Monday, August 21, 2017

VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS FOR 2017-18

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 projections for EB-2 and EB-3, which are the most popular categories for readers of this Blog.  Here are some of this month’s highlights, along with our analysis:

EB-2 Worldwide.  The Worldwide EB-2 should return to current in October and remain there for the rest of this calendar year.

EB-2 India.  This category is expected to use the full allotment of visas in September, which may result in the category becoming temporarily unavailable.  Charlie hopes to advance the final action date to December 2008 in the 1Q 2018.  It may advance into 2009 at some point in late FY2018.

EB-2 and EB-3 China. In FY2018, EB-2 and EB-3 will return to the prior inverted condition where China EB-3 has a smaller retrogression than China EB-3.  History tells us that this leads to China EB-3 “downgrades”.

EB-3 Worldwide.  This category will remain current or close to current for the foreseeable future.

EB-3 India.  This category will advance about one retrogress month by one real calendar month in FY 2018. 

EB-3 Philippines.   It is not expected that FY2018 will be as positive as FY2017 was to this category.  Charlie speculates, and Musillo Unkenholt can confirm based on our internal metrics, that progressions will slow in FY2018.  We expect an average of about a 1.5-2-year retrogression in FY 2018.  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

MU’S MARIA SCHNEIDER TO SPEAK AT ALABAMA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION’S “LAWYER UNIVERSITY”

Senior Associate, Maria Schneider, will be speaking to attorneys in Birmingham on August 24, 2017 as a part of the Alabama State Bar Association’s Lawyer University.

Lawyer University is an initiative of the Alabama State Bar that monitors changing economic and technological trends affecting the state’s attorneys and helps the attorneys to obtain the practical skills needed to meet these challenges and trends.

Schneider will speak on the basics of business-based immigration and the shifting landscape under the Trump Administration.  Schneider will be joined by other lawyers, speaking on personal jurisdiction, cybersecurity, and electronic discovery.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS

The Department of State has just issued the September 2017 Visa Bulletin.  This is the final Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2017.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

NOTE: Please be sure to read our Post, "What does the August Visa Bulletin Mean?"

September 2017 Visa Bulletin

Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
01JAN12
01JAN12 
C
C
EB-2
01JAN16
15MAY13
22AUG08 
01JAN16
01JAN16
EB-3
01JAN12
15OCT06 

01NOV15       


MU Law Analysis

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The slight retrogression is temporary and will revert back to Current in October 2017.  The EB-3 progression has long been effectively current, and is, in fact, current in this Bulletin.

China (mainland-born):   The DOS instituted a retrogression for China EB-1 with the June Visa Bulletin, which remains.  The continued high level of demand for EB-1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 

The China EB-2 date again moved up, by about one month. The DOS recently noted that there has been an extremely large increase in EB-3s during the past month. The China EB-3 date remains at January 2012, which is where it was in July.  It is now slower than China EB-2. 

India:  As with China, India EB-1 now is retrogressed.  It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 


EB-2 India moved ahead by a month.  EB-3 India jumped into late 2006, which was a pleasant surprise.  The DOS is clearly trying to ensure that all visa numbers are used in FY2016. 

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead to November 2015!  This is yet another incredible  progression.   The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out all of the 2010 through 2015 EB-3 visas in less than one year.  This is even more positive than we expected.  

Our internal metrics see the Philippine EB-3 number continuing to progress at a rapid clip for the rest of 2017.


The retrogression of the EB-2 (Phils) number is nothing to be concerned about.  It will return to Current in October 2017.  Note that all EB-2s retrogressed, which reflects heavier demand than usual in the entirety of the EB-2 category.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

CINCINNATI IMMIGRATION CONFERENCE

Musillo Unkenholt Immigration Law is hosting a live in-person conference for business professionals in the Greater Cincinnati area on the topics of H-1Bs and immigration under the Trump Administration.


This Cincinnati Immigration Seminar will feature these topics:
  • ·         Business Immigration visas: H-1B, L-1, TN, OPT, F-1
  • ·         Business Immigration Green Cards: PERM, I-140, I-485
  • ·         Entrepreneur and investor options: EB-5, E-1, E-2
  • ·         Immigration Compliance: I-9s, E-Verify, Public Access Files
  • ·         Impact of Pres. Trump’s policies on business immigration
  • ·         Legislative and Regulatory changes that may be on the horizon

The conversation will be led by MU's immigration lawyers who have a combined experience in immigration of over two decades.

