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USCIS Proposes a Pre-Registration Period for the Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Program United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed a new rule making changes to the annual selection process for H-1B visas. H-1B visas are currently limited to 65,000 per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 “Master’s cap” H-1B visas available to workers with a Master’s degree from a U.S. university. Each year for the past several years, the demand for H-1B visas has far outpaced this statutory limitation. The result
DHS Intends to Publish Proposed Rule Rescinding H-4 Work Authorization by End of Year The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has advised that it is on track to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the end of the year that would rescind the rule permitting employment authorization for certain H-4 spouses. This timeline was announced in a court filing last month by DHS in the ongoing litigation around the H-4 employment authorization regulations. H-4 non-immigrants are the spouses and children of non-immigrants in
USCIS Resumes Premium Processing of H-1B Petitions for Cap-Exempt Employers On July 24, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)  announced that it would resume Premium Processing of H-1B petitions for employers who are exempt from the annual H-1B Cap. This comes as very welcome news to employers who are struggling to fill critical specialty occupation positions within their organizations in a timely fashion. The H-1B visa program allows U.S. workers to sponsor qualified professional foreign nationals for employment in
H-1B Cap Lottery Selection is Complete for FY 2018 Petitions On May 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it has completed the lottery for all cap-subject H-1B petitions submitted for the Fiscal Year 2018 Cap. The annual limit for H-1B visas is 65,000 for foreign nationals holding a Bachelor’s Degree and an additional 20,000 for those holding a U.S. Master’s Degree. Between April 3, 2017 and April 7, 2017, USCIS received more than 199,000 H-1B
199,000 H-1B Petitions Received for FY 2018; Trump Announces Executive Order to Review H-1B Program On April 7, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it received sufficient H-1B petitions to meet the regular and advanced degree caps for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Yesterday, USCIS announced that it received more than 199,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2018 and that on April 11, 2017, it conducted a computer-generated lottery of these 199,000 petitions to select 20,000 petitions under the Advanced Degree Cap (U.S.
New DHS Employment Regulations Could Be a Boon for Non-Profit School Districts Seeking Exemption from Annual H-1B Cap The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) final regulations, “Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Improvements Affecting High Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” (effective date January 17, 2017), may enable non-profit schools and school districts to secure an exemption from the annual H-1B Cap, thus providing a clear pathway for these institutions to hire qualified foreign national teachers as H-1B highly skilled workers without regard to the annual limits on the
USCIS receives 236,000 H-1B Cap Subject Petitions for Fiscal Year 2017 Today the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it received more than 236,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. The Agency also announced that on April 9, 2016, it conducted a computer generated lottery of these 236,000 petitions to select 20,000 petitions under the Advanced Degree Cap (U.S. Master’s degree or higher) and 65,000 petitions under the regular H-1B cap. The 150,000 remaining petitions have been rejected
USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017 On April 7, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that it received sufficient H-1B petitions to meet the regular and advanced degree caps for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. On April 1, 2016, USCIS began accepting petitions from U.S. Employers requesting that it approve highly skilled professional foreign national workers for temporary employment commencing on October 1, 2016. Under the annual limits on H-1B visas set by Congress, USCIS
New Regulations Published for J-1 Exchange Teachers The United States Department of State has issued a final rule change, effective February 29, 2016, which codifies new regulations affecting the Teacher category of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The Teacher category of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program permits foreign teachers to teach full-time at accredited public or private primary or secondary schools (K-12 and Pre-K) and in some language immersion programs offered by accredited primary schools. In addition to other
Employers!  It’s time to consider H-1B Cap Subject petitions again… The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is an employer sponsored temporary work visa for foreign national professional workers in specialty occupations in the United States. Many employers depend on the H-1B program in order to ensure that they can hire foreign nationals with specialized skills and help their businesses thrive and grow. The H-1B process is common for U.S. employers and requires that the employer prepare and submit a petition to the USCIS on
The New Visa Bulletin Explained On September 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced an important change to the visa processing system in the United States. In order to understand the changes, we should first review the basics of our immigrant visa system and then discuss the changes announced this week. The Basics … The Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) sets limits on the number of immigrant
USCIS Issues Final Guidance on When to File an Amended or  New H-1B Petition after Simeio Decision By Zuzana Geremes, Paralegal On April 9, 2015, USCIS published a draft guidance based on its Administrative Appeal Office’s precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, which held that employers must file amended H-1B petitions when a new Labor Condition Application for Nonimmigrant Workers is required due to a change in the H-1B worker’s worksite location. More specifically, the Simeio decision stated that an amended H-1B petition must be filed under
U.S. employers of all sizes use the H-1B visa program to employ foreign workers in professional level occupations that require specialized knowledge in their field. Many years ago, the U.S. Congress set a limit or “cap” of 65,000 H-1B visas for each fiscal year (FY). An additional 20,000 H-1B visas are available for foreign workers in a specialty occupation who hold a U.S. Master’s Degree in their field. An H-1B petition
On April 9, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) issued an important decision that will impact thousands of H-1B employers across the country. In its precedential decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC, 26 I&N Dec. 542 (AAO 2015), the AAO held that when an H-1B employee changes his or her place of employment (worksite) to a new geographical area, it constitutes a “material change” in employment
On April 7, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that the H-1B cap for Fiscal Year 2016 had been reached. As predicted, between April 1 and April 7, 2015 - the initial filing period for H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2016 – USCIS received more than the maximum number of H-1B petitions filed by U.S. Employers on behalf of professional foreign workers in a specialty occupation. In the
Over the past decade L-1B specialized knowledge petitions for foreign national employees have slowly become the bane of multinational companies’ existence.   The L-1B non-immigrant visa was introduced in 1970 as a way to facilitate international businesses’ ability to facilitate the management and transfer of foreign national employees from offices abroad and thus more efficiently manage their workforce.  The L-1B program allows multinational companies to temporarily transfer foreign national employees from
In the world of temporary employment visas, the Q-1 Visa is often overlooked as a good solution for businesses in need of employees with specific language and cultural backgrounds. The Q-1 visa is an international cultural exchange visa that allows employers to bring in employees or trainees for participation in an approved international cultural exchange program. The purpose of the Q-1 Visa is for foreign national employees to transmit their cultural

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
Happy Cap Season!  That’s right, Happy Cap Season!  For some, these words mean absolutely nothing, but for thousands of employers and potential highly skilled, foreign national workers in the U.S. and around the world, Cap Season is full of hope, fraught with anxiety, and colored by extreme frustration with the current annual limits on H-1B visa numbers. “H-1B cap season” refers to several months leading up to April 1 each year. 
Posted by Zuzana Geremes, Paralegal   President Obama concluded his three-day visit to India on January 27, 2015 where he met, among others, with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With regards to US immigration issues, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi touched on the topic of the H-1B visas.  In particular, the Times of India online edition dated January 26, 2015 mentions: “President Barack Obama has assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The Black Bar: the Restricted Colorado Driver's License Many foreign nationals residing in Colorado have likely noticed the “black bar” across the foreign national’s Colorado driver’s license reading “not valid for federal identification, voting or public benefit purposes” and thought to themselves – “wait, I shouldn’t have a black bar on my license, I never had a black bar before, this is a mistake…” It is not a mistake.  U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents residing in Colorado continue

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Kolko & Casey, P.C. is a full service immigration and naturalization law firm providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, the United States, and the World. Our professional staff speaks English, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese and we can arrange for translators in any other language.