Premium Processing Now Available for all H-1B Petitions

USCIS announcement on 10/3/2017: WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resumed premium processing today for all H-1B visa extension of stay petitions. Premium processing is now available for all types of H-1B petitions. H-1B visas provide skilled workers for a wide range of specialty occupations, including information technology, engineering, and mathematics. When a petitioner requests the agency’s premium processing service, USCIS guarantees a 15-calendar day proc...
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Premium Processing Now Available for Certain H-1B Cap-Exempt Petitions

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will resume premium processing for certain cap-exempt H-1B petitions effective immediately. The H-1B visa has an annual cap of 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Additionally, there is an annual “master’s cap” of 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. Premium processing will resume for petitions that may be exempt from the cap if the H-1B petitioner is: * An institution of higher education; * A nonpro...
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OMG! The USCIS Just Suspended H-1B Premium Processing. What Will Happen to My Application and When Can I Work?

The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will suspend the H-1B premium processing program starting April 3, 2017. The suspension currently applies to all H-1B petitions and could last for six months.  Premium processing is simply expedited service for a premium of $1225. It means the government guarantees action on the H-1B petition within 15 days of payment of the fee. According to the USCIS, it plans to put the program on hold to clear up the tremendous backlog of H-1B extension ...
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H-1B Premium Processing on Hold after April 3, 2017 so USCIS Can Catch Up

USCIS announced today: "Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions. Who Is Affec...
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Top 10 Pointers on What to Expect and Do When the Government Shows Up at Your Workplace for an H-1B Site Visit

You hold an H-1B visa and are going about your usual duties at work when you get a call that a government agent wants to speak with you.  As you descend the elevator to the lobby, your imagination goes wild.  As you meet the agent, he identifies himself as an FDNS inspector and wants to ask you a few questions about your employment. Why is this happening? Since 2009, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has been dropping in  at worksites where H-1B employees are employed.  The...
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H-1B vs. EAD/AP – Physician Choice?

We are frequently asked: “if it is okay to use the EAD to moonlight or return to the United States (after traveling abroad) using the AP in lieu of applying for an H-1B visa?” An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) allows an individual to work with any organization without restrictions. An Advance Parole (AP) allows an individual to return to the United States after traveling abroad without showing a visa to re enter.  Obtaining an EAD and AP and using them are two different things. ...
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Tips for Renewing your Driver’s License While Waiting for Your H-1B Extension Approval

Under current immigration law,  an H-1B visa worker whose visa renewal or extension application is filed before his current H-1B visa expires,  may continue to work for the same employer for a maximum of 240 days prior to the approval of the extension. However, many extension applicants have driver’s licenses that expire on the same day as their current H-1B status. Problem:  Even though they may continue to work legally for a maximum of 240 days after visa expiration, H-1B extension applican...
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The Power and Potential of High Skilled Immigration

News Release from the American Immigration Council: Washington D.C. - Today, the American Immigration Council's Executive Director, Benjamin Johnson, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the integral role immigration plays in America’s economic prosperity. Although the hearing title, "Immigration Reforms Needed to Protect Skilled American Workers," suggested that some minds had already been made up, he reframed the conversation, calling on Congress to consider policies that w...
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Foreign Professional Workers and the H1-B Visa

Immigration and immigration compliance is in the headlines on a daily basis affecting both large and small companies.  If you are the human resources director for a company looking for the professional services of an individual who requires a visa to work in the United States, you need to consider the full range of options and strategies available to you with respect to one of the most commonly used employment (professional)[1] visas -- the H-1B visa. (more…)
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The Concurrent H-1B Visa Strategy to Avoid the H-1B Cap for Providers

Thousands of H-1B cap-exempt providers are graduating this year.  You have found one that is ideal for your practice and you are willing to apply for an H-1B visa.  But you are faced with stiff competition for the 65,000 H-1B visa limit. And even if you “win” a visa, your provider might have to depart the U.S. in July and won’t be able to start work until October.  Is there any other way to steer clear of this dilemma? Yes! You might have the option of applying for a concurrent H-1B while the...
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