Wednesday, February 27, 2013


MU Lawyers Chris Musillo and Cindy Unkenholt will be featured presenters at the 2013 NPA Global Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  NPA, The Worldwide Recruiting Network is a trade association that connects independent global recruiting firms.  NPA is the oldest recruiting network of its kind, with an international membership of recruiting firms located throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the Americas.  The MU Law presentation focuses on International Healthcare Visa Options.  If you are at the Conference please stop by and say hello.

Monday, February 25, 2013


Charles Oppenheim of the Department of State is the person most responsible for each month’s Visa Bulletin.  In a conversation with AILA, Mr. Oppenheim recently discussed projections for future Visa Bulletins.  MU Law has spoken with Mr. Oppenheim several times in the past and have always found that his projections are well thought out and very accurate.
Here are some important notes from that conversation:
  • India EB2 will see very little movement in the foreseeable future.  Many immigrant visa applicants with old India EB3s are recapturing these dates in subsequent EB2 applications, thereby holding back the progression of India EB2.  Current numbers indicate that there are approximately 42,000 India EB2 cases in line with priority dates prior to May 2010.  These numbers cannot account for future upgraded India EB3s.
  • The USCIS and DOS have pre-adjudicated 44,000 India EB-3 Applications with priority dates before August 2007.  Therefore it will be several years before India EB-3 progresses beyond that date.
  • There are 12,000 India EB3 cases with priority dates before January 2004, which means that India EB3 will not improve into 2004 for at least one or two years.
  • Worldwide EB-3 has 42,000 pre-adjudicated cases with priority dates before March 2007.  Still, the Worldwide EB-3 date is May 2007.  Mr. Oppenheim did not say it, but it reasonable follows that many of these 42,000 Worldwide EB-3s likely have been abandoned.
·         Because it is impossible to predict how many EB2s are upgraded to EB2, it is nearly impossible to predict future dates.  For instance, Worldwide EB3 had 1,100 upgrades in December 2012.  In 2007, there were only 72 upgrades for the entire year. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


The US allows 65,000 new cap-subject H-1Bs in any fiscal year.  Added to that is another 20,000 H-1Bs for those who have graduated from US Master's degree programs.  There is no limit on cap-exempt H-1B employers.  Cap-exempt employers are nonprofit entities (or their affiliates) who are associated, owned or attached to a university.  Some research facilities are also exempt from the H-1B cap. 

Computerworld reports that 134,780 cap-subject H-1Bs were approved in fiscal year 2013 (the filing period for cap-subject FY2013 H-1Bs was April 1, 2012 – June 12, 2012).  This is the greatest number of filings since FY2007.  Computerworld notes that all of the top H-1B users are all technology companies.  There are not any healthcare companies anywhere near the top of the list.  Will Congress carve out a visa path for these badly needed healthcare workers? 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


The Department of State has just released the March 2013 Visa Bulletin.  This Visa Bulletin shows minor progress from last month's Visa Bulletin.

Overall, the news remains disappointing.  India EB-2 remained at September 1, 2004 for the fifth month.  The Philippine EB-3 date was equally disappointing, moving just one week, to September 1, 2006.

On the other hand, All Other and Philippine EB-2 dates remained Current.  The All Other EB-3 jumped continued to steadily progress, improving about six weeks. 

 As MU Law mentioned earlier, we expect the Philippine EB-2 number to remain Current or near Current until Spring/Summer 2013, when it should become unavailable as it does most Summers.

March 2013 Visa Bulletin
All Other CountriesChina IndiaPhilippines

Monday, February 11, 2013


Occupational Therapist candidates are reminded that the filed of Occupational Therapy raised its minimum educational standard on January 1, 2013.  All applications that are postmarked after January 1, 2013 can only be filed by Masters Degree prepared OTs.  

The NBCOT reminds applicants that starting July 31, Occupational Therapy Education Determination (OTED) applicants who do not hold a master's degree in Occupational Therapy will be deemed incomplete

An application is deemed incomplete when one or more of the documentation requirements remains outstanding:

•Official Final Transcript
•Official course descriptions and course syllabi with date of degree completed on syllabi
•Verification of Academic Credential Form
•Program Director Form
•Verification of OT License, Registration, Certification or Other Form of Official Government Recognition Request form

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


There is a new fee of $165.00 for Consular Processed Immigrant Visa (green card) appointments, effective February 1, 2013.  This fee will not apply to I-485, Applications for Adjustment of Status.  Applicants will pay online through the USCIS website after they receive their visa package from Department of State and before they depart for the United States.

The DOS will provide applicants with specific information on how to submit payment when they attend their consular interview. The new fee is in addition to NVC fees charged by DOS associated with an individual’s immigrant visa application.

The USCIS has set up a dedicated webpage to handle the payment of the immigrant Visa Fee.

Monday, February 4, 2013


In anticipation of the H-1B cap filing date of April 1, 2013, MU Law will be holding a free teleconference for our clients on February 13, 2013 at 2PM / 11AM PT.  Interested clients should email MU’s Lauren Gramke, who can register you for the teleconference.

Last year the H-1B cap was reached on June 11, 2012; we expect that the demand will be greater this year.  It is imperative that all H-1B cap-subject Petitions are filled on April 1, 2013 in order to insure that the H-1B Petition qualifies under this year’s H-1B cap.

H-1B cap-subject petitions include:

* International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school
* International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case
* Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1
* H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization
* Prospective international employees currently living abroad

In addition to the H-1B cap discussion, MU lawyers will also provide an employment-based immigration legislation update.

Please contact your MU immigration attorney if you have any questions about this MU Visa Advisor or any other immigration issue. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


The Philippines continues to produce nurses, in spite of a global recession entering its fifth year.  GMA News reports that the Philippines produced about 100,000 nurses last year, about triple the Philippines 36,000/year need.

This is not unusual for a country that acknowledges that overseas employment is a key part of its government policy.  The natural result of educating a greater number of nurses is that the licensure pass rates of the nurses will decrease.    The Philippine nursing will need to make sure that the quality of the education does not suffer as the volume of nursing students increases, which is certain to happen in the next few years.  These schools traditionally have been good at adapting to these macro-economic labor trends.  There is no reason to think that they won't be in the future.