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April 2014
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US Immigration Newsletter - From the Editor's Desk

Hello and welcome to the April 2014 Immigration Newsletter!

In the run-up to the H-1B cap 2015 filing season, VisaPro had predicted that intense competition would significantly bring down the odds of winning the FY2015 H-1B lottery and that the odds of getting selected would be 2 out of 4. 10 days into April, it was proven that VisaPro’s H1B Predictions hit the bull’s-eye!

USCIS received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions for the FY2015 H-1B cap for 85,000 H-1B visas (65,000 in general-category cap and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption) during the filing period which began April 1, 2014. USCIS completed the computer-generated random selection process (“H-1B lottery”) on April 10, 2014 to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS began premium processing for theseH-1B petitions on April 28, 2014. 

With the H-1B cap exhausted, employers (except cap-exempt organizations) who want to file new H-1B petitions will now have to wait until April 1, 2015  for a start date no sooner than October 1, 2015! To learn more on how you must evaluate and utilize alternatives to the H-1B category, visit What Would You Do If the H-1B Cap is Reached?

In other news, April saw the Obama Administration announce a series of new steps aimed at strengthening entrepreneurship and accelerating the success of entrepreneurs in the United States. The While House also announced that DHS will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the U.S. more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants, including rules authorizing employment for individuals on H-4 status, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers. The Fact Sheet, however, did not outline any timeline for the implementation of the above proposals and it is unclear if one should expect much progress on these proposals in the immediate future. We at VisaPro continue to monitor these developments and will keep our readers updated.

In an employment-based Green Card update, the Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin for May 2014 saw the EB-2 priority date remain at 11/15/04 in respect to India and marginal advancement was witnessed in EB-2 dates in respect to mainland China. In the EB-3 category, the priority date remained at 10/01/12 in respect to all other countries other than India and the Philippines. The EB-3 priority dates advanced by about 2 weeks in respect to India and by about 4.5 months in respect to Philippines.


Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:

Our ‘Featured Video’ for this month is “Opening a New Office in US using the L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa, in which we showcase how the 'New Office' L-1 Visa offers a great way to start operations and gives senior managers and executives a fast track to the U.S. Green Card under the EB-1 category. 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 “H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?” in which we explain the several exemptions that raise the actual number of new H-1Bs each year and how employers and employees could accomplish H-1B filings without falling prey to the H-1B cap.

Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Results of our previous poll indicate thata majorityof the respondents (60%) think that the increasing L-1B denial rates, as suggested by a recent NFAP report, will have a significant negative impact on the ability of U.S. businesses to compete and grow globally.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 Kim for winning last monthís Immigration Quiz. While we received more than one correct response to the quiz question, Kim gave the best answer and won a free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. Itís time to get ready for this monthís quiz. If you know the correct answer your name might be featured in next monthís newsletter. All the Best!!!

To ensure you receive your Immigration Newsletter, please add Immigration-Monitor@VisaPro.com to your address book or safe list.


See you next month with a lot more noise from the Immigration World!


 



Opening a New Office in US using the L-1 Intra-Company Transfer Visa

For companies looking to expand to the U.S. or start operations and move key personnel to the U.S., the 'New Office' L-1 Visa is a method commonly used. L-1 Visa offers a great way to start operations and also gives its senior managers and executives a fast track to the US Green Card under the EB-1 category.

More Videos...



IN THIS ISSUE
Latest News
In Focus
Processing Times
Questions and Answers
Success Stories

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YOUR OPINION

With the Obama Administration announcing that DHS will soon issue proposed regulations authorizing employment of H-4 spouses, do you think that employment authorization for H-4s will become a reality in the immediate future?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not Sure
    Cast Your Vote
    View Results


    IMMIGRATION QUIZ
    Win a FREE Online Consultation!

    Submit your answer to the query below. The best response will be published in the next Immigration Monitor and the winner will receive a FREE Online Consultation from an Experienced VisaPro Immigration Attorney during the month of May 2014.

    I am a Citizen of Pakistan, living in Dubai, and I recently got engaged to a U.S. Citizen. Based on my engagement, can I apply for a Green Card status in the U.S. before marrying my U.S. citizen fiancé?

    Submit Your Answer


    Winner of the Immigration Quiz - March 2014:

    Kim

    The Question:

    I am a classical Indian dancer, currently in the U.S. on a P-3 visa. I am now receiving offers from organizers other than my P-3 sponsor, asking me to perform. Can I do that or do I have to work exclusively for the organizer who filed my
    P-3?

