Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses

Great news! Finally it came into effect that H-1B workers’ spouses can apply employment authorization! Beginning May 26, 2015, certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can apply  for employment authorization, as long as the H-1B nonimmigrant has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

Requirement:

You are eligible if you are the H-4 dependent spouse of an H-1B nonimmigrant if your H-1B nonimmigrant spouse:

  • Is the principal beneficiary of an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
  • Has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the AC21. The AC21 permits H-1B nonimmigrants seeking employment-based lawful permanent residence to work and remain in the United States beyond the six-year limit.

China EB-5 “Unavailable” for Remainder of FY2014

On August 23, 2014, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Department of State Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting Division, announced that effective immediately, the EB-5 preference category had become “unavailable” for Chinese applicants. In 2014, the United States issued immigrant visas to invest about 10,650, of which applicants from China has accounted for more than 8000. “Unavailable” means that the maximum number of EB-5 immigrant visas which are available for Chinese applicants for fiscal Year 2014 has been reached, while sufficient numbers for all other countries remain to ensure compliance within the annual Fiscal Year 2014 allocation. A new allocation of about 10,000 visas will be available on October 1, 2014, which is the first day of Fiscal Year 2015. As a result, there will be virtually no impact on most China EB-5 visa applicants who complete processing within the next 6 to 8 months. Visas have already been allocated for individuals with EB-5 visa interviews at the U.S. consulates in August and September 2014 so interviews will proceed as scheduled and visa may be issued to qualified applicants.

H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2015 Reached

During this year’s filing period, April 1-April 7, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY 2015, and it also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U. S. advanced degree exemption.

As it previously did, USCIS will adopt the random selection process to select petitions needed under FY 2015 H-1B cap.  This computer-generated process will randomly select the number of petitions to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption.  The selection process for the advanced degree exemption will be done first. Those advanced degree petitions that are not selected will be placed back in the general category pool and become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit.  USCIS will reject and return filing fees for all cap-subject petitions that are not selected, unless found to be a duplicate filing.

However, due to the high number of petitions, USCIS has not been able to decide the date on which it will conduct the random selection process for FY 2015.  Although all of the H-1Bs filed by our law office have been delivered on time, there is no guarantee who can get the lottery because of the huge amount of the applications.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the FY 2015 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

Mr. Doug Stump, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association said the following in announcing the cap non-availability: “Having the talent we need to do the skilled and specialized work that so many companies require in the globally competitive marketplace is vital to our economy and national interests. We need our legislators to take this issue seriously when they move forward on immigration reform because our legal immigration system is in desperate need of an overhaul in order to bring it into the 21st century.”

 

Thanks for your attention.

I-601 Waivers

 Starting March 4, 2013, certain relatives of American citizens who are in the country illegally and need a waiver of unlawful presence before being eligible for a green card can get a decision on their case before leaving the United States.

For those who can take advantage of the new rule, this means peace of mind, knowing that their loved one is likely to successfully complete the immigration process and not be stranded in a foreign country for an unknown length of time. 

 What is the new rule and how can it help my family?

 Under current law, many immigrants who enter the country illegally or overstay their visas cannot apply for permanent residence (a “green card”) in the U.S., and instead must finish the immigration process abroad.  Unfortunately, just leaving the country—even to pick up a visa sponsored by a family member—automatically makes the intending immigrant subject to a penalty for their “unlawful presence,” potentially separating them from their family for up to ten years.

 For some, but not all, the penalty can be waived.  The new rule means that many immigrants will leave the United States, knowing in advance that their case will probably be approved, and they could be back with their families—as a legal resident—in a matter of days.

 Who can apply under the new rule?

 Only applicants who are an immediate relative of a US citizen (spouses, parents and certain children) can apply at this time, though the rule may later be expanded to other relatives.

 The applicant must be physically present in the United States, and not already have a scheduled interview at a U.S. consulate abroad.  Also, the provisional waiver is only available if the sole issue holding up a case is unlawful presence.  Applicants who have criminal issues or other immigration violations cannot use the provisional procedure.

 Individuals who are in immigration court or who have an order of removal or voluntary departure may not qualify unless they get special permission from the government and a court order resolving their case.

 Do I need to work with an attorney?

 The immigration process can take months, even years, and government filing fees and other expenses are significant—it’s best to know your options before investing time and money.  A thorough legal consultation should look at all aspects of your immigration history to find the best solution for your family, not just evaluate eligibility for a provisional waiver.

 Always work with a licensed immigration attorney.  Consider consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer before starting the process to make sure that you qualify, and that stateside waiver processing is the best solution for your immigration case.

Application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

Application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
On June 15, 2012, President Obama signed a memo calling for deferred action for certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children and have pursued education or military service here.  The announcement notes that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and would then be eligible for work authorization.
Deferred action is a discretionary grant of relief by DHS.  It can be granted to individuals who are in removal proceedings, who have final orders of removal, or who have never been in removal proceedings.  Individuals who have deferred action status can apply for employment authorization and are in the U.S. under color of law.  However, there is no direct path from deferred action to lawful permanent residence or to citizenship and it can be revoked at any time.
Individuals who meet the following criteria can apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals:
1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;
2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;
3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;
4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;
5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;
6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and
7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year 2012 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2012 on November 23, 2011. USCIS is notifying the public that Nov. 22, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2012.

Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY 2012 that arrive after Nov. 22, 2011. 

As of Oct. 19, 2011, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. In addition, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted toward the FY 2012 H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;
  • change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

Fake H-1B Job Offers Result in Six Months’ Jail Time

A California businessman last week was sentenced to six months in prison for giving H-1B visa job offers that did not exist.

Srinivasa Chennupati, a native of Indian, 33, pled guilty in December to visa fraud. Chennupati admitted that starting on April 1, 2009, he submitted 11 foreign worker petitions to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that contained “counterfeit job offer letters” from the Gap Corporation, Wells Fargo Bank and Genentech. The jobs listed in the petitions were for computer systems analysts and software engineers that would be paid between $60,000 and $65,000.

Chennupati opened his business as a headhunter to match employers in the U.S. with potential employees in India who would receive H-1B visas. In 2008, the company legally filed 10 H-1B petitions. In 2009, the business filed for 19 additional H-1B visas, 11 of which were fraudulent, according to the court.

Notes for Reentry Permit Application

When you apply for a reentry permit, you will receive a biometrics notice in about one month after submitting the application. You must finish the biometrics procedure before leave the U.S.  People between ages 14 to 79 must complete biometrics service, otherwise, your reentry permit application can be denied.  Children under age 14 do not need to pay biometrics fee, but because of other reason (such as unclear photo), they may receive biometrics requirement notice.  According to our experience, when the children receive biometrics notice, they need to complete the biometrics requirement.  Otherwise, their reentry permit application will be rejected.

USCIS Reaches FY 2011 H-1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that H-1B petitions  reached the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2011 on Jan. 27, 2011.  USCIS notified the public that Jan. 26, 2011 was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY2011.

The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough cap-subject petitions to reach the limit of 65,000.  Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.  USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2011 that arrive after Jan. 26, 2011.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

  • extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;
  • change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.
Contact Info

Law Office of Jessica Y. Meng
Silicon Valley Address:
4677 Old Ironsides Dr. Suite 350
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Tel: 408-986-9202
Fax: 408-986-9206
or Email Us for quicker response.


Language Switch 中英轉換
Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Powered by us.groups.yahoo.com

Bookmark and Share