The MVP Law Group Is Currently Assisting Clients in Preparing for the H-1B Filing Deadline.

It is anticipated that this year, as was the case last year, the USCIS will receive more petitions for new H-1Bs than there are numbers available. We will explain how this happens and how we can help employers that file H-1B petitions increase the chances of obtaining and H-1B visa for new employees. We are already accepting documents from both new and existing clients who are preparing for the H-1B filing deadline.

How does the H-1B quota work?

Each governmental fiscal year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) makes a predetermined number of H-1B visas available to those individuals who qualify. The government’s fiscal year begins on October 1st but employers can begin applying for H-1B visas six months ahead of time. Therefore, the first available day for employers to file H-1B visas this year is April 1st, 2008. The H-1B is a specialty occupation visa. A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that requires at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of occupation for entry into the position. The H-1B visa is the most popular work visa category for foreign professionals working in the United States. For the past few years, the number of new H-1B visa applicants has greatly out numbered the number of visas allotted to this category. The “H-1B Cap” is presently set at approximately 58,000 visas with and additional 20,000 visas available to those individuals who have already earned a masters degree from an accredited US institution of higher learning. Based upon past history, it is anticipated that the USCIS will receive more than enough petitions to meet the regular H-1B cap of 58,000 on April 1st, 2008, the first day that H-1B filing is allowed. The additional 20,000 masters’ cap will most likely be exhausted shortly thereafter. Please note that those individuals already working in the United States onH-1B visa do not count against the H-1B cap.

 

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Get Your H-1B Cases Ready Now To File On April 1 for October 1, 2007 Start Date

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting new H-1B petitions for professionals that count against the FY2007 cap on April 1, 2007. These professionals will be eligible to begin H-1B employment on October 1, 2007.

Employers looking to hire new H-1B professionals are urged to begin the H-1B petition process now. Keep in mind that last year, all 65,000 H-1B numbers were utilized within 56 days of the April 1st filing date. This year we anticipate that the H-1B cap will be met even earlier.

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USCIS Announces An Update Regarding New H-1B Exemptions

On June 12, 2005, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced in a public notice that it has received 8,069 H-1B petitions that will count against the Congressionally-mandated exemption cap for fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) established by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004.

The H-1B visa Reform Act of 2004, which went into effect on May 5, 2005, changed the H-1B filing procedures for fiscal year 2005 and for future fiscal years. The regulations make available 20,000 new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a minimum of a master's level degree from a U.S. academic institution, in addition to the Congressionally mandated annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas.

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Government Officials Provide Update at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Annual Conference on H-1B Numbers.

Our office has been receiving many inquiries from concerned clients regarding the H-1B visa cap. Many of our clients have been hearing rumors and reading on many message boards that the FY2006 H-1B cap is close to being met. We would like to emphasize that the FY 2006 cap for H-1B visas is not close to being met. Moreover, there are also approximately 11,000 visas still also available for FY2005 for the additional 20,000 new H-1B visas made available on May 5, 2005 to foreign workers with a minimum master's level degree from a U.S. academic institution.

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Update On FY2006 H-1B Numbers - Rumors That Cap Is Close To Being Met Are False

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has provided the American Immigration Lawyers Association with an update on where it stands with respect to the Fiscal Year 2006 H-1B quota numbers. According to AILA, USCIS has stated that, despite rumors to the contrary, the USCIS has not reached enough fiscal year 2006 cap-subject H-1B petitions to be nearing the cap. Unofficially, the USCIS has indicated to AILA that H-1B petitions are coming in more slowly than had been predicted. This is most likely due to the increse in USCIS filing fees that went into effect earlier thie year.

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USCIS ANNOUNCES UPDATE REGARDING NEW H-1B EXEMPTIONS

Washington, D.C.- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 24, 2005 that as of May 20, 2005 it has received more than 6,393 H-1B petitions that will count against the Congressionally-mandated exemption cap for fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005) established by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004.

The new regulations, which took effect on May 5, 2005, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY 2005 and for future fiscal years. The regulations make available 20,000 new H-1B visas, only for foreign workers with a minimum master's level degree from a U.S. academic institution, in addition to the Congressionally mandated annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas.

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Obtaining Proof of Filing of Labor Certification Application

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently provided the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)with guideance on how to obtain documentation from the DOL Backlog Reduction Center that a labor certification application was filed more than 365 days ago. This is a very important issue for individuals currently on H-1B visas who are coming up on completling their six year term on H-1B status as in accordance with the American Competitiveness in The 21st Century Act (AC21), such individuals can extend theier H-1B visas in one year increments beyond the 6 year period provided that they can prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that they have applied for a labor certification application with the DOL at least 365 days prior to the completion of their sixth year H-1B term.

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H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 (Questions & Answers)

In a recent teleconference between the United States Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) and representatives of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), several operational issues affecting the filing of H-1B cases and conversion of FY2006 cases to FY2005 cases under the recently implemented H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 were discussed. Please see our May 3, 2005 posting for more information of the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004. The following is a summary of the discussion between the USCIS and AILA on this matter.

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20,000 Additional H-1B Visas Will Be Available To US Masters Degree Holders Beginning May 12, 2005

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) indicated yesterday (May 2, 2005) that it will publish the regulation implementing the additional 20,000 H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2005 on May 5, 2005. The regulation indicates that new H-1B petitions and conversions for these additional 20,000 visas will be accepted 5 business days after this regulation is published in the Federal Register. This means that the USCIS will be accepting cases for this 20,000 batch beginning May 12, 2005. Employers wishing to file cases that fall within this quota should file the cases on the initial date that the 20,000 visas are available as it is anticipated that the 20,000 visas will be depleted quickly. Below you will find a summary of the regulation that is to be published by the USCIS on May 5, 2005.

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Update on the additional 20,000 H-1B Visas to be added to this year's cap

As mentioned in our H-1B Visa Update last month an additional 20,000 H-1B visas were to be added to this year's 65,000 H-1B cap as mandated by Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005. The regulation implementing these 20,000 H-1B numbers for the 2005 fiscal year was cleared last week by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)and has been sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for signature. Once this this guidance is published on the federal register by DHS, USCIS will begin accepting these additional 20,000 H-1B applications. It is anticipated that the DHS will review and sign this regulation very quickly. This regulation is expected to be published in the Federal Register as early as this week.


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Immigration Options For Entrepreneurs Seeking To Start Ventures In The United States

An international entrepreneur's ownership of a U.S. business offers the entrepreneur a wide range of options for temporary and permanent immigration to the United States. Most nonimmigrant (temporary) options available to entrepreneurs are largely dictated by the individual's personal history, goals and investment. This article will explore the business immigration options for foreign nationals seeking to start new business ventures in the United States.

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H-1B Visa Update

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on December 8, 2004 that President Bush signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which contains provisions affecting the H-1B and L nonimmigrant visa categories. Both the H-1B and L programs allow U.S. employers to sponsor temporary foreign workers.

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