L And H-1B Visa Reform
Below are key highlights of the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform contained in the FY 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4818). For the full legislative text of the H-1B and L provisions, see here.
H-1B Visa Program Changes (effective 90 days after Bill is signed into law, unless otherwise noted below)
- H-1B exemption - exempts from H-1B cap up to 20,000 foreign nationals with Masters and higher degrees from US graduate schools.
- Additional costs to file H-1B petition - in addition to the basic filing fee and the (optional) premium processing fee
- worker retraining fee - permanently reinstated to $1500 per H-1B petition (previously $1000); for employers with less than 25 full-time employees, the retraining fee is $750 per H-1B petition (effective immediately)
- fraud prevention and detection fee - $500 fee imposed for initial H-1B, L-1 petitions, and change of status petitions
- Prevailing wage - employer must pay 100% of prevailing wage or higher (currently 95%). Governmental surveys will have four wage levels (currently two wage levels).
- DOL investigations - increased investigative powers to initiate investigations against employers based on reasonable cause (effective immediately)
L-1 Visa Program Changes (effective 180 days after Bill is signed into law)
- No subcontracting of L-1 visa holders to third party employers - legislation prohibits L-1 visa holders to work outside of petitioning employer's worksite with limited exceptions
- L-1 blanket - one year requirement is reinstated (reduced 6-month period for L-1 blanket period eliminated); applies to new L-1 petitions.
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Unraveling The Mysteries In Adjustment Of Status
The curriculum for the December 2nd phone session of "Unraveling The Mysteries In Adjustment Of Status" is as follows:
Phone Session on December 2nd:
I. EAD & TRAVEL ISSUES DURING ADJUSTMENT
The deadline to register is Tuesday, November 30th. For more info, detailed
curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information, see: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/october2004.shtm. (Fax version: http://www.ilw.com/seminars/october2004.pdf.)
- EAD extensions - timing
- Maintaining nonimmigrant status
- Advance Parole (General Rule) - 8 CFR 245.2(a)(4)(ii)(A) & (B)
- Renewing Adv. Parole & Travel Limitations
- Timing for Adv. Parole extensions
- Exception for H-1B & L-1s and their dependents - 8 CFR
- May 25, 2000 memo on the rules for H-1Bs & L-1s
- Common scenarios
- Advance Parole & portability cases
Why Is The Department Of Homeland Security Determined To Deport Malik Jarno?
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee writes "I do not understand the relentless and expensive campaign that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has waged against Malik Jarno."
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Yates Memo On Exception To Nonimmigrant HIV Waiver Policy For K and V Nonimmigrants
William Yates, USCIS Associate Director Of Operations issued a memo clarifying USCIS policy on the eligibility for discretionary waivers of inadmissibility due to HIV infection for K and V nonimmigrants.
DOL Memo To SWAs On GAL Checklist
Maria Flynn, Office of Policy Development and Research Administrator issued a memo to all SWAS providing a checklist of all cancelled and active General Administration Letters (GAL)(courtesy of Angelo A. Paparelli).
USCIS Publishes FY 2005 H-1B Processing FAQs
The USCIS published a Federal Register notice with FAQS on how the USCIS will process H-1Bs for FY 2005 given that the FY 2005 cap has been reached.
DOL Promulgates Interim Final Rule On H-1B1 Labor Condition Applications
The DOL issued an interim rule with request for comments regarding the new H-1B1 visa category applicable to nationals of Chile and Singapore.
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Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Microsoft Corporation has an immediate opportunity to join our dynamic team in the law and corporate affairs department in Redmond, Washington. The position requires excellent academic credentials, 4-6 years experience in all nonimmigrant business visas, labor certifications, and other business-related immigration matters. Strong case management, communication and writing skills are required. Must be customer-service focused and able to thrive in a challenging and fast-paced environment. Prior experience managing legal staff and proficiency with Microsoft technology a plus. Microsoft offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits and casual workplace environment. Please submit your response in Word format to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate job code N145-122703 in the subject line. Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and strongly supports diversity in the workplace.
Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
For over 45 years, Jackson Lewis LLP, a national employment and
labor law firm has been exclusively representing management. Jackson Lewis seeks an immigration attorney in its Miami office for its immigration practice group. 7-10 years experience in employment based immigration law preferred. Candidate must have excellent communication (verbal + written skills) and case management experience. Send resume and
writing sample in confidence to Judi Sebastian by fax: 305-373-9966 or e-mail: email@example.com. EOE.
Help Wanted: Immigration Attorney
Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLC, a premier management labor and employment firm with 13 offices nationwide and approximately 100 attorneys, seeks immigration attorney with 5+ years experience to join our immigration practice. The position is based in our Atlanta, GA office. Candidate must have strong knowledge of business immigration law, including full range of nonimmigrant and immigrant petitions and labor certifications. The position requires excellent analytical, writing, and case management skills. Candidate must be highly motivated and detail oriented. Position involves extensive client contact. We offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Applicants should send resumes in confidence to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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In response to Mr. Murray's query, whether to file a labor certification now or "wait" for PERM is a non-issue. The NPRM on PERM in the Federal Register indicates that the coming of PERM ends nearly three decades of hard fought regulatory guidelines providing American employers with fairness in their efforts to immigrate workers. With PERM, there will be no: (1) business necessity to justify accurate and real job requirements; (2) loss of 5% wage factor that exists due to inherent inaccuracies of wage surveys; (3) mandatory recruitment requirements in excess of normal requirements for industry/employer; (4) new extensive record keeping requirements; (5) elimination of all job skills and experience allowed by decisional law obtained through employment with overseas affiliates, or other jobs with same employer; etc. There's a punitive structure that allows for no hearing, exceptions or justifiable explanations (e.g. company's records destroyed in fire) and mandate a finding of fraud against the employer for shortcomings. Maybe better processing times - maybe. Whether PERM comes is still a question. PERM will essentially strip current fair process from employers. There will be an option to convert to PERM for pending cases filed now, so what possible downside is there? The priority date, determined by filing date, controls when the person will be able to apply for their green card. If you wait and I don't, my cases will have an earlier priority date than yours. Even if DOL provides better processing under PERM, it will be irrelevant since the priority date will control in the end. With the return of quota cut-off dates of many years likely in certain EB categories, the one who files first will be better off than the one who files later even if the later case gets approved faster. File the labor certification now.
Concerning Chucky's opinion, I need to highlight that
Congress just passed the Omnibus Appropriation Bill
that increases the H-1B cap by 20,000 for holders of
U.S master's degrees. Chucky will do better in looking
after the “American worker,” which sounds like a
buzzword from a Marxist manifesto, by supporting free
trade, less government spending and individual
responsibility. Free movement of workers is an
indispensable portion of this plan. The cases of Colin
Powell, son of Jamaican immigrants, of Czech-born
Madeleine Albright, or Genesio Morlacci, a poor unskilled Italian immigrant, give testimony of
the immigrant endeavor's potential. As expected, they represent the product of a country which had far less
bureaucratic barriers for hard-working immigrants than most nativists and neo-socialists would like to see.
Perhaps because they are unwilling do what it takes to compete.
Immigration Daily's subject "dates" are one day ahead of the day you send them out. Therefore it was confusing to receive today (November 22nd) an email dated today stating Congress is in session, considering among other things the H-1B cap exemption, when the fact is that Congress finished its deliberations yesterday.
Why was the H-2B cap not raised as well in the legislation just sent to President Bush?
What can be done? Was the USCIS statistical 33K count that Immigration Daily reported on, a few days
earlier, a joke or a political move? What should H-2B employers do? For example, write letters, and if so, to whom?
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The USCIS Washington District's Arlington Office will move to a new location on Friday November 26, 2004. The Office currently located at 4420 North Fairfax Drive will close to the public on Tuesday, November 23 and will remain closed through Monday, November 29. The new Washington District facility is located at 2675 Prosperity Avenue across from the Dunn Loring stop of the Orange Line of the Metro. The USCIS Washington District Office provides services on an appointment only basis.
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