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

UPCOMING NPZ LAW SPEAKING
EVENT:

   

NJICLE: U.S. Immigration Law Basics 

 

When: 

June 25th, 2015

Time: 9 AM to 4 PM

 

Where: 

New Jersey Law Center One Constitution Square New Brunswick, NJ


FOR DETAILED INFORMATION, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . .

  

 Please feel free contact us at info@visaserve.com for more detailed information about this upcoming event.     

 

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OUR OFFICES:

NEW JERSEY OFFICE:

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Phone: 201-670-0006 (x107)

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Phone: 1-866-599-3625 

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Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317-936-6600 

INDIA AFFILIATED OFFICES:

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ATT:  Kaival 


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 54/2515 Ashtavinayak CHS, Gandhinagar, Bandra (E) 

Mumbai 400 051, India

   

ATT:  Sangeeta    

 

Dear Readers: 

It seems to be déjà vu all over again! Last week, the U.S. government launched a major investigation into the hiring practices of two of India's largest outsourcing companies over alleged violations of visa regulations. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is investigating Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys for violating H-1B nonimmigrant visa regulations. The issue relates to contracts the two companies were granted by the California firm named Southern California Edison (SCE). The New York Times reported that hundreds of workers at SCE were laid-off and replaced by workers on H-1B visas, predominantly from India.  Earlier, the N.Y. Times alleged similar lay-offs that occurred at the Walt Disney Company. 


As our readership is aware, the H-1B visa category is popular among immigrant workers in the information technologies field.  Tens of thousands of H-1B visaholders work across numerous industry sectors in the U.S. These visas have sparked great debate over whether they are used to displace U.S. workers. Politicians argue that H-1B visas take jobs away from U.S. workers. However, technology companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Google continue to campaign for increased H-1B visas, pointing out how they are vital to economic growth. While most U.S. companies use the H-1B visa to sponsor small numbers of foreign workers for professional and specialty occupation jobs, in recent years, Indian outsourcing companies have imported hundreds of workers to service large contracts like the one at SCE.

  

While the media angle on the use of the H-1B tends to be biased, we have prepared an article that clarifies some of the issues and elaborates upon some of the potential loopholes that may allow the H-1B visa to be used by U.S. employers to replace U.S. workers with "independent contractor" staff.  For U.S. employers, the use of independent contractor staff is a result of the high cost of benefits and the instability of an employee workforce. Independent contractors tend to be more easily monitored by the contractor and the former employer does not have to pay H-1B benefits. The use of "outsourced staff" is an economic reality for ALL U.S. employers seeking to cut costs (which is critical in a competitive work environment).  If there is an issue here, perhaps the politicians should focus on the things that drive an employer to use "contractor (as opposed to  employee) staff" instead of focusing on the H-1B visa.  

 

During this coming week several members of the VISASERVE  staff (attorneys,  lawyers and paralegals) will be in Washington D.C. to meet with representatives of the USCIS, the DOL, the DOS, the EOIR, etc. at the Annual AILA Annual Convention. The AILA National Meeting affords us an opportunity to discuss "special" issues with government officials and to compare notes with other immigration lawyers throughout the U.S. We look forward to sharing this cutting-edge information with our readership upon our return. Please continue to stay tuned. 


For more information about the H-1B nonimmigrant work visa, H-4 work options, other nonimmigrant or immigrant work visas, or about any other U.S. or Canadian family or employment-based visa queries for you, your friends or your colleagues, please feel free to contact one of the immigration lawyers at the Nachman Phulwani Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. by e-mailing to us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107).

WHO REALLY LET THE DISNEY TECH WORKERS DOWN: DISNEY OR THE H-1B VISA PROGRAM? By: Michael Phulwani, Esq., David H. Nachman, Esq. and Rabindra K. Singh, Esq. 

As reported by the New York Times on Friday, June 5, 2015, Disney layoffs and replacement by H-1B workers provided by HCL Americas (HCL) drew a flood of comments. Not less than 2,800 comments were received in response to the original New York Times article, Pink Slips at Disney. But First, Training Foreign Replacements, by Julia Preston. As expected, most of the comments raised concerns and suspicions about the H-1B visa program.  

 

The story traces its origin to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, presided by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), on March 17, 2015, to examine whether employers were displacing American tech workers by hiring immigrants at lower wages on H-1B visas. As reported by the New York Times, after the hearing, former employees from several companies, including Disney, were prompted to contact Ms. Julia Preston, a national correspondent who has covered immigration law issues for The Times since 2006.

 

TO READ MORE, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S SUGGESTION GETS ATTENTION: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR TO PURSUE MODERNIZED RECRUITMENT AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PERM.     

