Tuesday, October 30, 2012


MU hopes that its clients and friends enjoy a Happy Halloween from "Boo-Sillo" Unkenholt.

*Note - this is what our lobby actually looks like right now!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Reader of this Blog may want to participate in two upcoming Conferences. 

The NBCOT will be holding their 18th Annual Conference in Alexandria, Virginia on October 26-27.  The Annual Conference will focus on Contemporary Issues impacting Occupational State Therapy Regulation.  This year’s conference features speakers covering a variety of topics, including: NBCOT Certification Examinations –A Defensible Measure of OT Knowledge, and a discussion on Social Media.

The AAIHR’s Annual Meeting is designed for individuals that recruit foreign trained RNs, PTs, OTs, SLPs, and other healthcare professionals and are interested in the regulation of nursing and allied health professions, and other information relating to the challenges and opportunities in the industry.   The Annual Meeting will include speakers such as Franklin A. Shaffer, EdD, RN, FAAN; current CEO of CGFNS International and a representative from the Philippine Embassy in the United States.  The AAIHR Annual Meeting is set for Friday November 2, 2012 in Arlington, Virginia.  

Monday, October 22, 2012


The FSBPT, which had announced an NPTE rate increase would take place on January 1, 2013, has delayed the implementation of the rate increase until January 1, 2014.   The NPTE fee was to be increased to $400.  It will now stay at $370 for one more year.

The FSBPT gave several reasons for delaying the fee increase.  Most interesting was their projection that NPTE filings would decrease in the upcoming years.  FSBPT predicts that the increase in NPTE volume will shrink to 3% per year.  FSBPT previously expected a 5% annual increase in NPTE volume.

Friday, October 12, 2012


The Department of State has just released the November 2012 Visa Bulletin. The news was a mixed bag.  For EB2s (except India and China) visa numbers are current, meaning that there is immediate visa eligibility for these applicants   

The India EB-2 number has remained back to September 2004. MU still believes that this is a very conservative visa number and we would expect the number to move forward in the next few months. As a point of reference, the November 2010 Visa Bulletin was May 2006 and there simply cannot be that many EB-2 immigrant visas pending from 2004-2006, in spite of a likely uptick in EB-2 conversions from EB-3 priority dates. Applicants with India EB-2 priority dates from 2004-2006 have been able to apply for their Adjustments of Status without much impediment for two years. China EB-2 moved ahead by two months.

The EB-3 numbers continue their very slow progressions. These numbers are only noteworthy by their consistency. MU Law expects this trend to continue into the future.

November 2012 Visa Bulletin
All Other CountriesChina IndiaPhilippines
EB-2Current 01SEP0701SEP04Current

Monday, October 8, 2012


The US Department of Labor reported on Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8%, which is the lowest rate since the recession started.  This rate is still historically quite high.  The unemployment rate never exceeded 8 % between 1984-2009.

Many question why the US should allow H-1B visas if many US workers are out of work.  The answer is that H-1B visa usage is a microeconomic phenomenon, not a macroeconomic one.

H-1B visas are used by industries in short supply.  These industries include IT, science, engineering, and healthcare.  Not coincidentally, these industries are expected to have continued demand for future workers. 

The Brookings Institute says that the occupations with the largest supply vacancies are:
1. Computer Occupations
2. Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners
3. Other Management Occupations
4. Financial Specialists
5. Business Operations Specialists
6. Sales Representatives, Services
7. Engineers
8. Information and Record Clerks
9. Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations, and Sales Managers
10. Supervisors of Sales Workers

US high school students ought to be preparing for these jobs if they want to be adequately employed when they reach adulthood.  Until then, American companies will search around the world for talented workers to fill these supply shortages. 

One bogeyman in the H-1B debate has always been that H-1B workers are only used to tamp down US wages and supplant American jobs.  As we have argued many times in the past, there is little evidence that this is actually the case for at least two reasons.

For one, if the H-1B program was being used to reduce wages and displace American workers, we would see H-1B workers spread across many industries, instead of concentrated in just a few industries.  But we don't see that.  We see H-1B workers concentrated in just a few industries   

Also, we would see more consistent annual H-1B usage by US employers.  The incentive to reduce workers’ salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less.  However, when the economy was in its weakest state, there were many fewer H-1B visa petitions filed by US businesses.

Critics of the H-1B system should acknowledge that the H-1B system does what was designed to do.  It provides needed workers in industries where workers are needed.  It is not a macroeconomic policy, but a microeconomic one.  The national unemployment rate has little relevance.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Tonight is the first of the three Presidential debates between incumbent President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.  The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Romney has to score some points in the debate in order to close Mr. Obama’s increasing lead in the polls.

The debate will take place in Colorado, a state that has seen very high levels of immigration in recent years.  Mitt Romney has endorsed President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  DACA allows foreign nationals who entered the US prior to their 16th birthday to obtain working and traveling authorization, provided that they do not have a felony conviction (or three misdemeanors) and are high school graduates or armed forces veteran.  President Obama recently said that the failure to pass positive immigration legislation may have been the biggest failing of his first term in office.

Readers of this blog will be keen to see if the Presidential candidates discuss employment-based immigration.  House Republicans and Democrats have offered competing versions of a similar STEM visa bill.  The STEM bill allows foreign-national graduates to have their green cards on a fast-track.

There is a deal to be made between Democrats and Republicans during the upcoming lame duck session.  The technology industry continues to put pressure on Congress to pass the bill, which is generally popular with the public.  If one of the candidates can show leadership on this issue and raise it during the debate, it may foreshadow a serious and credible candidate on immigration.

Monday, October 1, 2012


MU's Chris Musillo has been selected as the Discussion Leader on Thursday's AILA Teleconference, Third Party-Site Placement: Hs and Ls.  AILA members can register on AILA’s website.  The Teleconference will focus on the legal issues incumbent in staffing company businesses: Healthcare staffing, IT staffing, and Hospitalist organizations.

Date: Thursday, October 4, 2012 @ 2:00 pm (EDT)
Title: Third Party-Site Placement: Hs and Ls

This panel will discuss how to deal with situations where an H-1B or L-1 sponsor places a beneficiary at a third party location. The panel will discuss the key issues in third party site placement including how to determine if the beneficiary is actually an employee of the sponsoring entity sufficient for H-1B or L-1 approval. Panelists will also discuss practical ways to demonstrate the employer-employee relationship in the petition and recent trends by USCIS and FDNS.

What Is Third Party Site Placement? Common Definition and Every Day Examples
Is the Third Party Site Placement Scenario Contemplated/Mentioned in the H and L Regulations and How Do Hs and Ls Differ?
The 2010 Third Party Site Placement Neufeld Memorandum with 2012 Q&A Update
The Employer-Employee Relationship: How Does the Petitioner Establish Control? Evidence, Support Letter, Any Magic Language?
The LCA, Confirming Third Party Placement, and FDNS Treatment: Preparing for Site Visits!

Christopher T. Musillo (dl), Cincinnati, OH
Elahe Najfabadi, Los Angeles, CA
Nataliya Rymer, Philadelphia, PA