New Requirements for H1B Consultants

In 2016, Time Magazine listed the 20 Best Songs to Wake Up To.  Don't ask me how Hit the Quan made the list.  In immigration news, however, the Trump administration just issued a policy memo that should wake up every IT manager in America, whether or not they employ noncitizens.  To be sure, every IT Consultant involved with H1B visas should sit up and read this.

As of today, the USCIS has "clarified" the Policy Requirements for Third-Party Worksite H-1B's, i.e. IT consultancies.  I put "clarified" in quotes because, although the new memo mostly restates the current law and requirements for H1B visas (not altogether unneeded by the way), there are several subtle and not so subtle hints regarding the way off-site employee H1B visas will be treated in the Trump administration.  This amounts to new H1B policy just as we enter the season of annual new H1B filings. SUMMARY Less deference will be given to H1B petitions, especially those involving IT consultanci…

Dawning A New Credit Card Age!

USCIS Adds 40 Forms to Credit Card Payments

OK, a little over dramatic. But the USCIS has added 40 important new forms for which one can now pay by credit card.

Here is the link:

Paying fees with checks are a big pain for a few reasons that impact the immigration case management process. First of all, they are checks. People don’t use them and are accustomed to the 3% or less fee that often accompanies a charge. Lawyers now accept credit cards widely and also accept credit card fees as a cost of business like office paper or the Internet.

Second, every USCIS instruction for submitting filing fees includes the admonishment that a check must be written out in precise manner. And for every client I must include this instruction. People also agonize over what to write in the memo of the check, and many people myst retrieve an actual check from their bank (which always has a low check number) or a money order or certified check which…


BREAKING: Thanks to the

New(ish) H1B Scrutiny

You Do Have Choices In Your Immigration Destiny Last year the USCIS announced new scrutiny for third party IT consultancies.  As part of the priority given to combating fraud in employment-based immigration programs, USCIS issued a policy targeting site visits in certain sectors that commonly receive H1B visas and have shown more than average propensities for fraud and abuse.  These included circumstances where an employer's basic business information could not easily verified, employers with a high ratio of H1B workers, and--the topic of this post--employers who send their H1B workers off-site to work for another company (i.e. "IT consultants").
See the announcement here: USCIS: Combating Fraud And Abuse in the H-1B Visa Program.
So then, almost a year later, what have been the results?  The answer is at the moment is hard to tell.  Today, the USCIS recycled their year-old announcement on Twitter, without amendment let alone report, on the success of their scrutiny.  S…

En Todo Estados Unidos!

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EB2 India: The Long Wait (Guest Column)

The Long Wait for EB2 IndiaWhat is "EB2 India"? It refers to citizens of India the employment-based green card category for Masters and high experience-level specialty occupations. It's an issue for discussion because, even though an employer has proven there is no American available to do the job, there are still per-country total limits on annual green card allotments. So, India being a high population country with lots of tech workers in the U.S., their wait for a work green card is longer than other countries around 10 years longer! In fact, most countries don't use up their annual limit and the remaining green card slots go mostly unused. Having said this, here is a nice presentation from my colleague Bob Webber at Webber Law, PLLC on the inner workings of the particular process, EB2 India.

The Long Wait for "EB2 India."

It’s So Easy!

It's So Easy! Reminder: you can apply to replace your green card online! It’s that easy!