The conference will begin at 8 AM and go to 10:30 AM. A courtesy continental breakfast will be provided at the beginning of the event.

Parking is available underneath the hotel in their parking garage, as well as on the streets surrounding the hotel.

Please do not hesitate to contact us via email with any more questions you may have regarding the presentation or our services.

Monday, July 31, 2017

WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE CONFIRMATION OF THE NEW USCIS DIRECTOR?

In April Pres. Trump nominated Lee Francis Cissna to be the Director of the USCIS. USCIS is a sub-agency of the Department of Homeland Security. USCIS is tasked with processing immigration applications and petitions. The Director normally reports directly to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Because it is such an important position, any nomination for USCIS Director requires confirmation by the Senate.

Three months have now passed since the Cissna nomination. Although the President has complained loudly about Senate Democrats holding up confirmations, that does not seem to be the case with Mr. Cissna's nomination. 

In mid-May, Pro Publica reported that Mr. Cissna had spent much of the last few years ghost-writing letters on behalf of Sen. Grassley (R-IA).  These letters were aimed at dismantling much of Pres. Obama’s immigration policies. 
On May 31, Mr. Cissna testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Three hundred immigration stakeholders have since pushed the administration to withdraw Mr. Cissna’s nomination.

Mr. Cissna’s confirmation hold-up does not entirely appear to be about the Cissna policies raised by Pro Publica. In fact, the confirmation hold-up was a leverage play by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC). Senate custom allows a single Senator to delay a 
confirmation

Why did Sen. Tills delay Cissna's confirmation?  Sen. Tillis wanted an increase of H-2B visas, which are temporary visas used in seasonal occupations. North Carolina uses more H-2B visas than 47 other states, trailing only Texas and Colorado. In mid-July, the President caved into Sen. Tillis’ demands and released an additional 15,000 H-2B visas. Only then did Sen. Tillis agree to lift his hold on the confirmation.

Yet Mr. Cissna’s confirmation continues to sit. Right-wing media, who are fans of Mr. Cissna’s views, are ramping up the pressure on the GOP Senate to move forward.

Because the Cissna nomination is still stuck, questions remain: Is Mr. Cissna going to be confirmed before the August recess? Is his delay more about him or more about the Senate’s packed schedule? Will the forthcoming DHS Secretary withdraw Mr. Cissna and want to appoint his own candidate? We should know a lot between now and the recess.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

REGISTER FOR MU HEALTHCARE IMMIGRATION WEBINAR ON AUGUST 1

MU Law is pleased to announce a free healthcare immigration webinar on August 1, 2017 at 3PM ET for all clients and friend of the firm.  It is ideal for US employers, staffing companies, recruiters, and others interested in healthcare immigration.


 The Healthcare Immigration Seminar will feature these topics:
  • Green card Immigration for Nurses and Physical Therapists (Schedule A occupations)
  • Filing for Green card when you have an Unanticipated Worksite
  • Visa Screens and Healthcare Worker Certificates
  • FCCPT and the future of PT immigration
  • H-1B visas for PTs, OTs, Med Techs, and other allied healthcare workers
  • Managing Social Security Numbers and Licensure
  • H-1B cap-exempt entities
  • Immigration under the Trump administration
  • Legislative and Regulatory changes that may be on the horizon

Monday, July 24, 2017

PORTING AN I-485 TO A NEW EMPLOYER

Last year the USCIS issued new guidance regarding when a foreign national can port his/her I-485.  Under the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act (AC21) a foreign national can change his/her employer or job during the green card process once the I-485 has been pending for 180 day or more.

When changing positions, the green card applicant and their new employer, must file a form I-485(j) with the USCIS confirming the new employer is taking over the green card case, agrees to pay the prevailing wage, and that the new position is the same or similar to the position described in the green card application.

The USCIS will consider the totality of the circumstances when determining if the green card job and the new job are the same or similar.  Specifically, 2016 memo describes how Immigration Officers can review the occupation codes assigned to both jobs by the Department of Labor when determining if the two jobs are the same or similar.

Evidence that the positions are the same or similar can include:
  • ·         The job duties of both positions;
  • ·         The skills, expertise, education, training, licenses or certifications specifically required to perform each job;
  • ·         The wages offered for each job; and
  • ·         Any other material and credible evidence relevant to the determination.