    The Winning Response:

    You can change employers on P-3 but only after the new employer files and gets approveda new P-3 petition with USCIS. You cannot begin employment with the new employer before the new petition is approved.


    Kim receives a FREE Online Consultation from an Experienced VisaPro Immigration Attorney during the month of May 2014.


    JOBS @ VisaPro
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    Job Type: W-2 or 1099
    Location: Work from anywhere in the U.S. No need to relocate.
    Immigration Attorney
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    Do you have questions regarding the H-1, L-1, E-1 or other work visas or Green Cards? VisaPro has answers to many of the most commonly asked immigration questions. Click here to find out more.

    USCIS Reminder: May 2nd Deadline for Haitian TPS Re-registration

    USCIS has issued a reminder to eligible nationals of Haiti who currently have Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to re-register for TPS by May 2, 2014. Applicants who re-register during the registration period and request employment authorization will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with an expiration date of January 22, 2016. Failure to re-register by the May 2nd deadline may result in the loss of TPS and work authorization.


    H2B Cap Count Update

    USCIS has updated the count of H2B visa petitions received and counted towards the H2B cap for the fiscal year 2014 employment. As of April 25, 2014, USCIS has approved approximately 18,805 beneficiaries for the 2nd half of FY 2014.

     

    USA Immigration - In Focus

    H1B Cap Exempt Ė Are You Eligible?

    We all are well aware of the H-1B cap restriction but most of us arenít aware of the fact that not every H-1B petition is subject to the cap. The H-1B cap is the biggest concern both for prospective employers and proficient employees. While the H-1B cap is currently set by statute at 65,000, there are several exemptions that raise the actual number of new H-1Bs each year. It is highly important that you carefully analyze which H-1B cap exempt category you or your employer call into. This article has been designed to assist the employers and the employees from becoming the victim of the H-1B cap restriction. Go aheadÖread the article and enjoy your H-1B filing without falling prey to the H-1B Cap.

    Read Full Article  |  Read More Articles


    US Immigration - USCIS (INS) Processing Times
    Visa Bulletin
    USCIS Processing Times
    Local USCIS Offices






     
    QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

    Q1.

    I am a U.S. Citizen and my husband is a Citizen of Norway. We have been married for 12 years, and he received his Green Card in 2009. We moved to Sweden in 2010 and have been living here since then. While we havenít visited the U.S. since 2010, we have been paying our U.S. taxes. My husband has now received an offer from a U.S. company and we are looking to coming back to the U.S. Meanwhile, my husband has misplaced his Green Card. Is there a way for us to obtain a duplicate copy of his Green Card?


    Ans. 

    If your husband did not obtain a re-entry permit before moving to Sweden, it is likely that his Green Card is considered abandoned since he has not returned to the U.S. for over 4 years.  Upon receiving the Green Card or “legal permanent residency”, you must maintain the U.S. as your primary residence.  Simply filing tax returns does not generally maintain U.S. residence.  Moreover, it is not possible to obtain a duplicate copy of the Green Card when you are outside the U.S.  If staying outside the U.S. was due to extraordinary circumstances, your husband may be eligible for a “Returning Resident Visa (SB-1)”. If not, you may have to sponsor him again for the Green Card or explore other options. You should consult with an immigration attorney to understand what would be the best option in this situation.


    GOT A QUESTION?
    If you have a short, simple query on immigration to the U.S., send your questions to us. We will select and answer a few of the queries in every issue.

    Note: Responses posted in this section provide only general information. Since immigration law is a complex matter, please consult an immigration attorney before acting upon any responses provided.
    Ask Your Question
     
    Q2.

    I am a Citizen of Ukraine, currently working full-time in the US on H-1B. I have received an offer from a different company to work for them part-time during the weekends. Can I take up that offer or will I be violating any rules by working for them?


    Ans. 

    There is no bar on foreign nationals working concurrently for more than one U.S. employer on H-1B, however, every such employment must be authorized by USCIS. In order for you to take up the part-time employment, the new company must file and obtain an approved H-1B petition on your behalf. You are eligible for concurrent H-1B employment regardless of whether your primary employer is cap-exempt or cap-subject (meaning you can get a concurrent H-1B for a cap-subject employer even if you were never counted in the cap). You should consult with an immigration attorney to understand what would be the best option in your situation.

       
    More Q&A


    VisaPro Customers' Immigration Experiences

    "I want to personally thank you and your team for your great effort in working our [L-1] case even under very strict time constraint.

    Your professionalism, patient and attention to detail are outstanding and greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again."

    Chong Koh, Strategic Planning Manager
    KCK Business Solution, LLC


    More Success Stories


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