oct 1 cap gap – Can I still work?

The answer to this question is No.

Cap-gap extension ends on September 30th. You are no longer eligible to work.

USCIS denied my H1-B and my OPT expired. Now what?

You have a 60-day grace period from the date of denial to leave the country. During this time you are ineligible to work in the country.  Make arrangements to leave the country, re-enroll in school for a new program, or look into any other visa options that will allow you to stay in United States.

My Law, LLC                                           
Immigration & Tax Law Firm
Phone: (630) 903-9625
1700 Park Street, Suite 203
Naperville, IL 60563