Posted On: May 30, 2012

FY2012 H-1B Cap Update

As of May 25, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 48,400 H-1B petitions towards the 65,000 cap and approximately 17,500 petitions towards the 20,000 cap for applicants with U.S. advanced degrees. Based on the current rate of H-1B cap filings, it is anticipated that the FY2013 cap may be reached by early June. We advise that H-1B cap cases be submitted as soon as possible in order to secure an H-1B number.

For assistance in filing an H-1B petition, please contact our office.

Posted On: May 24, 2012

DOL Expands Use of Supervised Recruitment With Labor Certifications

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has revealed plans to expand its use of supervised recruitment with respect to labor certifications. Some cases that DOL is focusing their supervised recruitment efforts on include: applications submitted on behalf of individuals in H-2A, H-2b or E.W.I. status; applications that did not have an educational requirement; and applications for financial positions in New York City. Employers should be advised of the possibility of supervised recruitment as any labor certification application can be subject to supervised recruitment, but ways to avoid an audit or supervised recruitment include avoiding the use of job requirements that appear to be too restrictive or job requirements that are too broad and fail to identify specific bona fide job requirements. Additionally, if selected, compliance with supervised recruitment is important as an employer, attorney, or agent with a history of non-compliance to supervised recruitment can be excluded from filing labor certification applications for up to three years.

Posted On: May 23, 2012

Centralization of Inadmissibility Waiver Applications

Effective June 4, 2012, applicants abroad who have been deemed ineligible for certain visas can now mail their waiver applications for certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a USCIS Lockbox facility. This centralized procedure is aimed at improving the processing and adjudication of waiver applications as applicants are currently subject to processing times ranging from one month to over a year depending on their filing location. The applications effected by this change include the following:

• Form I-601, “Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility”
• Form I-212., “Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. after Deportation or Removal”
• Form I-290B, “Notice of Appeal or Motion”, (if filed after a denial of a Form I-601 or Form I-212)

Applicants submitting waiver request forms via mail are instructed to use the address indicated in the revised form instructions on the USCIS website. Additionally, applicants can now track the status of their case on-line and may receive a text message or email confirmation of receipt of their waiver request by submitting Form G-1145, “E Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.”

Please note that during a limited 6 month transition period, immigrant visa waiver applicants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico can either mail their waiver request to the USCIS Lockbox or file in person at the USCIS office in Ciudad Juarez.

Posted On: May 23, 2012

FY2013 H-1B Cap Update

As of May 18, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 42,000 H-1B petitions towards the 65,000 cap and approximately 16,000 petitions towards the 20,000 cap for applicants with U.S. advanced degrees. Based on the current rate of H-1B cap filings, it is anticipated that the FY2013 cap may be reached by early June. We advise that H-1B cap cases be submitted as soon as possible in order to secure an H-1B number.

For assistance in filing an H-1B petition, please contact our office.

Posted On: May 22, 2012

June 2012 Department of State Visa Bulletin

The new visa bulletin is out at this link: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5712.html. Employment-based categories are as follows: EB-1 remains current for all countries; EB-2 remains current, except for India and China for which visas are currently unavailable; EB-3 is at June 8, 2006 for all countries, except for India (Sept. 15, 2002), China (Aug. 8, 2005), and Philippines (May 22, 2006); EB-3 other workers is at June 8, 2006 for all countries, except India (Sept. 15, 2002), China (April 22, 2003), and Philippines (May 22, 2006); EB-4, religious workers, EB-5, and targeted employment areas and regional centers are all current. Family based petitions are backlogged, with the most recent date at Jan. 1, 2010 for F2A (spouses and children under 21 of lawful permanent residents) and the longest queue for F4 Philippines (brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens) of Jan. 22, 1989.


Posted On: May 14, 2012

FY2013 H-1B Update

As of May 11, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 36,700 H-1B petitions towards the 65,000 cap and approximately 14,800 petitions towards the 20,000 cap for applicants with U.S. advanced degrees.

For assistance in filing an H-1B petition, please contact our office.

Posted On: May 9, 2012

Update on EB-1 and EB-2 Visa Availability

The Department of State (DOS) has reported that despite the retrogression in the May Visa Bulletin of the China-mainland born and India EB-2 priority dates to August 15, 2007, there continues to be an overwhelming demand for numbers by individuals with priority dates earlier than that date. The demand is primarily due to “upgrades” of adjustment of status cases that were originally filed with the USCIS in the EB-3 category that are now eligible to be upgraded to the EB-2 classification. As a result, DOS decided to make the China-mainland born and India EB-2 category "unavailable" in early April, and numbers in this category will continue to be unavailable until the beginning of FY2013, i.e. October 1, 2012. DOS has announced that it will do its best to return the China-mainland born and India EB-2 category cut-off date to the previous May 1, 2010 date. While it is difficult to predict how long that may take, current estimates show that it is not likely to happen before spring 2013. Meanwhile, USCIS will continue accepting China-mainland born and India EB-2 adjustment of status filings during May based on the originally announced May cut-off date.

The above-mentioned information will be included in the upcomig June 2012 Visa Bulletin. DOS also indicted the following changes to “Item F” of the May Visa Bulletin which provided projections regarding visa availability in the coming months. Information it received from the USCIS after its publication requires an update in the projections for the EB-1 and EB-2 preference categories as follows:

Employment First: Based on the current rate of demand, it may be necessary to establish a cut-off date at the end of the fiscal year in an effort to limit number use within the annual numerical limit.

Employment Second: Based on the current rate of demand, it may be necessary to establish a cut-off date for this category for all countries other than China and India. Such action may be required at any time during the next few months.

Please be advised that the above are only estimates for what could happen during the next few months based on applicant demand patterns experienced in recent months.

Posted On: May 8, 2012

FY2013 H-1B Update

As of May 4, 2012, USCIS has received approximately 32,500 H-1B petitions towards the 65,000 cap and approximately 13,700 petitions towards the 20,000 cap for applicants with U.S. advanced degrees.

For assistance in filing an H-1B petition, please contact our office.