Hello and welcome to the January 2014 Immigration Newsletter!
At the outset, we wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year in 2014! As we enter into the New Year, we at VisaPro are delighted to have been able to stay connected to you over the past 11 years, and providing exceptional immigration legal services to you. Your continued support and trust has made this journey truly memorable. We wholeheartedly thank you for your continuous and consistent patronage and re-pledge our commitment to provide exciting services to make your visa processing ‘Fast, Easy and Economical!’
January signals the beginning of what is one of the busiest periods in the U.S. immigration calendar—when employers and immigration practitioners alike start gearing up for the H-1B filing season. USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2015 cap on April 1, 2014.
The FY 2015 H-1B cap is expected to be reached during the 1st week of April 2014, and we are most definitely looking at another H-1B lottery this year. With the economy continuing to improve over the past year, it is widely believed that the demand for H-1B’s this year is going to be much greater than the one witnessed last year.
Employers who miss the chance to file an H-1B petition for any employees before the cap is reached will NOT be able to bring in new employees under the H-1B program until October 1, 2015. They will have to wait until next year to file or look for an alternate visa option, which may or may not exactly match the employer’s needs. To eliminate uncertainty and ensure a successful filing, it is essential that employers begin planning their FY 2015 H-1B filings NOW!
Download VisaPro’s H-1B Visa 2015 Timeline Template
6 Easy Steps: A Step-by-Step Advice For Successful H1B Filing
Now is the perfect time to put your H-1B Cap filing plans in motion.
See how you can increase the chances of H-1B Visa 2015 petition lottery selection and approvals.
Download VisaPro’s FREE H1B Visa 2015 Timeline Template, a proven successful plan designed to maximize your efforts and ensure timely and successful filing of your H-1B petitions.
In this complex world of immigration, it can be hard to know when or where to start the H-1B filing process. That’s why we’re also offering a FREE 2015 H1B Cap Filing Plan Consultation. In the planning discussion, we’ll talk you through your priorities and recommend strategies for upcoming H-1B Cap filing season based on our attorneys’ near 100% success rates. To see how VisaPro can increase your chances of H1B lottery selection and approvals, schedule your FREE H1B Cap 2015 Filing Plan Consultation now.
In other news, the New Year began on an interesting note. The California Supreme Court granted a law license to an illegal immigrant. The Mexican immigrant, who was living in the country illegally, had graduated from law school and passed the California bar exam. It is expected that the ruling, apart from allowing him to begin practicing law, could also open the doors for other similarly placed foreign nationals to enter into other professions.
January also saw some reports coming in about USCIS’ Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate initiating L-1 site visits under its Administrative Site Visit and Verification Program (ASVVP). You may recall that last year, a report by Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) had recommended making site visits a requirement before extending 1 year new office petitions. L-1 employers need to take note of this development and be prepared in the event of any FDNS site inspections.
Meanwhile, January also saw USCIS announcing that more than 500,000 companies now use E-Verify – a significant milestone for the free online service that allows U.S. employers to confirm their new employees’ eligibility to work. Administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), E-Verify compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to data from DHS and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. Employers are already required by law to complete a Form I-9 for each newly hired employee and maintain I-9 records for all current and certain past employees. E-Verify allows employers to instantly verify if newly hired employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.
Other Developments in Immigration Law:
February 2014 Visa Bulletin: EB-2, EB-3 Priority Dates Advance For All Countries Except India
In the recently published U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin for February 2014, the EB-2 priority dates remained current in respect to all countries other than India and mainland China. The EB-2 priority date remained at 11/15/04 for India and advanced from 12/08/08 to 01/08/09 in respect to mainland China. EB-3 priority dates advanced for all countries except India, which remained at 09/01/03.
USCIS Announces 63 Countries Whose Nationals are Eligible for H-2A and H-2B Participation
USCIS has announced the list of 63 countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B Visa programs for the coming year. Each country’s designation is valid for one year from January 18, 2014. The notification, however, does not affect the status of beneficiaries who are currently in the United States in H-2A or H-2B status unless they apply to change or extend their status.
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Our ‘Featured Video’ for this month is “Foreign Degree Credential Evaluation for H1B Visa: Who needs it?“, in which we discuss when it is mandatory to present foreign degree education evaluation to USCIS and ways of seeking Credential Evaluation for the H-1B visa. Please check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel to take advantage of another great service provided to you by VisaPro.
Check out our ‘In Focus’ article for this month titled “H-1B Cap 2015 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?” to learn all about the H-1B cap filing secrets and when is the perfect time to put your H-1B cap filing plans in motion.
Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Results of our previous poll indicate that only half of the respondents (50%) think that 2014 will see an Immigration Reform Bill of some sort being passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President. We continue to appreciate that people take interest in the opinion question and cast their votes to give us their feedback. Keep it up! And continue to cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
We also congratulate Sushmita for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. While we received more than one correct response to the quiz question, Sushmita gave the best answer and won a free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. It’s time to get ready for this month’s quiz. If you know the correct answer your name might be featured in next month’s newsletter. All the Best!!!