Reducing the Cost of H-1B Fees: Can Employers Make Employees Pay?

In general, when an employer employing foreign nationals decides to make deductions from such an employee’s salary, the employer must be sure that doing so would not push the employee’s actual wages below the prevailing wage required by the labor certification. Exceptions are made for “authorized” deductions that are required by law and/or that are also made against the wages of U.S. workers similarly employed. Continue reading

H-1B Visa Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2012

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced this afternoon that the quota for cap subject H-1B visas has officially been reached for the Fiscal Year 2012. USCIS will reject all cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupations workers with start dates in Fiscal Year 2012. Read more at: FY … Continue reading

Employment Creation, EB-5, Visa Requirements

In order to qualify for the EB-5 immigrant visa classification, the petitioner must show that (s)he has the required funds to actively invest in an enterprise that will create no less than 10 full time jobs for U.S. citizens or other qualified workers. Not only must the petitioner provide sufficient funds—acquired lawfully—but the petitioner must also take an active role in the enterprise in which (s)he invests. Continue reading

The StartUp Visa Act of 2011 and the EB6 Visa Classification for Sponsored Entrepreneurs

If passed, the StartUp Visa Act of 2011 would create an opportunity for immigrant entrepreneurs to bring their innovative business plans to the United States. It would add to the number of immigrant visas issued every year, but would draw from the number of visas already allocated to the EB-5 visa classification. In recent years, only half of the yearly allotment of visas in the EB-5 category has been issued. In theory, the implementation of the Act would help stimulate the U.S. economy by attracting a greater number of talented entrepreneurs who may not have qualified for immigrant visas before due to financial limitations. Continue reading

Information About the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act of 2000

The LIFE Act of 2000 creates an opening for applicants looking to adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident that may otherwise be ineligible at this time. The applicant must be the beneficiary of a qualifying immigrant visa petition that was properly filed and approvable at the time of filing. The petition must have been filed prior to April 30, 2001. Through the LIFE Act, beneficiaries of such petitions could be eligible for adjustment of status regardless of the manner in which they entered the country, whether or not they worked in the United States without authorization, and whether or not they failed to continuously maintain lawful status since entering the country. The Act, however, should not be seen as blanket amnesty, as it does not waive all grounds of inadmissibility and does not guarantee forgiveness of the grounds listed above. Continue reading

“Follow to Join” Procedures for Immediate Family Members of Preference-Based Immigrant Visa Holders

Summary: Immediate family members (spouses and children under the age of 21) of immigrant visa holders may follow to join the principal beneficiary of an approved immigrant visa petition in a derivative visa status. The form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, should be used to notify the U.S. consulate in the beneficiary’s country of citizenship that his or her visa petition has been approved and that his or her family members are applying for derivative visas in order to follow to join. Continue reading