Green Cards

July Visa Bulletin

The July Visa Bulletin has been released by the Department of State (DOS) and there was exciting news for many. The EB3 worldwide all other category is almost “current” as it jumped to June 8, 2017; the EB3 India category jumped ahead 9 mos.; and, the EB3 Philippines category jumped ahead 1 year. Unfortunately, there was also bad news for many as retrogression continues to be an issue for persons from India and China.

DOL releases PERM data

The DOL recently released FY 2017 2nd Q PERM data. Note that the denial rate has increased slightly and over 25% of cases are either under audit or appeal.

June Visa Bulletin

Retrogression rears its ugly head again in the June Visa Bulletin as the EB1 categories for India and China retrogressed from “current” to Jan 2012. This was predicted in the prior Visa bulletin and noted in this space so no surprise but, still troubling. It is expected that the dates for these 2 categories will return to ‘current’ with the new fiscal year and the October bulletin. Other categories saw small but, steady movement forward.

Calculating Your EB Experience Time

On April 17, 2017 an immigration policy memorandum was issued by the Service adopting “Matter of O-A- Inc.,” a copy of the memo can be found here, as a guidepost for USCIS decisions going forward. This case was focused on whether, at the time a provisional certificate is issued, a beneficiary has completed all substantive requirements to earn the degree and the university or college has approved the degree.

In this case, the beneficiary’s provisional certificate was issued May 17, 2006, but she did not receive her formal diploma until March 30, 2007, according to the decision. The priority date was Oct. 23, 2014. The director concluded that the beneficiary fell short of the five-year requirement because she accrued four years and eight months of qualifying experience between the diploma date and the priority date, but the agency said that, based on the evidence in the record, the issuance of the provisional certificate conferred the foreign equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. And the agency found that she had obtained at least five years of qualifying post-baccalaureate experience.

It was determined that the provisional certificate, together with the beneficiary’s statement of marks, showed that she had completed all the substantive requirements for her degree and that the university approved her degree. As such, the agency determined that the petitioner had shown that the beneficiary met the minimum education and experience requirements of the labor certification and EB-2 classification and sustained the appeal.

Going forward, the Service has been directed to conduct case-specific analysis to determine whether a beneficiary who received a provisional certificate had completed all requirements to earn the degree and that the school had approved the degree at the time the certificate was issued. This is good news for those beneficiary who get their provisional certificates much earlier than their diplomas.

May Visa Bulletin

In huge news, (not covered by CNN, Fox, or anywhere else, fake or otherwise) the EB3 category for India surged forward by one (1) entire day ! The rest of the Visa Bulletin was not much better as it announced that the EB1 category will soon retrogress for India and China and the EB2 category for the “all other world” and the Philippines will retrogress as early as July. Although summer retrogression is a necessary byproduct of the use it or lose it statutory scheme that allocates immigrant visas, it can be disruptive. We remain hopeful that among all of the talk of the need for immigration reform that retrogression relief is a topic being considered. You can find a copy of the May Visa bulletin here.

April Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has released the April Visa Bulletin. There were no changes to the dates of filing chart but, since there is no expectation that the USCIS will utilize this chart, it has effectively become moot. The final action date chart showed nice gains for All Other EB3, China EB3 and Philippines EB3 but, India EB2 and EB3 were virtually unmoved. Retrogression relief remains badly needed but, positive legislation seems but, a dream under this Administration.

March Visa Bulletin

During this season where it seems like bad news is the order of the day, the Department of State (DOS) released the March Visa Bulletin and also made some very positive predictions for movement in the coming months. For example, the DOS predicted that we could see a movement of 1 month per month for the India EB2 category, up to the 3 months for the all other EB3 category, and up to 6 months each month for the EB3 Philippines category. They also indicated that EB2 would remain current for all other countries.

By |February 14th, 2017|Green Cards|0 Comments|

February Visa Bulletin

The Department of State (DOS) has recently released the February Visa Bulletin and it contains no surprises. The Dates for Filing chart remained unchanged. The Final Action Date chart showed slow movement forward in all but, India EB2 which stayed at the January date.

By |January 16th, 2017|Green Cards|0 Comments|

January Visa Bulletin-nothing new

The Department of State (DOS) has released the January Visa Bulletin and it contains no surprises. The Dates for Filing chart remains unchanged and the Final Action date chart revealed slow forward movement in almost all categories.

By |December 21st, 2016|Green Cards|0 Comments|

DOL Halts PERM Denials Based upon “Competitive Salary”

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (“AILA”) recently meet with the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (“OFLC”) for its quarterly stakeholder meeting. In this meeting, the OFLC informed AILA that it had suspended denying cases on the basis that the recruitment stated that a “competitive salary” was offered or that salary “depends on experience.” This decision was based upon the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeal’s (“BALCA”) recent findings in Matter of TekServices, which found these denials to be unsupported under the law. The Hammond Law Group hopes that BALCA is able to quickly overturn the denials that were made on this particular issue.