Friday, April 20, 2018

CHECKING IN ON THE VISA BULLETIN

The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin guru, Charlie Oppenheim, hosts monthly meetings with the American Immigration Lawyers Association.  Charlie Oppenheim is the Department of State’s Chief of the Control and Reporting Division. He is the officer who is responsible for producing the Visa Bulletin each month.

This month’s Check In With Charlie featured predictions about EB2 and EB3, which are the most popular categories for readers of this Blog.  Here are some of this month’s highlights:

Categories in which final action dates will remain the same include-
EB-1 China and India;
EB-2 India;
EB-3 China and Philippines;
EB-4 El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and
EB-5 China.

Categories with modest advancements-
EB-2 China will move forward one month to September 1, 2014;
EB-3 India will advance three months to May 1, 2008;
EB-3 Other Workers China and India will advance one and three months respectively, to May 1, 2007 and May 1, 2008; and
EB-4 Mexico will advance roughly five weeks to October 22, 2016.

It is likely that most employment-based final action dates will hold at their May dates for the month of June with some changes possible in July. What occurs is entirely dependent on demand that may materialize, and continuing consultations with USCIS. The wildcard this year that could cause unanticipated fluctuations in the final action dates is the pace of USCIS field office processing of I-485s.

Friday, April 13, 2018

USCIS RECEIVES 190,000 H-1B CAP PETITIONS


USCIS announced that it received 190,098 petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption (compared to the 199,000 H-1B petitions received during the FY2018 filing period).

USCIS is in the process of running the H-1B lottery and notifying H-1B cap winners.  Petitioners should expect about 44% of their H-1B cap filings to be H-1B cap winners.  Based on prior years, we will receive H-1B lottery winner receipts throughout April and May.  After that we will receive the H-1B lottery loser petitions.  Traditionally if you do not receive a winner receipt notice by June 1, you have probably lost the H-1B lottery.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

MAY 2018 VISA BULLETIN: NEWS AND ANALYSIS

The Department of State has just issued the May 2018 Visa Bulletin.  This is the eighth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2018.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

May 2018 Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
01JAN12
01JAN12
C
C
EB-2
C
01SEP14
22DEC08 
C
C
EB-3
01JUN15
01MAY08 

01JAN17      

Table B: Dates for Filing -- The DOS may work on applications with these dates. But the Visa cannot be approved until the date is current per Table A.

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
C
C
C
EB-2
C
01FEB15
01APR09 
C
C
EB-3
01JAN16
01SEP08 

01JUL17       

MU Law Analysis (all references are to Table A unless noted)

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The EB-3 is also current and is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future.

China (mainland-born):  As with all categories this month, the movements were minor or nonexistent.  It would not surprise MU if the Chinese numbers stayed steady through the fiscal year.  China EB-2 is a better bet to progress than EB-3, although it remains doubtful that EB-2 progresses ahead of EB-3.

India:  India EB-3 had the most promising move of all EB categories, progressing from February to May 2008, which marks two consecutive months of great progress.  This likely reflects the fact that many older Indian EB-3s have either dropped out of the system or have upgraded to EB-2.  For a long time, MU Law has believed that India EB-3 would move much faster, once India EB-3 moved past 2007.

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in analysis.

Philippines: Phils EB-3 stayed steady, which is not surprising considering the enormous progressions of the last few years. The Phils EB-3 number will probably continue to only move slowly, reflecting the large numbers of Philippine RN EB-3 petitions that were filed in 2016-2018.

Friday, April 6, 2018

H-1B CAP 2018 HAS BEEN REACHED


USCIS today that it has received more than 85,000-1B cap-subject petitions They did not specify how many H-1B cap-subject petitions were received.  We expect to know the overage within the next few weeks.  Last year, the announcement happened on April 17.

USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to:
  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States;
  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers;
  • Amend the H-1B petition to notify the USCIS of the filing of a new LCA and/or geographic change in employment;
  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and
  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second, contemporaneous part-time H-1B position. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

WHICH US CITIES ATTRACT H-1B WORKERS?


The Pew Research Center has a new, fascinating study that shows the destination of H-1B workers.  The most surprising result is that the Bay Area attracts fewer H-1B workers than one might expect. 

From the study:

The San Jose, California, metro area, home of Silicon Valley, trailed the leading metro area on these measures, despite being home to some of the world’s most famous technology companies. The San Jose metro area had 22,200 H-1B approvals from fiscal 2010 to 2016, which amounted to two approvals per 100 workers.

The average H-1B worker earns $80,600, which is considerably higher than the average college-educated American, who earns $72,376.  In many Midwestern cities, it is impossible to make the case that H-1B workers are driving down salaries or that H-1B workers are saturating the supply of workers.

