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OFLC issues Q&As regarding delays in issuing PWD and H1B LCAs
September 16, 2011
On September 12, 2011, the Office of Foreign labor Certification (OFLC) issued Questions and Answers regarding the delays in issuing Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) and H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCA). Reminding employers that they can obtain a prevailing wage on their own without the assistance of the NPWC, OFLC observed that DOL’s regulations provide the employer with alternative sources for obtaining a prevailing wage in support of an H-1B application. OFLC mentioned that as long as the employer provides a prevailing wage in support of its H-1B application, whether through obtaining a PWD from the NPWC or through the other listed sources, there should not be any consequences to the foreign worker on whose behalf the H-1B application was filed.
USCIS publishes Final Rule establishing Transitional Worker Classification for workers in CNMI
September 12, 2011
USCIS has recently published a final rule that establishes a Transitional Worker (CW) classification for workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The CW classification allows employers in the CNMI to hire nonimmigrant workers who are otherwise ineligible to work. A limited number of CW visas are available each fiscal year and the numerical limitation for FY 2011 is 22,417 and for FY 2012 will be 22,416. The final rule also provides for the grant of derivative CW status to spouses and minor children of CW workers.
USCIS updates FAQs on Establishing the ‘Employer-Employee’ Relationship in H-1B Petitions
August 30, 2011
Under the recently announced USCIS’ initiatives to promote startup enterprises and spur job creation, USCIS has clarified that entrepreneurs with an ownership stake in their own companies, including sole employees, may be able to establish the necessary employer-employee relationship to obtain an H1-B visa, if they can demonstrate that the company has the independent right to control their employment. To clarify this issue, USCIS has updated the existing FAQs on establishing the ‘employer-employee’ relationship in H-1B Petitions. A few relevant extracts from the updated USCIS Q&As have been reproduced here for the benefit of our readers.
The H1B Visa and EB-2 Green Card for Entrepreneurs and Start-up Companies
August 30, 2011
The recent initiatives outlined by the Obama Administration and USCIS significantly enhance the visa options that would be available to an alien entrepreneur desirous of setting up an enterprise in the U.S. and running it, both temporarily and as a permanent resident. Under these initiatives foreign entrepreneurs who want to start a company in the U.S. may now become eligible for an H1B visa or an EB-2 Green Card as entrepreneurs, if otherwise qualified. These initiatives will be extremely helpful for individuals who cannot qualify for the E-1 or E-2 visas, or the L-1 visa, or those who cannot meet the high threshold set out for the EB-5 program.
Senate Approves Strict Rules on Hiring H1-B Workers
February 06, 2009
The U.S. Senate agreed to set restrictions on the hiring of H-1B workers by financial services firms that receive federal bailout funds, but it didn't bar the hiring of foreign workers as proponents had sought. The amendment, part of the stimulus plan being debated in the Senate, didn't include a blanket restriction on H-1B use and instead set a series of strict standards on H-1B hiring. Any firm receiving TARP funds will be automatically considered H-1B dependent, regardless of the percentage of H-1B workers on the payroll.
Important Changes and Clarifications for the H1B Application Process
March 20, 2008
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued clarifying regulations today, explaining how exactly the H1B application process will be handled this year. Some important changes have been announced to the process, including the benefit of having five business days to file the petition even if the cap runs out on the first day, prohibition on filing of multiple petitions by the same employer for the same employee, explanation of the Master’s cap and a clarification on the Premium Processing rules.
USCIS Offers Helpful Hints for Filing a FY 2009 H1B Cap Case
March 14, 2008
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), anticipates that April 1, 2008 will see a repeat of the mass filings from last year. With this expectation USCIS has published this list of measures the petitioner can take to ensure that their petition is correctly filed.
Common H1B Errors Leading to Rejections and Denials
March 14, 2008
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a statement showing the common errors leading to petition rejections or denials. This is a list of the most frequently seen and easily cured mistakes.
USCIS to Issue Regulation on Multiple H1B Filings
February 21, 2008
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon issue an interim final regulation that will prohibit employers from filing more than one H1B petition on behalf of a single foreign national. The regulation is now being reviewed by federal authorities and is expected to be made public in time for the start of the Fiscal Year 2009 filing season on April 1.
USCIS Announces Centralized Filing Location for Certain H1B Cap Exempt Petitioners
February 01, 2008
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today a new customer service initiative to streamline the adjudication of H1B petitions. Effective today, USCIS will employ a special unit dedicated to processing these types of H1B cap exempt petitions at the USCIS California Service Center (CSC). Aliens employed by certain types of educational, nonprofit or governmental organizations, as defined below (normally referred to as “cap exempt,” aliens employed by such entities are not subject to the H1B numerical limitations). See section 214(g)(5)(a) and (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); and 8 CFR 214.2 (h)(8)(A).

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