Affordable Top Rated Immigration Lawyer Fast Processing, Affordable Fees, Personal Service. 2018-09-20T17:18:06Z https://www.usavisanow.com/feed/atom/ Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[USCIS Insists Memo Targets Frivolous Filings, Not Simple Mistakes]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14213 2018-09-14T13:50:10Z 2018-09-14T13:50:10Z 9/13/18 – During the public stakeholder teleconference, the USCIS emphasized that the new RFE / NOID policy is not intended to penalize filers for “innocent” mistakes.
According to USCIS, the policy is meant to allow adjudicators to exercise discretion to deny cases that are frivolous and/or “substantially incomplete.”
USCIS is seeking to discourage parties from filing cases with a bare minimum of documentation, with the intention of providing the substantive documents later after an RFE is issued.
USCIS plans to publish checklists on the USCIS website that will detail the initial evidence required for each case type (e.g., H1B, L-1).
The USCIS is stating that this memo should not impact standard filings, even if the applicant or petitioner inadvertently fails to provide a relevant document or two.
The memo is targeting those who purposefully file cases without the required documents, which drains USCIS resources.
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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[PERM Approval, 4 months, 19 days at DOL]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14200 2018-09-13T15:51:22Z 2018-09-13T15:51:22Z We filed a PERM Labor Certification petition with the DOL on 4/24/2018 and received the final approval notices on 9/12/2018.

PERM Filing Date: 4/24/2018

PERM Approval Date: 9/12/2018

Processing time from PERM Filing to Approval: 4 months, 19 days

Position details:

Systems Analyst (Boston, MA) Participate in informal or formal design and architecting sessions. Partner with Senior R&D CRM Consultant on final code reviews and deployments. Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Computer Engineering or closely related field required. Required skills: C#, HTML, and excellent verbal and written communication skills.

PERM Case #: A-18047-44622

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[The October Visa Bulletin is out.]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14198 2018-09-13T14:37:24Z 2018-09-13T14:37:24Z October 2018 Visa Bulletin Dates – Employment

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:  Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “*Other Workers”.

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of Pub. L. 102-395.

A.  FINAL ACTION DATES FOR EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCE CASES

On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants; and “U” means unauthorized, i.e., numbers are not authorized for issuance. (NOTE: Numbers are authorized for issuance only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the final action date listed below.)

Employment-
based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES VIETNAM
1st 01APR17 01JUN16 01APR17 01JUN16 01APR17 01APR17 01APR17
2nd C 01APR15 C 26MAR09 C C C
3rd C 01JUN15 C 01JAN09 C 01JUN17 C
Other Workers C 01MAY07 C 01JAN09 C 01JUN17 C
4th C C 15FEB16 C 22OCT16 C C
Certain Religious Workers U U U U U U U
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C 15AUG14 C C C C 01JAN16
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
U U U U U U U

*Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B.  DATES FOR FILING OF EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA APPLICATIONS

The chart below reflects dates for filing visa applications within a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. Applicants for immigrant visas who have a priority date earlier than the application date in the chart may assemble and submit required documents to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, following receipt of notification from the National Visa Center containing detailed instructions. The application date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who cannot submit documentation to the National Visa Center for an immigrant visa. If a category is designated “current,” all applicants in the relevant category may file, regardless of priority date.

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Visit www.uscis.gov/visabulletininfo for information on whether USCIS has determined that this chart can be used (in lieu of the chart in paragraph 5.A.) this month for filing applications for adjustment of status with USCIS.

Employment-
based
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland
born
EL SALVADOR
GUATEMALA
HONDURAS
INDIA MEXICO  PHILIPPINES 
1st 01JUN18 01OCT17 01JUN18 01OCT17 01JUN18 01JUN18
2nd C 15JUN15 C 22MAY09 C C
3rd C 08AUG15 C 01OCT09 C 01JUL17
Other Workers C 01JUN08 C 01OCT09 C 01JUL17
4th C C 01MAY16 C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C 01MAY16 C C C
5th Non-Regional Center
(C5 and T5)
C 01OCT14 C C C C
5th Regional Center
(I5 and R5)
C 01OCT14 C C C C

 

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[NIW Approval, 3 months, 27 days, Immunology and Molecular Pathology]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14185 2018-09-11T18:24:43Z 2018-09-11T18:07:17Z On August 20th, 2018, we received another EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) approval for a Petitioner in the Field of Immunology and Molecular Pathology.

General Field: Immunology and Molecular Pathology

Country of Origin: Brazil

Service Center: Nebraska Service Center (NSC)

State of Residence at the Time of Filing: NY

Date of Filing: April 24th, 2018

Approval Notice Date: August 20th, 2018

Processing Time: 3 months, 27 days

Receipt #: LIN-18-904-01105

Case Summary:

Our client has extensive experience in the field of Immune Cell Epigenetics and is undoubtedly an outstanding researcher. His consistent contributions to the field made him a suitable candidate for EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver), and after determining that we could help him build a solid case, we gathered an array of evidence to support the petition.

