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Judge Says Disney Didn’t Violate Visa Laws in Layoffs

By Bill at October 19, 2016 00:50
Filed Under: Immigration News

New York Times-Oct 13, 2016:  A federal judge in Florida dealt a blow on Thursday to legal claims by American technology workers who were laid off by the Walt Disney Company and forced to train foreign replacements, dismissing lawsuits by two workers who said Disney had conspired with outsourcing companies to violate visa laws.

In a terse decision, Judge Gregory A. Presnell of the United States District Court in Orlando rejected the former workers’ arguments that Disney and the two contractors had colluded to make false statements when they applied for temporary visas, known as H-1B, for the foreign replacements.

The judge found that “none of the allegedly false statements put at issue in the complaint are adequate” to sustain the former workers’ case. The outsourcing companies that were sued with Disney were Cognizant Technology Solutions and HCL America.

The plaintiffs, Leo Perrero and Dena Moore, were laid off early in 2015 from jobs with Disney in Orlando. In their final weeks on the job, they were required to show foreigners on H-1B visas, brought in by the outsourcing contractors mainly from India, how to do their work.

A spokeswoman for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Jacquee Wahler, said, “As we have said all along, this lawsuit was completely baseless, and we are gratified by the decision.”

The former workers’ cases hinged on their argument that the companies had violated clauses of the visa law requiring employers to show that hiring H-1B workers “will not adversely affect the working conditions” of other workers in similar jobs. The law also requires large outsourcing companies that employ many H-1B workers to certify in some circumstances that those workers “will not displace any similarly employed U.S. worker” within six months of applying for the visa.

The outsourcing companies argued that the law would apply to them only if the American workers who were displaced by visa holders they hired had originally been their employees, not Disney’s. Judge Presnell was persuaded by that argument, although he did not entirely reject the idea that the Americans were “adversely affected” by being fired.

The decision was a broad victory for Disney and its contractors, but Judge Presnell left the former workers a small window to amend their lawsuits and to try again.

Mr. Perrero said the decision was a dismaying surprise. “This has become an effective business model in the IT industry where two companies can come together and wipe out American jobs without much fear of legal action,” he said. “I just hope that greed isn’t taking our country in the wrong direction.”

Sara Blackwell, the lawyer who represented the Disney workers, said, “I wanted to see if there was any legal avenue we could use to protect our American citizens, but it seems we can’t.”

Congress considered bills this year to amend provisions in the H-1B visa laws that tech workers say have led to thousands of layoffs, but no action was taken.

The Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, said early in his campaign that he would seek to change the law to prevent layoffs. But he has not addressed the issue recently.

Judge sends two to prison for 7 years for H-1B fraud

By Bill at June 09, 2016 00:11
Filed Under: Immigration News

Two brothers were sentenced Friday to 87 months in prison for running an H-1B fraud scheme intended to create a low cost, on-demand workforce, federal law enforcement officials said.

Atul Nanda, 46, and his brother, Jiten "Jay" Nanda, 45, were each sentenced by Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn, the Chief U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, to 7 years and two months in federal prison, according to U.S. Attorney John Parker. The brothers were recently convicted by a jury following a trial.

U.S. authorities filed an indictment in 2013 alleging that the firm created by the brothers, Dibon Solutions, sponsored H-1B workers for jobs that didn't necessarily exist. The visa holders were only paid if the company was able to place them.

Dibon was headquartered in Carrollton, Texas.

The U.S. requires visa holders to be paid an annual salary. It bars firms from benching or holding workers in unpaid reserve between contracts. The government said that Dibon actively recruited H-1B workers and benched them.

"These two brothers created a highly profitable, and highly illegal business model at the extreme expense of the alien workforce that they recruited," said Katrina W. Berger, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas. "In addition, this same illegal business model operated at an unfair advantage to Dibon's competition since it had a much lower operating overhead."

Parker said in a statement that "when employers abuse the program, however, the foreign workers become a captive stable of cheap labor, victimized to the company's financial benefit."

The company also required candidates to pay visa processing fees, even though current law requires the hiring firm to pay these fees. The company "attempted to hide this" by having the H-1B candidates pay the fees directly to Dibon, the U.S. said.

Three other defendants were charged in this case: Siva Sugavanam, 37, Vivek Sharma, 48, and Rohit Mehra, 39, each pleaded guilty before trial to one count of aiding and abetting visa fraud, the U.S. said. They were were each sentenced earlier this month to two years' probation.

