Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. - U.S. and Canadian Immigration and Nationality Newsletter and Update.
In This Issue:

UPCOMING EVENT

  

WHAT HR MANAGERS NEED TO KNOW TO PROTECT EMPLOYER'S FROM I-9 VIOLATIONS.  

 

Where: 3/18/2015

 

Time: 

5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

 

Where:

Holiday Inn

 

Hasbrouck Heights

 

283 Rt. 17 South

 

Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604

 

 
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Dear Readers:

To quote a famous Greek Philosopher, "there is one thing that will always remain constant . . . and that is . . . change". This past week, we continued to ride the U.S. immigration law roller-coaster! Last week, one of our Managing Attorneys visited our Office in Indiana and conducted speaking engagements at academic and non-academic organizations in the Greater Indianapolis area. It was clear that attendees were uneasy about Judge Hanen's issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) in response to President Obama's Executive Actions in November. Many folks continue to be uneasy about the future viability of President Obama's immigration plan. As we have previously stated, we remain cautiously optimistic that the Executive Actions will proceed after the TRO is dissolved. The President continues to vow that he will use all of the tools available to him (and his Administration) to make that happen. 
 
Late last week, threats by anti-immigration Republicans in Congress to defund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) "came to a head". While this issue still remains "in limbo", it is clear that anti-immigration politicos will stop-at-nothing to find ways to challenge the President's plan. Pro-immigration activists continue to mobilize strong campaigns to combat anti-immigration sentiment in Congress. We invite you to stay-tuned because we have certainly not heard the "last word" on this issue! 
 
Another new twist in the immigration reform arena is that some dependents (spouses) of H-1B nonimmigrant visa holders will be able to apply for "free market" (no sponsor) Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) on May 26th, 2015. Under previous rules, spouses of H-1B visa holders could only get permission to work if they independently qualified. With the new regulation, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) predicts that close to 180,000 spouses will apply for permission to work in the next year. After that first big rush, USCIS projects around 55,000 people will apply each year thereafter. When the new rule takes effect, authorities are expecting a tsunami of EAD applications which will likely slow the process for the issuance of EADs in other work authorized classifications. 
 
NPZ Law Group continues to work to meet the demands of the H-1B Visa Season. Because of the anticipated high demand of H-1B visas, H-1B Season started much earlier this year. This is a good sign. H-1B employer and employee hopefuls are understanding the need to prepare early for the April 1st filing deadline. We continue to respond to H-1B nonimmigrant queries from prospective H-1B employers and employees by explaining nuances about H-1B filing deadlines, H-1B Cap-exemptions, H-1B prevailing wage issues, the importance for having Public Access Folders for each H-1B nonimmigrant visa. 
 
As always, if you, your friends or your family members (or any member of your staff members) would like to speak to an NPZ Law Group immigration lawyer or immigration attorney, please feel free to e-mail us anytime at info@visaserve.com or you can also feel free to call us TOLL FREE at 866-599-3625. We look forward to assisting you with regard to any of your U.S. and/or your Canadian Immigration Law Matters. 

On February 24th, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director, León Rodríguez, announced that, effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status. DHS amended the regulations to allow H-4 dependent spouses to accept employment in the United States.

 

Finalizing the H-4 employment eligibility was an important element of the immigration Executive Actions President Obama announced in November 2014. Extending eligibility for employment authorization to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants is one of several initiatives underway to modernize, improve and clarify visa programs to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs.

 

TO READ MORE, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 
WHAT H-1B EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LCA TO AVOID POTENTIAL DOL COMPLIANCE PITFALLS. By: Michael Phulwani, Esq., David H. Nachman, Esq. and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq. 

The H-1B visa program permits a United States employer ("employer") to temporarily employ nonimmigrants to fill specialized jobs in the United States. The Immigration and Nationality Act (the "INA" or the "Act") requires that an employer pay an H-1B worker the italicize of the actual wage or the locally prevailing wage, in order to protect U.S. workers and their wages. Under the Act, an employer seeking to hire a foreign national in a specialty occupation on an H-1B visa must receive permission from the Department of Labor ("DOL") before the alien may obtain an H-1B visa.  

 

The Act defines a "specialty occupation" as an occupation requiring the application of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor's degree or higher. The Act requires an employer seeking permission to employ an H-1B worker to submit and receive an approved Labor Condition Application ("LCA") from the DOL.

 

TO READ MORE ON THE "POTENTIAL DOL COMPLIANCE PITFALLS ASSOCIATED WITH THE LCA", PLEASE CLICK HERE . . .

H-1B PETITION PREPARATION & FILING: THE WHATS, WHYS AND HOWS OF EDUCATION AND/OR EXPERIENCE EVALUATIONS. By: Michael Phulwani, Esq., David H. Nachman, Esq. and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq.

