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Archive for the ‘H-1B Visas’ Category

Fiscal Year 2013 H-1B Cap Count Update (updated April 17, 2012)

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As of April 13, 2012, approximately 20,600 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 9,700 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

USCIS Continues to accept FY 2013 H-1B petitions and our office is continuing to help clients file H-1B petitions. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or help in filing an H-1B.

Cap Eligible Petitions: This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied. Petition Target: This is the number of petitions that USCIS projects it will need for the cap to be met. Cap Amounts: The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas may be set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.

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Written by MithrasLaw

April 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm

India largest beneficiary of H-1B visas issued – 24% Increase in H-1B visas issued in FY 2011

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The U.S. Mission to India recently reported that H-1B (specialized skills work visa) issuances in India increased 24% between the U.S. Government’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 and FY2010. This marks a total increase from 54,111 issued in 2010 to 67,195 in 2011. The U.S. Government’s fiscal year extends from October through September. FY2011 recently concluded on September 30, 2011.

This 24% increase is tied to the highest ever H-1B application and issuance rates in the history of the U.S. Mission to India, and illustrates the booming nature of U.S.-India business relations. India is the single largest beneficiary of H-1B visas by a wide margin: in the past four years, applicants in India have received more than twice as many H-1B visas as the four next-highest countries combined.

Written by MithrasLaw

November 3, 2011 at 11:55 am

USCIS Announces “Entrepreneurs in Residence” Initiative

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The USCIS has a new initiative called “Entrepreneurs in Residence” to help the American economy and stimulate foreign investment which can “create jobs, form startup companies, and invest capital in areas of high unemployment.”

USCIS has published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document on its website clarifying that entrepreneurs may obtain an employment-based second preference (EB-2) immigrant visa if they satisfy the existing requirements, and also may qualify for a National Interest Waiver under the EB-2 immigrant visa category if they can demonstrate that their business endeavors will be in the interest of the United States. USCIS will complement these FAQs with internal training on the unique characteristics of entrepreneurial enterprises and startup companies and incorporate input from the upcoming stakeholder engagements detailed below.

The EB-2 visa classification includes foreign workers with advanced degrees and individuals of exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. Generally, an EB-2 visa petition requires a job offer and a Department of Labor certification. These requirements can be waived under existing law if the petitioner demonstrates that approval of the EB-2 visa petition would be in the national interest of the United States.

An H-1B beneficiary who is the sole owner of the petitioning company may establish a valid employer-employee relationship for the purposes of qualifying for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa – which is used by U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as science, engineering, and computer programming.

USCIS has also announced the expansion of its Premium Processing Service to immigrant petitions for multinational executives and managers (often referred to as “E13”). The Premium Processing Service allows employers to expedite processing of their petitions, absent evidentiary deficiencies, fraud or national security concerns.

Written by MithrasLaw

October 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

H-1B Cap Exemptions for Non-profits under Review

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USCIS is reviewing its policy on H-1B cap exemptions for non-profit entities that are related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education. Until further guidance is issued, USCIS is temporarily applying interim procedures to H-1B non-profit entity petitions filed with the agency seeking an exemption from the statutory H-1B numerical cap based on an affiliation with or relation to an institution of higher education.

During this interim period USCIS will give deference to prior determinations made since June 6, 2006, that a non-profit entity is related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education – absent any significant change in circumstances or clear error in the prior adjudication – and, therefore, exempt from the H-1B statutory cap. However, the burden remains on the petitioner to show that its organization previously received approvals of its request for H-1B cap exemption as a non-profit entity that is related to or affiliated with an institution of higher education.
This burden can be satisfied by the petitioner by providing USCIS with a copy of a previously approved cap-exempt petition and the previously issued applicable I-797 approval notice and any other relevant documentation.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 11, 2011 at 10:23 am

Posted in H-1B Visas

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USCIS Continues to Accept FY 2012 H-1B Petitions

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced it continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions that are subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2012 cap. The agency began accepting these petitions on April 1, 2011.

USCIS is monitoring the number of petitions received that count toward the congressionally mandated annual H-1B cap of 65,000 and the 20,000 U.S. master’s degree or higher cap exemption.

USCIS has received approximately 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and approximately 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Such workers include scientists, engineers and computer programmers, among others.

USCIS will provide regular updates on the processing of FY 2012 H-1B petitions. These updates and helpful filing information can be found at USCIS’s website highlighting the H-1B program. Should USCIS receive the number of petitions needed to meet the cap, it will issue an update advising the public that the FY 2012 H-1B cap has been met as of a certain date, known as the “final receipt date.”

The date USCIS informs the public that the cap has been reached may differ from the actual final receipt date.

To ensure a fair system, USCIS may, on the final receipt date, randomly select the number of petitions that will be considered for final inclusion within the cap. The agency will reject petitions subject to the cap that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date. Whether a petition is received by the final receipt date will be based on the date USCIS physically receives the petition, not the date that the petition has been postmarked.

Cases for premium processing (faster processing of certain employment-based petitions and applications) of H-1B petitions filed during an initial five-day filing window are undergoing a 15-day processing period that began April 7. For all other H-1B petitions filed for premium processing, the processing period begins on the date that the petition is physically received at the correct USCIS Service Center.

Meanwhile, petitions filed by employers who are exempt from the cap, as well as petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap within the past six years, will not count toward the cap.

Written by MithrasLaw

April 10, 2011 at 8:14 pm

H-1B Cap for FY 2011 has been reached

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yesterday that it has received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year (FY) 2011.  USCIS is notifying the public that yesterday, Jan. 26, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY2011.

The final receipt date is the date on which USCIS determines that it has received enough capsubject petitions to reach the limit of 65,000. Properly filed cases will be considered received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked.  USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers seeking an employment start date in FY2011 that arrive after Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will apply a computer-generated random selection process to all petitions that are subject to the cap and were received on Jan. 26, 2011. USCIS will use this process to select petitions needed to meet the cap.  USCIS will reject all remaining cap-subject petitions not randomly selected and will return the accompanying fee.

On Dec. 22, 2010, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap.  Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act, petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will not be counted towards the congressionallymandated FY2011 H-1B cap.  Accordingly, USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

• extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the U.S.;

• change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

• allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

• allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

H-1B Update as of January 21, 2011

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As of January 21, 2011, approximately 62,800 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS has receipted 20,000 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees.

Written by MithrasLaw

January 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm

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