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Green Cards

Decision on Multiple H-1B filings by “related entities”

On March 23, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a policy memorandum adopting the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) decision in Matter of S-Inc., which looked at the issue of multiple H-1B cap filings by “related entities.”

In Matter of S-Inc., the AAO decided that the definition of related entities is not conclusive to those entities that are related by ownership and control. Rather, the AAO concluded that related entities include “those who submit multiple petitions for the same beneficiary for substantially the same job.” Moreover, the AAO decision explained that the following factors are pertinent in determining whether companies filing H-1B petitions are related: familial ties, proximity of location, leadership structures, employment history, similar work assignments, and substantially similar supporting documentation.

In issuing their decision, the AAO looked at a case in which two distinct companies filed separate H-1B cap petitions to employ the same beneficiary in the substantively same job, as a Programmer Analyst, and would be performing comparable duties for the same end-client. The AAO concluded that since they were intending to employ the Beneficiary with the same end-client and the Beneficiary would be performing “essentially” the same duties, the companies were therefore related. AAO then looked at whether the two petitioners could demonstrate a legitimate business need to file more than one H-1B petition for the same beneficiary. The AAO clarified that to help determine a petitioner’s “legitimate business need,” they will examine the underlying job opportunity and each job opportunity must be “bona fide, be available to the beneficiary, and be materially distinct.”

Therefore, USCIS will now start to deny or revoke the H-1B approval of cap-subject petitions filed by “related entities” for the same beneficiary absent a legitimate business need.

Categories
Green Cards US Immigration Policy

Fox News Seriously ? Finally !

Fox News has finally jumped on board and published a guest opinion recognizing that President Trump’s crackdown on LEGAL immigration is harmful to the U.S. best interests. It will be even bigger news if a Fox New columnist takes a similar stance. It will be interesting to see if anything can derail the Trump, Miller, et al war on legal immigration.

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Green Cards Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN

Sigh of Relief for Extensions beyond the 6th Year

I have been fielding a lot of question recently regarding the current administrations intentions regarding H-1B extensions beyond the 6th year. In the face of the uproar and uncertainty that was caused when the current administration let it be known that this was possibly on the chopping block, it now appears to be out of the cross-hairs. Detailed article from McClatchy.com here. We will continue to monitor the situation but for now everyone can let out a collective sigh of relief.

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Green Cards

HLG December Newsletter

HLG has published the December edition of the Immigration Advocate It contains pieces written by partners Michael Hammond and Phil Eichorn and associates Christy Turovisky and Jessica Cadavid.

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Green Cards

H4 EAD Coming to an End

On December 15, The Department of Homeland Security announced that it is proposing a rule which would end the H-4 EAD (employment authorization document). See the official notice of proposed rulemaking here. The rule must still be entered into the Federal Register and undergo a comment period before it is enacted but other than formalities there is not much standing in its way.

The publishing of the proposed rule and its final passing will make the lawsuit brought by the Save Jobs USA organization against DHS moot even though the case was dismissed by the Federal Circuit courts and is now on appeal. India-West did an excellent article regarding how the H4 EAD helps create jobs and does not take them away from America workers. The article can be found here.

Those relying on H4 EADs for work authorization will need to prepare for the inevitability of losing their ability to work in the U.S. Options to consider going forward may include an H-1b cap filing in this year’s lottery or other work visas for which one may be eligible. Individual assessment with you and your employer will be necessary. We will know more details once the rule is finalized.

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Green Cards

DHS Increases Immigration Filing Fees by 21%

DHS is increasing filing fees on immigration and naturalization applications adjudicated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. DHS explained that the fee increase is necessary to account for costs of adjudicating services. According to DHS, the current fees do not recover the full costs associated with the adjudication of these applications and the fee increase will help continue “adequate service.” The last time USCIS fees were increased was on November 23, 2010. Under the final published rule, DHS will increase the fees by a weighted average of 21%. The fee increase will take place by December 23, 2016. Applications filed or postmarked on or after December 23, 2016, will need to include the new correct filing fee. If you are thinking of filing an application with USCIS, you may want to file now.

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Green Cards

I-94 Website Enhancements

Customs and Border Protection recently announced that the website used to retrieve I-94 records will now allow travelers arriving at a land port of entry to pay the I-94 application fee of $6.00 online up to seven (7) days prior to their entry. Additionally, travelers will be able to complete the I-94 application online where they will be able to provide biographic and travel information. After submitting the online application, travelers will receive a provisional I-94. The traveler must present him/herself at the land port of entry within seven (7) days in order to finalize the process. The payment can be paid with credit card, debit cards, PayPal or through direct debit. This should result in shorter wait times for those arriving through a land port of entry.

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Green Cards

HLG Immigration Advocate Published

HLG has published the August edition of Immigration Advocate featuring an article on the OPT STEM rules. Check it out here.

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Green Cards

HLG opens new office in LA

HLG is pleased to announce that it has opened an office in Los Angeles, California. Senior attorney Cynthia Perez will be the managing attorney. The office will handle a variety of corporate and family based immigration cases. The office is located downtown at 4221 Wilshire Blvd.

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Green Cards

Staffing companies and the new OPT STEM rules

Recently, several web-sites have provided opinions that staffing companies can not comply with the new STEM OPT rules. We disagree. One of our attorneys, Matt Minor recently had an article published in ILW.com providing our counter opinion. We are happy to provide guidance to staffing companies for how to comply with this new set of rules.