Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: H1-B

The H-1B cap and the Chicken Little effect, or the sky is not falling, but this system is a mess

“I try not to worry about the future – so I take each day just one anxiety attack at a time.” Tom Wilson, American cartoonist (not an immigration lawyer)

Beginning April 1, USCIS began accepting cap-subject H-1B petitions for the 2016 fiscal year, and thus another flood of petitions washed over USCIS Service Centers in California and Vermont. This year, April Fool’s Day was an appropriate time for immigration attorneys and their clients to pause, reflect, and immediately begin freaking out—“What if my H-1B petition is not accepted for processing?” “What if my petition is lost in the mail?” …

H-1B Cap Reached Again, but Employers May Have Options to Keep Foreign Employees Working

This year brings more bad news for employers who filed H-1B petitions for foreign workers beginning on April 1, 2014.  On April 10, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had received about 172,500 H-1B petitions, far above the 85,000 H-1B visas available each year (65,000 being available for bachelor degree-level graduates, with an additional 20,000 available for advanced degree graduates of American universities).  Thus, due to this H-1B visa “cap,” more than 50 per cent of the petitions filed will not be accepted for processing. USCIS has since completed a computer-generated lottery to select the petitions to …

H-1B cap reached as expected

This morning, the USCIS announced that the H-1B cap was reached during the initial filing period. More than 65,000 petitions were received for the regular cap, and more than 20,000 petitions were received for the advanced degree exemption. This announcement was expected, and it will take another couple of weeks for the USCIS to enter sufficient data for the petitions filed to run the random selection, and decide which cases to accept and process. The rest of the cases will be rejected. We expect another announcement when the number of petitions has been counted, and we will be able to …

H-1B Cap has been reached for FY2013

Yesterday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the H-1B cap has been reached for the Fiscal Year 2013, which begins October 1, 2012. Accordingly, no H-1B petitions can be filed until April 1, 2013, for potential employees who are cap-subject to be able to begin working on October 1, 2013.

Each fiscal year, the law permits 20,000 "master cap" cases for the H-1B beneficiaries who have obtained graduate degrees from U.S. universities and 65, 000 "regular cap" cases. In most instances, cap-subject individuals are those who are acquiring H-1B status for the first time, such as international students …

USCIS Approaches H-1B Cap for New Fiscal Year

USCIS announced the status of the H-1B cap filings as of October 21, 2011 for the fiscal year that began on October 1, 2011. For background, the law permits 65,000 regular "cap" cases and 20,000 master cap (graduates of U.S. universities with an advanced degree) each fiscal year. Because filings are permitted six months in advance, the annual filing season begins on April 1 each year and continues until the cap has been reached.

As of October 21, 2011, the full 20,000 complement of masters cap cases has been exhausted, and 46,200 regular cap petitions have been filed. This leaves …

H-1B Employer Assessed Back Wages and Fined

The U.S. Department of Labor announced this week a $638,449 back wage consent order and $126,778 civil fine against a New Jersey IT consulting firm, Peri Software Solutions, Inc. The announcement indicated that the back wages resulted from the employer’s failure to compensate the H-1B workers as required under Department of Labor regulations. The civil fine arose from two issues:  the employer failed to provide notice of its intent to employ H-1B workers and it sued former employees "for early cessation of employment."

The announcement may raise more questions than it answers concerning the specific facts involved, but it serves …

H-1B Employers: Did you ever wonder what happened to the $500 fraud fee you paid with the H-1B petition you filed?

You may find out soon. After several years of collecting the $500 fraud fee from employers filing H-1B petitions to sponsor foreign national employees, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") has increased its investigatory activities by dispatching officers and independent contractors to the places of employment indicated on the visa petition forms. Since 2005, employers have paid the $500 fraud fee with the first petition they file on behalf of new H-1B employees. With 85,000 new H-1B visas available each year, this means DHS collects at least $42.5 million annually for just the new visa numbers. That amount very …

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