H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions

H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions

The H-1B visas allow the United States companies to hire foreign graduate workers.  It is a non-immigrant visa that brings in the talented personnel from all around the world to work in specialized fields in the United States companies. These specialized fields include IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine.

According to studies and statistics, every fiscal year has an annual cap of 65,000 H-1B visas. Moreover, 20,000 petitions are filed annually for masters’ cap for beneficiaries with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.

On 20th July 2017, a teleconference was held in the Ombudsman office of the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services. This was regarding the discussion of H-1B petition processing.

On 24th July 2017, USCIS announced that the processing will be resumed for some H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions. This was an announcement that had to be effective immediately. Previously USCIS announced that H-1B petitions filed on behalf of physicians, under the Conrad 30 waiver program and interested government agency waivers, will head into the premium processing.

There are some conditions on which the premium processing will begin for H-1B USCIS and Cap Exempt H-1B Petitions. These conditions are; petitioner should be a higher education institution, petitioner should be affiliated with an institute of higher education or it should be a governmental nonprofit research organization. Another condition on which the premium process could begin is whether the petitioner is employed at a qualifying cap-exempt organization. These are in a way conditions for eligibility of a beneficiary.

If the petitioners fulfill any of the above-mentioned conditions, then and only then must they file a request for Premium Processing Services via Form I-907 for the petition for a nonimmigrant worker, Form I-129. The H-1B petition can be filed along with the form I-907. Form 1-907 can also be filed again for a pending H-1B petition. Furthermore, other H-1B petitions will head into premium processing as permits for the workload.

After USCIS begins accepting premium processing for the petitions, it will give out specified details and announce more regarding the H-1B visas. For the time being, the premium processing has been suspended on a temporary basis.

Here are some precautions that one must take when filing forms for premium processing; Wait until the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services begin accepting the petitions. If sent before that, the forms will be rejected. Do not submit a single combined check for the fees of Forms I-907 and I-129 as such forms will be rejected immediately.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit www.uscis.gov.

H-1B for Doctors and Medical Professionals

H-1B for Doctors and Medical Professionals

H-1b visas for doctors make lots of sense.  The United States fails to train enough doctors to care for its unhealthy and aging population.  Seriously, the average american male is 200 pounds and shade under five feet, ten inches (5’10”).  This means that the average American has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 29, meaning they are overweight and boarding on the obese rating of 30.  Americans have greater health problems because of how bad of shape they are in, which means that H-1B visas for doctors can greatly help a problem the US faces.

H-1b visas for doctors can help fill the shortfall

In 2017, the Association of American Medical Colleges predicted that the shortfall of doctors will be 88,000 by 2025, and 104,900 by 2030. Americans may stop eating garbage and all begin exercising 6 days a week, but that is not likely.  Moreover, Americans are growing older.  The percentage of Americans over 65 will grow by fifty-five percent (55%) by 2030.  America has a vested interest in granting H-1B  visas for doctors.  Also, most of these H-1B visas do not face the cap that businesses face because most hospitals are exempt non-profits.  In theory, H-1B visas could fill the gap, in conjunction with J-1 visas.

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Guidance for Petitions in Which the Doctor or Medical Professional Is in Possession of a License

If the Hospital provides documentary evidence that the doctor has a valid license to practice a health care occupation in the state in which the doctor will be employed, the government should not look beyond the license.

The doctor meets the qualifications to perform services in a specialty occupation as outlined in the federal regulations from the USCIS. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(C)(3).

If the doctor is in possession of an unrestricted license, and the petition is otherwise in order, the USCIS should approve the petition for the full H-1B period requested.

If the doctor is in possession of a restricted license (e.g., license approved except for mandatory supervised practice), and the petition is otherwise approved, the USCIS should approve the petition for a period of one year, or the duration of the restricted license, whichever is longer.

Guidance for Petitions in Which the Doctor Is Not in Possession of a License

In order to perform in a health care occupation, the doctor must obtain a license from the state in which he/she will be working, meaning the doctor must meet the license provisions for H classifications.

If the hospital states that the doctor cannot obtain a license to practice the health care occupation in the state in which the doctor will be employed due to the fact that the state’s statutes mandate possession of a social security card and/or a valid immigration document as evidence of employment authorization, the adjudicator must ascertain the requirements for the license (including educational degree requirements) in the health care occupation in that state to determine whether the doctor is qualified to perform.

All aliens who wish to enter the United States to practice in a health care occupation other than as a physician must be found to be admissible under Section 212(a)(5)(C) of the the Immigration and Nationality Act (the “Act”).

If the hospital fails to provide evidence that the doctor received a certificate from a recognized credentialing organization as outlined in 212(a)(5)(C) of the Act, the doctor may still qualify for classification as an H-1B non-immigrant.

If the doctor is seeking to extend status or change status, and the hospital fails to provide the requisite credentialing evidence, the request for extension or change of status should be denied as the doctor is inadmissible under Section 212(a)(5)(C) of the Act.

If after conducting research the adjudicator is unable to determine the state’s requirements for licensing, the USCIS may send the hospital a request for evidence (RFE) asking the hospital to provide documentary evidence of the state’s requirements.

