Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Traditionally Mexican nationals have had to get pre-clearance from the domestic USCIS prior to applying for their Mexican TN visa.  This has added cost and time to the TN process.  Recently however the US streamlined the process for Mexican TN workers.  Mexican TN workers can now directly apply at the US Embassy or Consulate for their visa. 

The Mexican national should now complete the electronic DS-160 as the first step and include a detailed US Employment Letter.  The letter should include the legal analysis confirming that the offered position is one of the NAFTA occupations listed on NAFTA Chapter 16, Annex 1603, Appendix 1603.d.1.  

MU Law advises that the Employment letter includes:
  •          Job Title
  •          Qualifying profession in which the applicant will be engaging (from the NAFTA Professional Job Series List)
  •          Detailed description of proposed employment
  •          Location of proposed employment
  •          Full or Part-time (specify no. of hours per week)
  •          Proposed wages per hour/week
  •          Justification for employee with applicant’s profession and duration of proposed employment (explain justification)
  •          Type of licensure required for proposed employment  (note: compliance enforcement is the responsibility of local or state authority and lack of licensure is not a basis for visa refusal)

Here is the list of qualified Healthcare Occupations:

Job title
D.D.S., D.M.D., Doctor en Odontologia or Doctor en Cirugia Dental; or state/provincial license
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Medical Laboratory Technologist (Canada)/Medical Technologist (Mexico and the United States) 6
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or Post-Secondary Diploma or Post-Secondary Certificate, and three years experience
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Occupational Therapist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
Physician (teaching or research only)
M.D. or Doctor en Medicina; or state/provincial license
Physiotherapist/Physical Therapist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree; or state/provincial license
State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree
Recreational Therapist
Baccalaureate or Licenciatura Degree
Registered Nurse
State/provincial license; or Licenciatura Degree

Friday, February 21, 2014


The Fiscal Year 2015 (FY2015) H-1B cap season will begin on April 1, 2014. Last year (FY2014), the H-1B cap was reached on Day One (April 5, 2013 – the USCIS allows any H-1B petition received during the first week to be counted as a Day One filing).

From 2009-11, the H-1B cap remained opened for at least one-half the year.  For the prior three fiscal years (FY 2006-08), the H-1B cap was reached on the very first day of filing.

The FY 2015 H-1B cap demand will be high. After speaking with clients and other immigration attorney-friends, MU Law expects that the H-1B cap will move even quicker than last year.  MU Law would not be surprised if the USCIS receives twice as many H-1B cap-subject petitions as there are slots available.

If you are considering filing an H-1B cap-subject petition, MU Law urges you to begin that process now.

Many healthcare professions ordinarily qualify for H-1B status, including Physical Therapists,Occupational TherapistsSpeech Language Therapists, and some Registered Nursing positions.

International workers who are working in the U.S. on an H-1B visa with another cap-subject employer are not subject to H-1B cap. These cases are commonly referred to as “H-1B transfer” cases and may be filed at any time throughout the year.

Employees that need a "cap-subject" H-1B 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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


The NCLEX Text Plan webinar provides an overview of the NCLEX Test Plan and the various versions of the Test Plan.  The Scope of Practice, NCLEX Practice Analysis and Knowledge, Skills and Abilities webinar describes the beginning principles in the development of the NCLEX examination.  The Item Writing and Item review Webinar overviews the item development process and the processes of item writing and item review used to ensure the validity, reliability and legal defensibility of the NCLEX exam.  The NCLEX Sensitivity and Differential Item Functioning Review describes the purpose of the processes and the procedures involved with reviewing items for DIF and Sensitivity issues.

Friday, February 14, 2014


Project to project, location to location, client to client.  Many of our clients regularly relocate as their jobs demand.  A reminder that whenever you change your home address, we ask that you contact our office so we can update our records.  Most immigration forms require that we list your home address and we want to make sure that we have your correct address.
In addition to updating our law firm, you’ll need to report a change of address to the USCIS within 10 days of moving.  You can update your address with the USCIS by filing a form AR-11 in hard copy or online.  Please note that if you have an application currently pending with the USCIS you must update your address online to ensure the new address is assigned to your pending application. 
You can obtain the change of address form from the attorney or paralegal handling your case or on the USCIS website Complete the information requested on the form, including present address, last address (most recent only), A number or registration (I-94) number, country of citizenship, date of birth, and your signature.  You do not need to include temporary addresses as long as you maintain your present address as your permanent residence and continue to receive mail there.

When filing an AR-11 either online or in hard copy you should always keep a copy of the confirmation page and/or the form itself for your records.  

Monday, February 10, 2014


The Department of State has just released the February 2014 Visa Bulletin.  This is the fifth Visa Bulletin of the 2014 US Fiscal Year, which began on October 1, 2013.  

The All Other Countries EB-3 date jumped about 6 months.  It has now moved an incredible 25 months in the last 90 days!   

The Philippine EB-3 numbers also progressed nicely, advancing about 3 months.  This is the  largest EB-3 jump in some time.

The Chinese EB-2 and EB-3 continued to be flipped: the Chinese EB-2 is worse than the Chinese EB-3.  Chinese nationals who are BE-2 may be able to file an EB-3.  Chinese EB-3s should check with their attorneys to effect this change.The Chinese EB-3 mirrors the All Other EB-3.

Unfortunately India EB-2 and India EB-3 remained basically stuck at the same dates from the December 2013 Visa Bulletin.   India EB-3 moved one week.

The full chart is at the end of the post.

The Visa Bulletin also included some predictions on future progression:

EMPLOYMENT-based categories (potential monthly movement)
Employment First:  Current
Employment Second:
Worldwide:  Current
China:  Three to five weeks
India:  No forward movement
Employment Third:
Worldwide:  This cut-off date has been advanced over four and one half years since last spring in an effort to generate new demand. After such a rapid advance of a cut-off date applicant demand for number use, particularly for adjustment of status cases, can be expected to increase significantly. Once such demand begins to materialize at a greater rate it could have a significant impact on this cut-off date situation. Little, if any forward movement of this cut-off date is likely during the next few months. 
China:  Will remain at the worldwide date
India:  Little if any movement
Mexico:  Will remain at the worldwide date
Philippines:  Three to six weeks

March 2014 Visa Bulletin 
All Other Countries

Thursday, February 6, 2014


In anticipation of the H-1B cap filing date of April 1, 2014, MU Law will be holding a free teleconference for our clients on February 12, 2014 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 in the first week; 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, 2014 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.