Metro Area
H-1B worker per 1,000 US workers
Avg H-1B Salary
Indianapolis
0.640
$71,700
Minneapolis
1.000
$90,500
Birmingham
1.240
$80,900
St. Louis
1.260
$84,700
Kansas City
1.260
$76,500
Denver
1.270
$91,300
Cincinnati
1.370
$70,200
Omaha
1.440
$90,400
Oklahoma City
1.470
$72,800
Columbus
1.760
$72,500

In all of these metropolitan areas, there are only 1 or 2 H-1B workers per 1,000 US workers, which is a minuscule percentage of the workforce.  As usual, the bluster around the H-1B program pales in comparison to the actual facts.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

THE BLOG IS TWELVE YEARS OLD


I'm taking a brief time-out from the usual updates on healthcare immigration to note that this blog is now twelve years old!   The first blog post was on March 27, 2006 when I was with Hammond Law Group.  At that time, very few immigration law blogs existed.  The idea of a blog with such a narrow focus seemed a little naive, but thanks to a regular readership the blog has thrived.  

In November 2007 Sam at ILW.com asked if I would like to syndicate my blog through ILW.com, which I immediately agreed to do. Readership doubled.    ILW.com has been a leader in immigration law information and a great supporter.  ILW.com now houses about a dozen blogs.  This one was the second, after Greg Siskind’s blog.

The blog’s main page at Musillo.com regularly attracts 15,000 monthly page views, sometimes doubling or tripling that number.  The current iteration of the blog (since 2009) passed one million page views earlier this month!

The best part about the blog has been the people that have connected with me through the blog.  I've been in Senate staff meetings and had their senior staff tell me that were regular readers.  AILA's Annual Conference is always a fun time because there are always a few attendees who read my name tag and tell me that they are regular readers.  Readers are always commenting. They are the blog's lifeblood. 

Thanks to all of you for your kind words and input.

The blog is accessible through a number of channels.  I hope that you will keep reading and commenting.

Main Page: www.musillo.com
ILW.com syndication: http://blogs.ilw.com/nurse_immigration/
Subscribe via Email: (right hand side) www.musillo.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MusilloUnkenholtLLC
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChrisMusillo


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

USCIS TO SUSPEND PPS FOR H-1B CAP CASES

USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all FY 2019 cap-subject petitions, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher. This suspension is expected to last until Sept. 10, 2018.

During this time, USCIS will continue to accept premium processing requests for H-1B petitions that are not subject to the FY 2019 cap.

USCIS’ press release says that this temporary suspension will help them reduce overall H-1B processing times in these ways:

-Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
-Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark. 

Starting April 2, 2018, USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 cap.  The H-1b cap is expected to be reached during the first week in April.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

VISA BULLETIN APRIL 2018: MASSIVE PROGRESSIONS IN INDIA AND PHILIPPINES

The Department of State has just issued the April 2018 Visa Bulletin.  This is the seventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2018.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

April 2018 Visa Bulletin

Table A: Final Action Dates -- Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card) or Immigrant Visa appointment.

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
01JAN12
01JAN12
C
C
EB-2
C
01AUG14
22DEC08 
C
C
EB-3
01JUN15
01FEB08 

01JAN17      

Table B: Dates for Filing -- The DOS may work on applications with these dates. But the Visa cannot be approved until the date is current per Table A.

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
C
C
C
EB-2
C
01FEB15
08FEB09 
C
C
EB-3
01JAN16
01APR08 

01JUL17    

MU Law Analysis (all references are to Table A unless noted)

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The EB-3 is also current and is expected to remain current for the foreseeable future.

China (mainland-born):  Both China EB-2 and EB-3 favorably progressed, each by more than 6 months in Table A.  The China EB-3 remains more favorable than Chinese EB-2.  The odd situation of China EB-3 progressing faster than China EB-2 will remain to be the case for the foreseeable future.  The Chinese EB-1 date retrogressed back to 2012.  We will have a blog post about this shortly.

India:  Although EB-2 barely moved, EB-3 leaped ahead one year!  This is terrific news for Indian EB-3 cases.  While we do not think that another one year movement is in the future, it would not surprise us if the progress holds because (a) the 2007 Visa Gate situation has now passed, and (b) the 2007-12 recession led to a smaller number of green card filings than would have otherwise been filed.  The India EB-1 date retrogressed back to 2012.  We will have a blog post about this shortly.

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in analysis.

Philippines: While our internal measures indicated last month that we should be optimistic that Phils EB-3 would continue to move forward, we did not expect just how positive the progression would be.  Phils EB-3 is now at Jan 2017, which is only a 14 month retrogression. Great news indeed!