Most prospective H-1B employees and H-1B employers begin with either of the following two questions: "I would like to work in the U.S. using an H-1B visa, but am not sure if I qualify" or"I want to hire a foreign worker but not sure if the individual qualifies for an H-1B visa."

 

As briefly touched-upon in our previous article[i], it is mandatory that both the proffered position and prospective employee should qualify for the H-1B visa. To build on previous article, this article will explore the importance of educational and/or experience equivalency evaluations, and explain certain precautions that an employer and/or a prospective H-1B employee can take in order to avoid a potential Request for Evidence (RFE) and/or denial of the H-1B nonimmigrant petition.

 

TO READ MORE ABOUT THE "MINIMUM REQUIREMENT TO QUALIFY FOR H-1B", PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

WHAT'S-UP WITH THAT TRO? WHITE HOUSE URGES THE COURT TO ALLOW PRESIDENT'S IMMIGRATION PLAN TO PROCEED.     

Recently an article was published in the Wall Street Journal regarding the White House's reaction to the Texas Judge halting the President's Immigration plan. On February 23rd, the Obama Administration asked the Texas Federal Judge to allow it to continue implementing the Pesident's immigration plan, arguing that the Judge had deviated from established immigration law by blocking the plan. The U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) also ask the Judge to lift the ban on the rule as early as possible saying that otherwise will ask the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to quickly block the order.

 

TO READ MORE, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

TPS UPDATE: El SALVADOR RE-REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS MARCH 9TH, 2015.     

Monday, March 9th, 2015, is the deadline for current El Salvador Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries to re-register for the 18-month extension of TPS that runs from March 10th, 2015, through September 9th, 2016. The law requires USCIS to withdraw TPS for failure to re-register without good cause. Therefore, if applicants fail to re-register by this deadline, they may lose their TPS and work authorization.

 

Eligible El Salvador TPS beneficiaries who re-register during the registration period and request employment authorization will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with an expiration date of September 9th, 2016. USCIS recognizes that some re-registrants whose EADs expire in March may not receive their new EADs until after their current ones have expired. Therefore, USCIS is automatically extending current TPS El Salvador EADs with a March 9th, 2015, expiration date for an additional six months. These existing EADs are now valid through September 9th, 2015.

 

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE RE-REGISTERING FOR EL-SALVADOR TPS, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

IS YOUR VISA PRIORITY DATE CURRENT? U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE (DOS) RELEASES THE VISA BULLETIN FOR MARCH 2015 - CHARLIE GIVES US HIS OPINION - LOOKING INTO A CRYSTAL BALL?:  

The really big news in the March 2015 Visa Bulletin is the advancement of the EB-2 India cut-off date by 16 months - from September 1st, 2005 to January 1st, 2007. Consistent with the U.S. Department of State's (DOS) projections last month, EB-2 India has advanced much earlier than in prior years and more dramatically than the 4 to 6 month minimum discussed in last month's report.


The DOS is pursuing this strategy in an effort to help ensure the adjudication of pending EB-2 India adjustment of status applications before time sensitive materials expire, and to allow sufficient time for applications to be processed should resources issues arise toward the end of the fiscal year. DOS anticipates that EB-2 India will advance further in April, though probably not as significantly as that which we saw for March. DOS anticipates that the EB-2 India cut-off date will
likely continue to advance through this fiscal year, but at a steadier rate and without a huge leap forward near the end of the fiscal year as it has in the past.  

 

As a result of the EB-2 movement, DOS anticipates an increase in EB-3 to EB-2 upgrades and hence, more adjustment of status filings. If these numbers are significant, the advancement of EB-2 India may slow, or require a correction. EB-2 India remains a category to watch closely as the fiscal year progresses. 

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 


"IMMIGRATION NEWS AND VIEWS" - NPZ'S NEW PRACTICAL SERIES ON YOUTUBE ABOUT VARIOUS U.S. AND CANADIAN IMMIGRATION LAW ISSUES.

CHECK-OUT NPZ'S YOUTUBE STATION FOR UP-TO-DATE IMMIGRATION LAW INFORMATION: Visa Bulletin for March 2015 | Investment Visas (E-1 and E-2 visas) | Consular Processing in India and at other Consulates. 

  

 

  

Visa Bulletin: Progression in most visa categories for family-based categories. F-1 still moving very slowly compared to F-2B

EB-1 current for most countries. There has been movement of up to 16 weeks for India for EB-2. EB-2 and EB-3 categories have significant movement for most countries except India.

EB-5 is current with exception of China (in the future).

Modifications with visa allocations which have contributed to recent movement in visa numbers.

Utilizing cross-chargeability for the backlogged categories.

Trade and Commerce between India and U.S. and its effects on immigration especially related to investment visas (E-1 and E-2 visas). Consular processing, waivers of biometrics and interview appointments for nonimmigrant visas.

liberalization of visas for China.