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will be initiating a review of the PERM program and relevant regulations. As part of this review, the DOL will seek input on the current regulation, including how it could be modernized to be more responsive to changes in the national workforce. Specifically, the DOL will seek input on the following:


Options for identifying labor force occupational shortages and surpluses and methods for aligning domestic worker recruitment requirements with demonstrated shortages and surpluses; Methods and practices designed to modernize U.S. worker recruitment requirements; Processes to clarify employer obligations to insure PERM positions are fully open to U.S. workers; Ranges of case processing time frames and possibilities for premium processing; and Application submission and review process and feasibility for efficiently addressing non-material errors. ETA may also examine other aspects of the existing PERM regulations to further align the program design with the objectives of the U.S. immigration system and needs of workers and employers, and to enhance the integrity of the labor certification process.

 

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THE PERM MODERNIZATION PROGRAM, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

DID YOU KNOW? A GREEN CARD DOES NOT ALWAYS HAVE A SIGNATURE SAYS USCIS.     

On June 4th, USCIS issued a release stating that USCIS wanted all of its immigrant applicants to know that Green Cards (also known as Permanent Resident Cards) do not always include the holder's signature. In limited cases, USCIS may waive the signature requirement for certain people, such as children under the age of consent or individuals who are physically unable to provide a signature.


Since February 2015, USCIS have been waiving the signature requirement for people entering the United States for the first time as lawful permanent residents after obtaining an immigrant visa abroad from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

 

When USCIS issues a Green Card without a signature, the card will say "Signature Waived" on the front and back of the card where a signature would normally be located. Green Cards are official documents issued by USCIS that identify the holder as a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The cards are also proof of identity and work authorization.

 

TO READ MORE, PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

DHS CHIEF POSTIVE ON LEGAL FIGHTS OVER THE HAULT OF THE PRESIDENT'S IMMIGRATION REFORM PROGRAM.     

As we all know, on July 10th, in New Orleans, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments concerning the Administration's attempt to lift a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Texas, which blocked several executive actions from taking effect.   

 

Recently the news published by "The Washington Post" summarizes the Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson's, confidence that the federal court will give a green light to the Obama Administration to proceed and execute the Immigration Reform that involves the protection of millions of Illegal Immigrants from Removal. "I believe we will prevail," Johnson said of the legal battle that has forced DHS to halt preparations to move forward with President Obama's controversial executive actions announced in November.

 

WEBINAR: H-2B TEMPORARY LABOR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM PREVAILING WAGE PROCESS AND STANDARDS - 2015 FINAL WAGE RULE.     

On April 28th, 2015, the U.S Department of Labor and Homeland Security announced an interim final rule to reinstate and make improvements to the H-2B visa program and a final rule to establish the prevailing wage methodology for that program. These rules strengthen protections for U.S. workers, providing that they have a fair shot at finding and applying for jobs for which employers are seeking H-2B workers, while also providing that employers can access foreign workers on a temporary basis when U.S. workers are not available.

 

This webinar summarizes the process overview which reflects the key points such as major steps in the H-2B process, submission of ETA Form 9141, completing the ETA Form 9165 and much more.

 

TO VIEW THE WEBINAR ON "H-2B FINAL WAGE RULE", PLEASE CLICK HERE . . . 

THE VISA BULLETIN FOR JULY 2015 IS OUT! IS YOUR PRIORITY DATE CURRENT?  IF SO, PLEASE LET US KNOW.   

The July visa bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant visa numbers. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible, in chronological order of reported priority dates, for demand received by June 9th.   

 

If not all demand could be satisfied, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.  Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. 

 

FOR DETAILED INFORMATION, CLICK HERE . . . 


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

DACA/DAPA (President Obama's Executive Action) | Recent Immigration Rule. 

  

 
1. Improvements to recruitment and advertising process with the DOL and Modifications to visa allocations which may have contributed to recent movement in visa numbers.
2. Addressing the DACA/DAPA issue with possible rule-making.
3. DACA/DAPA going towards Supreme Court may take several months to a year.
4. Utilization of Prosecutorial Discretion.
5. Concern of Republicans with what President Obama has done.
6. Removals have been high under President Obama.
7. Obama to become lenient on deporting people in order to get DACA/DAPA through.
* Recent Proposed Immigration Rules:
1. Parole-In-Place for Entrepreneurs and job creators.
2. Work Authorization for AC-21.  
CONSULAR HOLDS AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING - 221(g).    

  


Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
It is often the case when an applicant for a visa is told that a final decision cannot be made on his visa application immediately. In doing so, the consular officer invokes Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and informs the applicant that the case will be put on hold until the applicant's eligibility for the visa can be determined. This processing "time-out" is taken frequently: approximately more than 1,100,000 visa applications were subjected to 221(g) during 2012. Technically, 221(g) is considered a denial; in subsequent visa applications and registration in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, this must be disclosed. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of 221(g) denials are overcome and visas issued.