Collecting relevant information:

We had to prove:

That our client’s proposed endeavor has both substantial merit and national importance;
That our client is is well positioned to advance the proposed endeavor;
That on balance, it would be beneficial to the United States to waive the job offer and labor certification requirements.

We provided evidence that our client identified how proteins derived from Flaviviruses (which includes West Nile Virus, St Louis Encephalitis Virus, Dengue Virus, Zika Virus and Yellow Fever Virus) are modified and can gain control of human cells gene expression and increase virus replication. Particularly, once the virus (the Yellow Fever Virus in the aforementioned example) infect human cells the capsid protein of the virus is modified by a specific amino acid acetylation, which is essential for modification of human cell and increased pathogenicity.

As with all our clients, we advised him on the process of selecting recommenders and obtaining their testimonials.

These testimonials supported the approval of our client’s NIW petition and contained strong statements such as these:

“…he has distinguished himself as a very talented immunologist with an international reputation, whose work will clearly benefit the national interest. His work is of substantial intrinsic merit and has significantly contributed to the highly complex and sophisticated area of immunology that also greatly affects and crosses over into the field of virology, biochemistry and epigenetics. As per various professors at the University, he is an expert in the field of immunology and immune gene expression control –an area of national and international significance and an area in which one of the handful of people in the world to be experts. He has distinguished himself as a researcher with an international reputation whose work will clearly benefit the national interest.”

“It is fair to say that he has received international recognition, and his expertise is extremely needed for development of novel tools and findings in immunology and other areas if science. I feel it would be of great benefit to the United States, to immunology and science in general if he were given to the opportunity to continue his career in the United States. In closing, I strongly support the “National Interest Waiver” application to obtain permanent residency in the USA. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.”

Despite the wait (3 months and 27 days), we are pleased that our client finally NIW petition approval. As his priority date is current, he is now applying for Adjustment of Status. We thank him for retaining our AOS services, and we look forward to helping him obtain permanent residence status.

Taylor and Associates Law P.C.  is a U.S. immigration law firm dedicated to representing corporations, research institutions, and individuals from all 50 U.S. states regarding I-140 immigration petitions. We specialize in employment-based immigration petition and have a proven record of high success rate for the categories of: EB2-NIW (National Interest Waiver), EB1-A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) and EB1-B (Outstanding Researcher/Professor).

 


If you would like a free evaluation in order to determine your chances in obtaining a National Interest Waiver self sponsored EB-2 green card approval, please send us your resume and google scholar citation link by completing the form below:

  • (if none write"none")
  • Please upload your Resume or C.V.

National Interest Waiver – Overview

National Interest Waiver for PhD Students

National Interest Waiver – FAQ

National Interest Waiver – Attorney Services

Substantial Intrinsic Merit – The first NIW requirement

Recent National Interest Waiver Approvals

National Interest Waiver Green Card – Step by Step Kit

 

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[USCIS to Raise Premium Processing Fee to $1,410 (starting 10/1/18)]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14145 2018-08-30T17:26:09Z 2018-08-30T17:26:09Z

This document is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on 08/31/2018 – “The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is increasing the premium processing fee charged by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). DHS is increasing the fee by 14.92 percent, the percentage change in inflation since the fee was last adjusted in 2010 according to the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The adjustment increases the fee from $1,225 to $1,410. DATES: This rule is effective on [INSERT DATE 30 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER]. Applications postmarked on or after that date must include the new fee.”

This affects some H-1B and L-1 visas, and some I-140 petitions.

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[8/17/18 – USCIS Changes Course on Third-Party Placement of Foreign Students]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14143 2018-08-30T17:20:51Z 2018-08-30T17:20:51Z On 8/17/18 USCIS updated the section on their website that deals with STEM OPT participants working at Staffing and temporary agencies and consulting firms.

The old language, which appeared without advance or separate notice stated that STEM OPT students were prohibited from being placed at client sites.

The new language in part states: “STEM OPT participants may engage in a training experience that takes place at a site other than the employer’s principal place of business as long as all of the training obligations are met, including that the employer has and maintains a bona fide employer-employee relationship with the student.”

The full passage from uscis.gov is below:

The Employer’s Training Obligation: Staffing and Temporary Agencies

Staffing and temporary agencies and consulting firms may seek to employ students under the STEM OPT program, but only if they will be the entity that provides the practical training experience to the student and they have and maintain a bona fide employer-employee relationship with the student.

STEM OPT participants may engage in a training experience that takes place at a site other than the employer’s principal place of business as long as all of the training obligations are met, including that the employer has and maintains a bona fide employer-employee relationship with the student.