Senate bill will prioritize the annual allocation of H-1B visas

By Bill at November 20, 2015 12:56
Filed Under: Immigration News
Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin recently introduced a bipartisan legislation that would reform the H-1B visa and L-1 visa program. It would increase enforcement, modify wage requirements and ensure protection for American workers as well as visa holders. Please read news release or full text of the bill for details. 

The Grassley-Durbin reform bill will for the first time prioritize the annual allocation of H-1B visas. The new system would ensure that the best and brightest students being educated in the United States receive preference for an H-1B visa. The preference system also gives a leg up to advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills. 

The bill proposes to allocate H-1B cap numbers in the following order of preferences:
  1. STEM Master or Higher Degrees in the US
  2. Offer of Level 4 Wages in the Occupation
  3. Non-STEM Master or Higher Degrees in the US
  4. Offer of Level 3 Wages in the Occupation
  5. STEM Bachelor Degrees in the US
  6. Non-STEM Bachelor Degrees in the US
  7. Schedule A Occupations
  8. Employers with the Following Records (in the following order in this priority 8 level):
    1. E-Verify Employer
    2. Not Under Investigations
    3. No Violations of Immigration Laws or Labor Laws for 5 years
    4. Record of 90% approval of H-1B Petitions
    5. Filed I-140 Petitions for 90% of H-1B Employees
  9. Any Remaining H-1B Petitions
If the bill is passed, foreign workers with degrees only from foreign countries would remain in category 9. Employers that filed massive I-140 petitions to the extent of 90% of their H-1B employees will remain at the bottom in preferences in sponsoring new H-1B employees.Please read news release or full text of the bill for details. 

The employers are desperately looking for skilled foreign workers. It is time for you to update your career profile and pitch potential employers now!

Grassley, Durbin Push for H-1B and L-1 Visa Reforms

By Bill at November 20, 2015 11:46
Filed Under: Immigration News
Nov 10, 2015

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dick Durbin, Assistant Democratic Leader, today are introducing bipartisan legislation that would reform the H-1B visa program, consistent with Congress’s original intent, by ensuring that qualified American workers are given the first opportunity at high-skilled job opportunities.  The legislation makes reforms to increase enforcement, modify wage requirements and ensure protection for American workers as well as visa holders.  Grassley and Durbin first introduced this legislation in 2007 and have been long-time proponents of H-1B reform.

“The H-1B visa program was never meant to replace qualified American workers, but it was instead intended as a means to fill gaps in highly specialized areas of employment that cannot be filled by Americans.  The abuse of the system is real, and media reports are validating what we have argued against for years, including the fact that Americans are training their replacements,” Grassley said.  “There’s a sense of urgency here for Americans who are losing their jobs to lesser skilled workers who are coming in at lower wages on a visa program that has gotten away from its original intent.  Reform of the H-1B visa program must be a priority.”
            
“Reforming the H-1B and L-1 visa programs is a critical component of fixing our broken immigration system and must be included in comprehensive immigration reform legislation,” said Durbin. “For years, foreign outsourcing companies have used loopholes in the laws to displace qualified American workers and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs.  The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act would end these abuses and protect American and foreign workers from exploitation.  I thank Senator Grassley for partnering with me on this important bipartisan legislation.”

Grassley and Durbin’s efforts have long focused on making qualified American workers the first priority for employers.  The bill, as in previous years, requires all employers who seek to hire H-1B visa holders to first make a good faith effort to recruit American workers.  

The bill would also prohibit companies from hiring H-1B employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 percent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.  This provision would crack down on outsourcing companies that import large numbers of H-1B and L-1 workers for short training periods and then send these workers back to their home country to do the work of Americans.    

The bill also gives the Department of Labor enhanced authority to review, investigate, and audit employer compliance with program requirements, as well as to penalize fraudulent or abusive conduct.  It requires the production of extensive statistical data about the H-1B and L-1 programs, including wage data, worker education levels, place of employment and gender.

The bill clarifies that working conditions of similarly employed American workers may not be adversely affected by the hiring of the H-1B worker, including H-1B workers who have been placed by another employer at the American worker’s worksite.  In addition, it explicitly prohibits the replacement of American workers by H-1B or L-1 visa holders.  These provisions address the types of abuses that have been well-documented in recent press reports.

The Grassley-Durbin reform bill will for the first time prioritize the annual allocation of H-1B visas.  The new system would ensure that the best and brightest students being educated in the United States receive preference for an H-1B visa.  The preference system also gives a leg up to advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills.

In addition, the bill includes several reforms of the L-1 visa program.  These include establishment of a wage floor for L-1 workers; authority for the Department of Homeland Security to investigate, audit and enforce compliance with L-1 program requirements; assurance that intra-company transfers occur between legitimate branches of a company and don’t involve “shell” facilities; and a change to the definition of “specialized knowledge” to ensure that L-1 visas are reserved only for truly key personnel.