Green card applicants can also port their I-485s when, in their new position, they are primarily responsible for managing the same or similar function of their original job.  For example, if a PT is promoted to Senior PT and supervises other PTs and PTAs.  It is also acceptable for the applicant to manage workers in a different occupation if the change in position is a normal career progression.  For instance, if an OT is promoted to Rehab Manager, the OT may be supervising other OTs as well as OTAs, PTs, PTAs, SLPs, and others.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

VISA BULLETIN PROJECTIONS FOR THE REST OF 2017

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 projections for EB2 and EB3, which are the most popular categories for readers of this Blog.  Here are some of this month’s highlights, along with our analysis:

EB-2 Worldwide.  Although there may be a retrogression in September, the Worldwide EB-2 should return to current in October and remain there for the rest of this calendar year.

EB-2 India.  This category is expected to use the full allotment of visas in September, which may result in the category becoming temporarily unavailable.  It should have a July 2008 date in October 2017.

EB-3 Worldwide.  This category will remain current or close to current for the foreseeable future.

EB-3 India.  This category will advance several months in September 2017.  However, because of expected demand in FY 2018 for EB-3 Worldwide, we will not see fast progress after October 2017.  India EB-3 benefited in FY 2017 because demand for Worldwide EB-3 was light, resulting in Worldwide EB-3 numbers spilling into India EB-3.

EB-3 Philippines.  In FY 2018, we will not see this category move nearly as fast as it did in FY 2017. We will have a better idea of where Phils EB-3 is headed with the publication of the October 2017 Visa Bulletin, which is the first of FY 2018.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AUGUST 2017 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS

The Department of State has just issued the August 2017 Visa Bulletin.  This is the eleventh Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2017.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

NOTE: Please be sure to read our Post, "What does the August Visa Bulletin Mean?"

August 2017 Visa Bulletin

Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
01JAN12
01JAN12 
C
C
EB-2
01APR15
22APR13
22JUL08 
01APR15
01APR15
EB-3
01JAN12
15JUL06 

01JUN15       


MU Law Analysis

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The slight retrogression is temporary and will revert back to Current in October 2017.  The EB-3 progression has long been effectively current, and is, in fact, current in August.

China (mainland-born):   The DOS instituted a retrogression for China EB-1 with the June Visa Bulletin, which remains.  The continued high level of demand for EB-1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 


The China EB-2 date again moved up, by one month.  The DOS notes that there has been an extremely large increase in EB-3s during the past month. The China EB-3 date remains at January 2012, which is where it was in July.  It is now slower than China EB-2. 

India:  As with China, India EB-1 now is retrogressed.  It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 


EB-2 India held steady.  EB-3 India jumped into 2006, last month, which was a pleasant surprise.  It moved up again, this time into mid-2006.  The DOS is clearly trying to ensure that all visa numbers are used in FY2016. 

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead one full year!  This is the second straight one year progression.   The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out all of the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and half of 2015 EB-3 visas in less than one year.  This is even more positive than we expected.  

Our internal metrics see the Philippine EB-3 number continuing to progress at a rapid clip for the rest of 2017.


The retrogression of the EB-2 (Phils) number is nothing to be concerned about.  It will return to Current in October 2017.  Note that all EB-2s retrogressed, which reflects heavier demand than usual in the entirety of the EB-2 category.  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

MU LAW IS NOW ON LINKED IN


MU Law has a vibrant social media presence, which now includes Linked In.

If you are on Linked In, please take a moment a follow MU Law on Linked In.  We will be cross-posting articles and items of interest. 

We also have 1000+ followers on Facebook.  Are you one of our followers?  If not, please follow us there too!



Monday, June 26, 2017

POST H-1B CAP 2017 & TRUMP ADMINISTRATION WEBINAR


______________________________________________________________________________________________

Come join us as MU Law explores the latest legal topics on the H-1B Cap 2017 & the Trump Administration by hosting a free educational webinar

Who's Invited?
Clients & Friends

When?
June 29, 2017 @ 3PM / 12PM PT

Where? 
The Webinar will take place on Livestorm.co 

Please click the link below to register
Please register for the conference at Livestorm.co

You will be provided a link for the event once registered! 
______________________________________________________________________________________________

This year, the H-1B cap was reached in the first week with approximately 199,000 petition filings. Our webinar will feature in a range of topics including:

Alternatives for employees not chosen in this year’s CAP; Preparing your employee for the consulate interview; H-1B Dependency Rule & Issues with staffing companies; H1-B Amendments; Site Visits, and more.

