Posts

The OPT Squeeze

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The government has started the squeeze on OPT.  It looks like 3rd party staffing as well as remote work situations for OPT trainees are either completely out, or, restricted enough to eliminate practical benefit to IT staffing "companies" using foreign IT students.  
Now, this may not be too much of a disruption for entities following the spirit of OPT as a training program.  After all, it is called OP-T, not OP-W, because it is for training experience and not intended to serve as a back-door work program.  But some entities will see a major roadblock in the way they've been doing business, and it seems USCIS is concerned most with these companies in its January 24, 2018 Update.  The IT staffing "consultancies," especially the one guy LLC who collects billable hours by passing Java and Sharepoint resumes, through his apartment computer in Piscataway, to 2nd and 3rd tier subvendors (or his own dummy LLCs), must now abide by restrictions not previously in place.
Yo…

H1B Lottery Done

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Well, they done did it.  USCIS completed a lottery to select which H1B visa petitions will be considered this year.  This year there was no prior indication that a lottery would be conducted, as there had in previous years.  We simply received the announcement this afternoon that it was done. Hopefully our office’s petitions will be selected.  Here's the announcement if you'd like to read it.  USCIS Completes H1B Cap Random Selection Process for FY19.

More later, but in honor of the lottery announcement, here's a song:


AR-11 is NOT An Assault Rifle

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It’s so simple. So why don’t more noncitizens file form AR-11 when they move? The form us online, and takes 2 minutes. Most importantly, it’s a requirement and could lead to future trouble for failure to do so. Well, last week the USCIS announced another good reason: green cards and EAD’s returned undeliverable will be destroyed after 60 days. And if you’ve ever had to go through the red tape of replacing one of these essential documents, you’ll understand his imperative it is to make sure they are mailed to the correct address. Here’s the announcement:
https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/undeliverable-permanent-resident-and-employment-authorization-cards-and-travel-documents-be-destroyed-after-60-days



Ga Ge Gi Go Gu!

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That's the Question When Bringing Money into the U.S. This week, the reggaeton music artist, Farruko, was arrested and charged for failing to declare the import of more than $10K into the U.S.  Had he simply stated on his customs card that he had $54K, Farruko fans would've been Chillax-ing at his next gig with Ky-Mani Marley as we write this.

Readers of Chaudhary Immigration Attorney's blog, however, have the benefit of legal advice that Farruko apparently did not.  So, in the singer's words, listen to "Lo question Yo Diga"(What I Have to Say):

1. It is NOT illegal to bring more than $10,000 into the U.S.
2. Bringing more than $10,000 into the U.S. is NOT subject to any extra duty (on its own).
3. Such money is not necessarily reported to the IRS without other relevant concerns.

Now, although this is a common myth, it is not without government blame.  Just reading I.C.E.'s ICE Press Release about Farruko's arrest would give anyone the impression…

Breaking RE: H1B Cap

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And just like that, the cap is full.Well, that did escalate fast didn't it? The USCIS announced this morning that it has received more new H1B visa applications than it can approve under law for FY19.  Although not explicitly stated, previous practice tells us that USCIS has now ostensibly begun a "lottery" process for selecting which applications it will even consider for approval or denial, and which applications will be returned with their filing fee checks uncashed.  Actually, the timeline for this announcement, five days after applications were allowed to be filed, is about the same as previous years as well. 

Chaudhary Immigration Attorneys also filed new, Cap-subject H1B petition on behalf of clients this year.  Our practice is to ensure petitions arrive at USCIS on the first day applications were accepted, this year being this past Monday, April 2.  Fingers crossed now that they will be accepted for consideration. 
More analysis to come. 
https://www.uscis.gov/news/…

Should We Keep TPS for Nepalese?

Catholic group issues report on continued protections for Nepalese.

https://cliniclegal.org/resources/rebuilding-rubble-why-tps-needed-nepal


ALERT: Foreign Students on OPT!

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Thousands of foreign students received emails from DHS in the last couple days, providing instructions to create their own new SEVIS account.  The emails typically looked like this:

THIS IS NOT A SCAM.
The burden is now on the OPT student to provide details of their employment training to the U.S. Department if Homeland Security. This is done through a new, individual online portal for students  who have been approved for OPT or those ICE calls "prospective" OPT trainees (i.e. applied for OPT but not yet approved).   The link is in the email, and is valid for 31 days, after which one can contact their DSO for a new link.  It's probably a good idea not to wait and risk bureaucratic confusion.

Having said this, compliance with the new requirement was apparently not a problem, at least today.  It seems that shortly after DHS emails reached OPT students, the SEVIS Portal was overcome and experienced an outage.




Here's the official SEVIS Portal Announcement.

“On March 23…