H-1B Petition: No More Extra $2,000 Filing Fees!

By Bill at September 17, 2015 01:12
Filed Under: Immigration News
Starting from October 1, 2015, U.S. employers no longer have to pay additional filing fee of either $2,000 (H-1B) or $2,250 (L-1) mandated by Public Law 111-230. check page 25 of Form I-129 Instructions 

Signed by President Obama on August 13, 2010, the Law requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions. The fee increase took effect on August 14,2010. 

The additional fee applies to H-1B or L-1 petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States with more than 50 percent of their employees in the United States in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status. 

The law was scheduled to expire on September 30, 2014. However, the Congress passed Public Law 111-327 to extend the expiration date of this law to September 30, 2015

Following is the new breakdown of H-1B visa filing fees. Please read Form I-129 Instructions for Petition for Nonimmigrant Work for details! 

Basic Fee $325
USCIS Anti Fraud Fee $500
ACWIA Education and Training Fee $750 ( For employers less than 25 employees) 
$1500 (For employees more than 25 employees)
P.L. 111-230 Fee $2,000
Premium Processing Fee(Optional) $1,225


The summer is over. It is time for you to update your career profile and pitch potential employers now!



Not all jobs are created equal!
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FY2015 First Quarter H1B Visa and Green Card Data Published!

By Bill at February 14, 2015 02:21
Filed Under: Immigration News
We have published all labor applications filed by U.S. employers during the first three months of fiscal year 2015 through our legacy database system. 

From October 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014, U.S. employers filed 89,231 labor condition applications for H-1B visa jobs: 1,761 were denied, 2,910 were withdrawn, 8,048 werewithdrawn after being certified

During the same time, Department of Labor made decisions on 16,618 labor certifications for employment green card: 1,322 were denied, 1,104 were withdrawn. 

First Quarter 2012 2013 2014 2015
LCA for H1B Visa 80,613 68,239 78,871 89,231
LC for Green Card 11,352 13,606 11,064 16,618


Please use following links to search potential job opportunities and pitch employers directly. Our new visa job database is now updated daily with full copies of original petitions. However, we still maintain the legacy system which is updated once every quarter with case summary only. Some cases might not appear on both systems due to various reasons. 


The difference between LCA and H1B Visa

By Bill at August 21, 2014 21:32
Filed Under: Tips and Features, Visa Knowledge
Why U.S. employers file over 300,000 Labor Condition Application(LCA) every year while only about 100,000 H1B visas are issued? What's the difference between LCA and H1B Visa?

Before U.S. employer can file H1B visa petition with USCIS, it must fill Labor Condition Application(LCA) with the Department of Labor(DOL) demonstrating that it is paying the required wage for this position in the geographic region where the job is located. 

When an employee renews or transfers his H1B visa or changes work location under some circumstances, he also needs to have a new LCA. DOL typically certifies more than 3 times the number of LCA than the number of H1B visas issued by USCIS. click here to know more about LCA and work visa

Following work visa programs require Department of Labor to issue permanent or temporary labor certifications: click here to learn more Both our LCA databases include LCA submitted for not only new employment, but also continuation or change in previously approved employment, new concurrent employment, change in employer and amended petition. U.S. employers are always looking for skilled foreign workers, make sure you polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly

FACT SHEET: Strengthening Entrepreneurship At Home and Abroad

By Bill at April 08, 2014 23:41
Filed Under: Immigration News

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary


FACT SHEET: Strengthening Entrepreneurship At Home and Abroad

“Let’s do more to help the entrepreneurs and small business owners who create most new jobs in America.”

– President Barack Obama, State of the Union, January 28, 2014

Entrepreneurs play a critical role in expanding the economy and creating jobs.  President Obama is committed to increasing the prevalence and success of entrepreneurs across the country, including through the White HouseStartup America initiative, an “all-hands-on-deck” effort to expand access to capital, accelerate innovation, and promote private sector efforts to strengthen the Nation’s startup communities.  The United States also runs and funds hundreds of programs to support entrepreneurs globally and maintains a broad coalition of governments, business people, civil society, investors, and academics to educate and support entrepreneurs around the world.

Building on these efforts, today the Administration is announcing a series of new steps to accelerate the success of entrepreneurs in the United States and across the globe:  

Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship: Today, President Obama hosted the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), a group of successful American businesspeople who have committed to sharing their time, energy, ideas, and  experience to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs at home and abroad. The group is chaired by Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are also partners in this effort.