The webinar will also have a special update on the new Trump Administration. MU Law’s Chris Musillo, who has recently traveled to Washington DC, will provide an update on what potential changes will be coming to employment-based immigration considering the new administration and recently issues memos.

The webinar will last for approximately 90 minutes, including a live Q&A session at the end.

We hope to see you there! 
______________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information on the agenda of the webinar, please see below. Thank you.

  1. H-1B Cap 
    • Alternatives for employees not chosen in this year's CAP
    • Preparing your employee for the consulate interview
    • On-boarding an employee
  2. H-1Bs in 2017
    • H-1B Dependency Rule (LCA & 50/50 rule) 
    • H-1B issues for Staffing Companies and Third-Party Placements
      • What is Third-Party Placement v. In-House work?
    • March 31, 2017 Computer Programmer Memo
      • Rescinds the December 22, 2000 Terry Way memo issues to the Nebraska Service Center 
      • Implications for future H-1B filings 
    • H-1B Amendments 
      • Short Term Placement Rule (30-day rule)
      • Amendment pending but employee is now moving to new work site. What is the Employer's strategy? 
      • Employee is still abroad but work site changes
      • Pending H-1B CAP case but the assignment no longer exists 
    • Site visits
      • How can the Employer prepare for a site visit? 
      • How can you prepare your employee for a site visit? 
  3. Immigration in the era of the Trump Administration
    • Traveling and Consular Process
    • Potential regulatory changes 
    • Potential legislative changes 
  4. Q&A


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

VISA BULLETIN UPDATE: PHILS EB-3 SHOULD ADVANCE INTO 2015

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:

Philippine EB-3:  Charlie expects to aggressively move this category into mid/late 2015 before the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2017).  MU Law believes that the category will continue to be positive, although we do not expect that the significant progression will continue once the Visa Bulletin after the fiscal year, because demand for Philippine EB-3 was heavy in 2016.  Having said that, we do expect continued steady movement forward.

Worldwide EB-3:  This category should continue to be effectively current, with a retrogression of only a few weeks/months.

India EB-2:  Charlie expects minimal movement forward.  Charlie claims that 40 percent of the India EB-2 demand is from India EB-3 upgrades.

India EB-3.  This number will be aggressive advanced because Worldwide EB-3 demand has slowed.  As a matter of process, unused Worldwide EB-3 numbers spill into the slowest EB-3 category (India).

Friday, June 9, 2017

JULY 2017 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS AND PREDICTIONS

The Department of State has just issued the June 2017 Visa Bulletin.  This is the ninth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2017.  This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

July 2017 Visa Bulletin

Final Action Dates

Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).

EB 
Class 
All Other  
CHINA       
INDIA     
MEXICO   
PHIL'PNES    
EB-1
C
01JAN12
01JAN12 
C
C
EB-2
22MAR13
22JUL08 
C
C
EB-3
08JUN17 
01JAN12
15FEB06 
08JUN17 

15MAY14       


MU Law Analysis

All Other:  The EB-2 has been current for many years.  The EB-3 progression continues to be effectively current.

China (mainland-born):   The DOS instituted a retrogression for China EB-1 with the June Visa Bulletin.  The continued high level of demand for EB-1 numbers for USCIS adjustment of status applicants has required the establishment of a date for June. It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 


The China EB-2 date again moved up, but only a few weeks.  The DOS notes that there has been an extremely large increase in EB-3s during the past month. The China EB-3 date retrogressed.  It is now slower than China EB-2. This was predicted last month.

India:  As with China, India EB-1 now is retrogressed.  It is expected that this EB-1 retrogression will last until October 2017. 

EB-2 India moved up about two weeks.  EB-3 India jumped into 2006, which is a pleasant surprise.  It is not what we expected.  The DOS is clearly trying to ensure that all visa numbers are used in FY2016. 

Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead one full year!  The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out all of the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and half of 2014 EB-3 visas in about 7 months.  This is even more positive than we expected.  (Our note from September 2016"This is consistent with internal MU Law analysis which sees this category progressing into 2013 by the Summer of 2017.").  

Our internal metrics see the Philippine EB-3 number continuing to progress at a rapid clip for the rest of 2017.