As noted in the 2016 STEM OPT rule, certain types of arrangements, including multiple employer arrangements, sole proprietorships, employment through ‘‘temp’’ agencies, employment through consulting firm arrangements that provide labor for hire, and other similar relationships may not be able to demonstrate a bona fide employer-employee relationship and, therefore, may not meet the requirements of the STEM OPT extension. See 2016 STEM OPT Final Rule (p. 13079).

As part of the STEM OPT extension, employers must complete the appropriate parts of Form I-983, Training Plan for STEM OPT Students. In this form, employers attest that:

They have enough resources and trained personnel available to appropriately train the student;

The student will not replace a full- or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker; and

Working for them will help the student attain their training objectives.

DHS will review on a case-by-case basis whether the student will be a bona fide employee of the employer signing the Training Plan, and verify that the employer that signs the Training Plan is the same entity that employs the student and provides the practical training experience.

 

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[Starting 9/11/2018 – USCIS Extends and Expands Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions to Reduce Delays]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14139 2018-08-29T14:48:30Z 2018-08-29T14:48:30Z From uscis.gov:

USCIS is extending the previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions and, beginning Sept. 11, 2018, will be expanding this temporary suspension to include certain additional H-1B petitions.

We expect these suspensions will last until Feb. 19, 2019, and will notify the public via uscis.gov before resuming premium processing for these petitions.

While H-1B premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service filed with an affected Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker.

If a petitioner submits one combined check for the Form I-907 and Form I‑129 H-1B fees, both forms will be rejected.

Who Is Affected

The expanded temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed at the Vermont and California Service Centers (excluding cap-exempt filings as noted below).

The previously announced suspension of premium processing for fiscal year 2019 cap-subject H-1B petitions was originally slated to last until Sept. 10, 2018, but that suspension is being extended through an estimated date of Feb. 19, 2019.

We will continue premium processing of Form I-129 H-1B petitions that are not currently suspended if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before Sept. 11, 2018.

Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:

The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before Sept. 11, 2018; and

We did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.

Premium Processing Remains Available for Certain H-1B Petitions

The suspension does NOT apply to:

Cap-exempt petitions that are filed exclusively at the California Service Center because the employer is cap exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap exempt institution, entity, or organization; or

Those petitions filed exclusively at the Nebraska Service Center by an employer requesting a “Continuation of previously approved employment without change with the same employer” (Box b. on Part 2, Question 2, Page 2 of the current Form I-129) with a concurrent request to:

Notify the office in Part 4 so each beneficiary can obtain a visa or be admitted. (Box on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129); or

Extend the stay of each beneficiary because the beneficiary now holds this status. (Box c. on Part 2, Question 4, Page 2 of the current Form I-129).

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to any other nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.

Requesting Expedited Processing

While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage.

The petitioner must demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and petitioners should be prepared to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.

We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.

Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times by allowing us to:

Process long-pending petitions, which we have been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and premium processing requests over the past few months;

Be responsive to petitions with time-sensitive start dates; and

Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[How to determine the correct prevailing wage level for PERM and H-1B petitions]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=14091 2018-08-09T18:13:00Z 2018-08-09T18:09:48Z A recent AAO decision and USCIS teleconference, suggest that using a wage level that is not consistent with the most recently issued DOL policy guidance (i.e. based on the employer’s minimum requirements) could result in an insurmountable RFE and consequently an unavoidable denial.

For Job zones 2 through 5 (most H-1B positions are Job Zones 4 or 5) the DOL Policy Guidance states the following criteria with respect to education and experience requirements.

All jobs start with a Wage level 1 before any analysis is done.

Review what is the normal (“generally required”) level of education (Bachelor’s, Master, etc.) for a particular position. See Job Zone section for your particular SOC code at https://www.onetonline.org/ )

If the education level required by the employer is equal to or below what is normal for the position then you add no additional wage level.

If the education level required by the employer is higher than what is normal for the position then you add 1 additional wage level for each level of education above what is normal.

For e.g. if the employer requires a PhD and a Bachelor’s degree is normal for the position then you would add 2 wage levels; if the employer requires a Master’s requirement where a Bachelor’s is normal you would add 1 wage level.

The years of experience required is easiest described utilizing a specific Job Zone (JZ).

JZ4 four has an SVP Range of 7.0 to < 8.0.

This translates to 2.1 years to and including 4 years.

If the employer’s minimum years of experience is equal to or below the low end of the range (2.0 years or less) no wage level is added.

If the employer’s minimum years of experience is in the low end of the range (2.1 to 3.0 years) 1 wage level is added.

If the employer’s minimum years of experience is in the high end of the range (3.1 to 4.0 years) 2 wage levels are added.