Attracting the World’s Best and Brightest: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will soon publish several proposed rules that will make the United States more attractive to talented foreign entrepreneurs and other high-skill immigrants who will contribute substantially to the U.S. economy, create jobs, and enhance American innovative competitiveness.  These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers. These measures build on continuing DHS efforts to streamline, eliminate inefficiency, and increase the transparency of the existing immigration system, such as by the launch ofEntrepreneur Pathways, an online resource center that gives immigrant entrepreneurs an intuitive way to navigate opportunities to start and grow a business in the United States.

Accelerating Biomedical Entrepreneurs from Lab to Market:  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are launching a new collaboration to empower entrepreneurial scientists and address the critical gap between fundamental research and the development of a commercial entity.  Academic researchers and entrepreneurs who receive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from NIH will be eligible to pilot a new version of the NSF Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program that is specially tailored for biomedical technologies.  This intensive, mentor-driven experience is changing the way that NSF-funded researchers think about the commercialization process.  NIH will also help scale up I-Corps by augmenting existing NIH-funded programs, such as the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovation (NCAI), that focus on promising technologies developed by academic researchers.  Faculty and students who participate in these new I-Corps programs will receive mentorship opportunities, entrepreneurial training, and modest funding to enable them to move their ideas from the lab to the market. 

Energizing Entrepreneurs to Help End Extreme Poverty: Fostering entrepreneurs and strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems are vital elements of USAID’s newly launched U.S. Global Development Lab (The Lab).  The Lab will empower a global network of individuals to help create, solve and scale innovative solutions to global challenges by applying rigorous scientific, business, research, and technological expertise. In the next five years, scientists and technology experts at The Lab will create a new global marketplace of innovations and take them to scale to reach over 200 million people worldwide. The Lab is pioneering open-source development models like Development Innovation Ventures and Grand Challenges that nurture new solvers and players in emerging markets and spurring innovation. The Lab is expanding a Global Development Alliance furthering LGBT equality through entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprise growth in Latin America.  A new USAID Research and Innovation Fellowships Program will send more than 60 young U.S. leaders in science and technology to universities, NGOs, and companies in 12 developing countries this year.

Bolstering Exchanges and Training for Entrepreneurs in the Western Hemisphere: This fall, the State Department will host TechCamps for women in El Salvador, Colombia, and Argentina. These camps will bring together hundreds of women across the region over the course of the year and provide them training to address key challenges in business formation, from financing to marketing. Additionally, the State Department will be launching two new exchange programs for entrepreneurs in the Western hemisphere. The Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) Fellowship Program will connect incubators across the hemisphere to share best practices in entrepreneurial development and unlock market access for small businesses across the region. The Professional Fellows Program will bring Salvadorian, Guatemalan, and American officials together for a six-week internship and training program focuses on professional development, problem-solving, and networking.

Act now to get a visa job next year!

By Bill at December 10, 2013 03:14
Filed Under: Tips and Features, Visa Knowledge

American economy added 203,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate declined from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent. USCIS will start accepting cap-subject H-1B Visa petitions onApril 1, 2014. Should you apply for jobs right now or wait until January? 

December hiring is at low levels in many industries. However, applications tend to slow down during the holiday season more than openings do -- tipping the balance in favor of those who do apply! 

Hiring managers and CEOs will typically try to reduce their operating profits by incurring search fees towards the end of each year, to avoid paying taxes. They also do not want to lose the allocated funds for new employees. 

Following are some suggestions that will help you get H-1B visa next year: 

  1. Update your contact, skills and resume, so employers can find you and contact you directly.
  2. Be proactive: 2014 visa reports are not ready yet. But you can still search 2013H1B VisaGreen Card, and Wage Determination to find potential employers and pitch them directly.
  3. Be informed: Check E-Verify Employer Database and USCIS Employer Blacklist, so you will not become a victim of visa scam. The lists will also be updated in January 2014.
  4. Be smart: Use our Resume Blast Service and Smart Apply Service, so your job hunting will be much less painful.

General Requirements of H-1B Visa Jobs

By Bill at November 20, 2013 12:27
Filed Under: Visa Knowledge

Last week, we discussed the qualification of H-1B visa worker. Even if you are qualified, you can not take any U.S. job and apply for H-1B Visa, because most jobs in U.S. do not meet the general requirements

All H-1B visa jobs must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:

  • Bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position
  • The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree.

To know more about H-1B Visa occupation, please search H1B Visa job database or visit H-1B Visa Occupation reports

If you qualify for H-1B Visa, please update your career profile regularly and try Resume Services or Smart Apply Service to reach American employers.

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