Furthermore, the hospital will need to provide evidence that the doctor:

Has filed an application for a license in accordance with state or local rules and procedures; and

Cannot obtain a full unrestricted license in the state in which he/she will practice due to the requirement for possession of a social security card, valid immigration document, and/or physical presence in the United States in the form of a letter from the State Board.

Assuming a petition is approvable under the above standards, the validity period should be one year.

The approval of any such H-1B petition shall not constitute approval by USCIS for the alien doctor to engage in any activity requiring possession of such State or local license.

It is merely a means to facilitate the state or local licensing authority’s issuance of such a license to the alien, provided all other requirements are satisfied.

If the hospital later requests an extension of stay on behalf of the doctor , the hospital must demonstrate that the doctor has been granted a valid unrestricted license to practice the health care occupation in the state in which he/she will be working.

If the doctor does not have the valid unrestricted license at the time the extension of stay petition is filed, the petition will be denied.

H-1B Executive Order Issued by Trump Administration

H-1B Executive Order Issued by Trump Administration

The H-1B Executive Order that Trump had been promising for months finally arrived on April 18, 2017.  President Trump signed the H-1B Executive Order at a Snap-on Tools factory in Wisconsin.  Dubbed the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, most of what it provides is up to debate.

The executive order really lacks specifics and places all the burden on defining what changes will come to H-1B visa policy on other branches of the executive, like Homeland Security, Department of Justice, State Department, and the Department of labor.

The executive order does not really address H-1B visa holders very much, it provides:

Sec. 5.  Ensuring the Integrity of the Immigration System in Order to “Hire American.”  (a)  In order to advance the policy outlined in section 2(b) of this order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.

(b)  In order to promote the proper functioning of the H-1B visa program, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

The H-1B Executive Order only mentions H-1B visas three times.

The first time H-1B visas are specifically mentioned is in the definition section to link them to the defined term “petition beneficiaries.”  The next two times are from the section above.  Basically, all the executive order does is tell other executive branches of government to “suggest reforms” so that H-1B visas go to the best, brightest, and highest paid visa holders.

We at Work Visas Solutions believe the forthcoming regulations will reflect an “America First” H-1B whereby the visas are given to people educated in the United States and to the highest paid applicants.

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H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% from 2016

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% from 2016

H-1B Visa Applications drop almost 16% in Donald Trump’s first lottery. There is an upside, your chance of being awarded an H-1B visa increased!!!  In 2016, USCIS received 236,000 applications for only 85,000 available H-1B visas, or only about 36% chance of being awarded.  This year because USCIS only received 199,000 H-1B visa applications for the same 85,000 spots.  This means that the average applicants chances of being awarded an H-1B increased to 42%!!  That’s great news for talented internationals that want to stay in the United States after their education.

H-1B Visa Applications Drop 16% to 199,000

USCIS announced:

USCIS received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 11, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The agency reported the H-1B visa applications drop, then conducted the selection process for the advanced degree exemption first. All unselected advanced degree petitions then became part of the random selection process for the 65,000 cap.  So having a master’s degree somewhat increases your chance because first you are placed in the pool of 20,000, then if you fail to be selected, the application is dumped into the general lottery for 65,000 remaining H-1B visas.

As announced on March 3, USCIS has temporarily suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions, including cap-exempt petitions, for up to six months. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap will also not be counted towards the congressionally mandated FY 2018 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:

* Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;

* Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;

* Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and

* Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

 

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Driving Drunk Can Get Your Visa Revoked

Driving Drunk Can Get Your Visa Revoked

Driving drunk is stupid.  Order an Uber.  Leave your car where it is and order an Uber to pick it up tomorrow.  Call a friend, anything besides drive drunk.  And if the obvious was not enough.

Getting caught driving drunk can get your visa revoked!

Seriously, the regulation is really clear:

9 FAM 403.11-3(B)  (U) When Consular Officers May Not Revoke Visa

(CT:VISA-10;   12-08-2015)

a. (U) A consular officer does not have the authority to revoke a visa based on a suspected ineligibility, or based on derogatory information that is insufficient to support an ineligibility finding, other than a revocation based on driving under the influence (DUI).  A consular revocation must be based on an actual finding that the alien is ineligible for the visa.

If you’re caught driving drunk, a/k/a DUI, a consular officer can revoke your visa.  This article is so short that our SEO program tells us to write more copy.  But how clear do we need to make it.  You’re in America.  This is America, the America.  People love 2 places in their lives, where they are from & America.  So why would you get a job in America and risk it to go out and get drunk?

Especially in 2017!  You have never had more options to get your drunk ass back home safely and legally. You press a couple buttons on your phone and a car magically appears!  That car is not just driving you home, but it is making sure that your visa does not get revoked!  Isn’t that worth the $20.00??

If you do not think so, it is.  A DUI can cost upwards of $10,000.  A $100.00 spent on Uber is cheap, cheap, cheap!  Especially since it protects you against criminal liability and your visa being revoked.

No one wants to explain to their family they had to return to the home country because they were driving drunk.  So do not do it.  Don’t even bring your car keys out when you’re drinking.  Make getting home an adventure!  One that is solved by several apps that are quite good at driving drunk people home safe.

 

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