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USCIS Completes the H-1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY 2018

By Bill at April 18, 2017 19:53
Filed Under: Immigration News

USCIS announced on April 7, 2017, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2018. USCIS has also received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to meet the U.S. advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.    

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 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.

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.

Employers filed over 93,000 labor petitions in first quarter of FY2017

By Bill at March 15, 2017 06:04
Filed Under: Immigration News
We have published all labor applications filed by U.S. employers during the first three months of fiscal year 2017 through our legacy database system. 

From October 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016, U.S. employers filed 93,533 labor condition applications for H-1B visa jobs: 1,369 were denied, 3,190 were withdrawn, 9,809 were withdrawn after being certified

During the same time, Department of Labor made decisions on 24,911 labor certifications for employment green card:1,582 were denied, 806 were withdrawn. 

First Quarter 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
LCA for H1B Visa 80,613 68,239 78,871 89,231 93,372 93,533
LC for Green Card 11,352 13,606 11,064 16,618 26,943 24,911


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. 

U.S. employers are always looking for skilled workers, even in holiday seasons. Please polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly


New immigration rules make H-1B visa program friendlier

By Bill at December 08, 2016 22:12
Filed Under: Immigration News
WASHINGTON--USCIS has published a final rule to make H-1B visa program friendlier to the foreign workers and their families. The new regulations which will go into effect on January 17 2017, will also make U.S. employers easier to hire and retain foreigners. 

The USCIS will allow terminated H1B visa holders a grace period of 60 days to either leave or sort out their paperwork for new jobs. 

The rule will also prevent the revocation of I-140 by employers for those employees who have held it for more 180 days but whose services were terminated. So the employees will not lose their turn in the protracted green card process once they change over to new jobs. 

Another significant change is that USCIS will automatically extend the employment authorization and validity of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs or Form I-766s) for certain individuals who apply on time to renew their EADs.This is great news for the H-4 visa holders who come as spouses of H-1B visa workers. 

Please visit our work visa blog or the published final rule for more information. 

The unemployment rate in U.S. is now just 4.6%. The employers are desperately looking for skilled foreign workers. It is time for you to update your career profile and pitch potential employers now!



Not all jobs are created equal!
http://www.myvisajobs.com

Federal Judge: Disney didn't violate H-1B visa laws in layoffs

By Bill at October 20, 2016 01:03
Filed Under: Immigration News

(New York Times) A federal judge in Florida dismissed class action lawsuits by two American workers who were laid off byWalt Disney Company (visa rank: 1466) and forced to train H-1B visa workers as their replacements. 

The judge rejected the former workers' arguments that Disney and the two contractors had colluded to make false statements when they applied for H-1B visa: "none of the allegedly false statements put at issue in the complaint are adequate" to sustain the case. 

The outsourcing companies that were sued with Walt Disney were Cognizant Technology Solutions (visa rank: 8) and HCL America (visa rank: 9). All three companies claimed that they've properly complied with the H-1B visa process. Following links are related news and legal documents. 



The employers are always looking for skilled foreign workers, make sure you polish your resume and update your career profiles regularly

Disney Defends Lawsuit Over Immigrants Replacing American Workers

By Bill at October 19, 2016 00:53
Filed Under: Immigration News

A former Disney World worker aims to lead a class action claiming racketeering.

The allegation that hundreds of American tech workers at Walt Disney World trained immigrants who would take their jobs makes for an unflattering headline. But according to Disney and the IT consulting firm it works with, there's no conspiracy and they've properly complied with the H-1B visa process.

Leo Perrero, who formerly worked at Disney, is leading a putative class action that alleges that his former employer and HCL colluded with each other when telling the Department of Labor that the hiring of foreigners on visas wouldn't adversely affect the working conditions of U.S. workers. The complaint filed in Florida federal court claims that workers were indeed displaced and that Perrero and others were told to train their replacements or lose severance.

On Friday, both Disney and HCL filed motions to dismiss the complaint.

According to Disney, the lawsuit is defective thanks to the absence of any allegation it was conspiring with HCL to break the law. Yes, the companies had a contract with each other, but Disney argues that's hardly the same thing as saying that Disney knew HCL would be making false statements to the federal government.

"Even accepting as true the Complaint's inaccurate allegations regarding the contract between HCL and WDPR, Plaintiff nowhere alleges (and could not allege) that it is inherently unlawful to agree to provide IT services using a workforce that includes H-1B visaholders," states Disney's court papers.

And then there's the issue of whether HCL really did make false statements. Perhaps immigration law allows for what happened?

In its own court papers, HCL interprets immigration law as meaning that it had to attest that foreigners on H-1B visas would not adversely affect the working conditions of other HCL employees, not Disney employees. HCL also says that "working conditions" don't mean job displacement, that it really means such matters as hours, shifts, vacation periods and benefits.

There's another form that some employers have to fill out that specifically attests to U.S. workers not being displaced, but HCL says it only applies to non-exempt employees, and as such, it wasn't under any requirement to make such a certification and so it didn't.

"As plaintiff concedes, HCL hired only exempt employees who earned at least $60,000 per year or held a master's or higher degree in a relevant field," states HCL. "That concession is by itself a sufficient basis to reject Plaintiff's allegations regarding a supposed misstatement concerning displacement."

The H-1B visa system has become controversial of late thanks in part to what was happening at Walt Disney World. Bernie Sanders wants to reform the system to prevent employers from abusing the system while Donald Trump has made it a campaign platform to increase the prevailing wage for H-1Bs so as to discourage companies from outsourcing to lower wage foreign workers. Hillary Clinton has remained mostly silent, though she's been quoted in a 2007 speech as supporting an increase in the H-1B cap.

Here's Perrero's complaint, Disney's motion and HCL's motion.

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!
http://www.myvisajobs.com

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