If the employer’s minimum years of experience is more than the high end of the range (4+ years) 3 wage levels are added.

If the position requires supervision and supervision is not generally required for this type of position (for e.g. 11-3021.00 – Computer and Information Systems Managers) then 1 wage level is added).

If it is normal for the position to supervise then no wage level is added.

Here are some examples.

Example 1

Your position is a Software Engineer II.

The relevant SOC code may be https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.02.

This is a JZ4 resulting in SVP 7 with a normal requirement of Bachelor’s degree and range of experience of more than 2 years up to and including 4 years.

If your minimum requirements for the position are a Master’s degree in Computer Science or related field, plus 3.5 years of experience the analysis would be as follows:

You start with Wage level 1.

Your education requirement is one category above what is generally required (Bachelor’s) therefore add 1 wage level.

Your experience requirement is in the high-end of the range therefore add 2 wage levels.

This results in a level 4 wage.

Example 2

Your position is a Rehabilitation Manager.

The relevant SOC code may be https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9111.00.

This is a JZ5 resulting in SVP 8 and above with a normal requirement of Ph.D, M.D. or J.D degree and range of experience of more than 4 years.

If your minimum requirements for the position are a Master’s degree in Physical Therapy or related field, plus 6 years of experience and supervision of 30 employees the analysis would be as follows:

You start with Wage level 1.

Your education requirement is below the category as what is generally required (see above) therefore no wage level is added.

Your experience requirement is at the low-end range therefore 1 wage level is added.

Supervision is generally required for this position therefore no wage level is added.

This results in a level 2 wage.

You will note that although the requirements are much higher than in Example 1 the wage level in this example is lower because the JZ and resultant SVP (i.e. what is generally required for this position) is higher.

Example 3

Your position is a Software Engineer I.

The relevant SOC code may be https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.02.

This is a JZ4 resulting in SVP 7 with a normal requirement of Bachelor’s degree and range of experience of more than 2 years up to and including 4 years.

If your minimum requirements for the position are a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or related field, plus 2 years of experience the analysis would be as follows:

You start with Wage level 1.

If your education requirement is in the same category as what is generally required (Bachelor’s) therefore no wage level is added.

If your experience requirement is below the low-end range therefore no wage level is added.

This results in a level 1 wage.

It should be noted that historical data from our law firm shows that almost all Prevailing Wage Determinations by the DOL where the circumstances were the same as Example 3, a level 2 wage was issued by the DOL.

However, USCIS (as upheld by the AAO) has denied petitions where the employer selected the incorrect wage level, based on an analysis pursuant to the DOL Policy Guidance.

Based on all of the information currently available we recommend that the DOL Policy Guidance be followed with respect to H-1Bs.

PDF format of this article is here.

 

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[Weekly Update – 7/6/2018]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=13542 2018-07-06T17:13:00Z 2018-07-06T17:10:34Z We received a FY 19 H-1B Visa approval for an Electrical Engineer, In house position, No RFE, Requirements were Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and be registered as an Engineer-In-Training (E.I.T./E.I.) or have Fundamentals of Engineering certification. Prevailing wage was level 1 ($77,459 / Year), salary was $77,459 / Year.

We received a PERM approval for a .Net Developer in Mechanicsburg, PA. We filed the PERM petition on 3/25/18 and it was certified (approved) on 7/5/18. The PERM petition was not selected for audit.

We received a PERM approval for an Advanced and Adjunct Biology Teacher in Camilla, GA. We filed the PERM petition on 11/2/17. It was selected for Audit and we responded to the Audit on 5/17/18. We received the email notice of certification (approval) on 7/6/18.

Prevailing wage fiscal year started on July 1st. This means that the new prevailing wages are available. When completing the LCA you would use 2018 as the year source in field 11a on page 3 of 5.

Marriage Green Card Approval – We filed the I-130 and I-485 petitions with USCIS on 3/29/18 and received the I-797 approval notices on 6/21/18. MSC-18-908-73554, MSC-18-908-73555.

Marriage Green Card Approval – We filed the I-130 and I-485 petitions with USCIS on 1/30/18 and received the I-797 approval notices on 6/15/18. MSC-18-906-72681, MSC-18-906-72682

We received a K-1 Visa I-129F approval notice from USCIS on 6/19/18. The petition was filed with the California Service Center on 12/5/2017. WAC-18-900-74775.

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Marc Taylor http://www.usavisanow.com/ <![CDATA[H-1B FY 19 Update]]> https://www.usavisanow.com/?p=13419 2018-06-14T16:40:51Z 2018-06-14T16:40:51Z We are still receiving I-797 filing receipts for the FY 19 H-1B Visa Quota. The last receipt was dated June 5th, 2018.

We have not yet received returned not-selected FY 19 cap lottery cases from USCIS.

 

 

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