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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
USCIS announces in-person interview requirements for employment-based lawful permanent residence applications, refugee/asylee relative petitions The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that starting on October 1, 2017, it will begin “phasing-in” mandatory in-person interviews on employment based applications for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence (Form I-485) and petitions for relatives of asylees or refugees (Form I-730). The USCIS announced it will also begin incremental expansion of interviews for other type of applications for immigration benefits. The USCIS announcement is a significant
USCIS to suspend Premium Processing of H-1B Petitions  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that beginning April 3, 2017, it will temporarily suspend Premium Processing of I-129 Petitions filed by U.S. employers seeking H-1B work visas on behalf of professional foreign national employees in specialty occupation positions. This suspension will apply to all H-1B Petitions including: - H-1B Petitions filed under the so-called H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, - H-1B Petitions filed by cap-exempt
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
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

Posted by on in Immigration and Firm News
A good day’s work Here at Kolko & Associates, we really love our job. Each of us truly love coming to work and we love that it is our job to help families stay together, help employers bring in necessary employees to further their business, help individuals avoid deportation and help those fleeing harm find a safe life in the United States. For many of our clients, their primary goal is to obtain lawful permanent
In September 2015 the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) jointly announced a new framework for foreign national beneficiaries in the employment based and family based visa preference categories. This new framework is implemented through the new Visa Bulletin which took effect on October 1, 2015. The new Visa Bulletin provides two separate charts for each of the Employment Based and Family Based visa preference
DOS Revises New Visa Bulletin for October 2015 – Many Employment Based Beneficiaries Negatively Impacted As previously reported, 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. Under the new scheme, the the agencies announced that beginning in October 2015 the monthly DOS Visa Bulletin would contain two (2) separate charts for each of the Employment Based and Family Based Visa Preference categories. The new
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
USCIS has announced that it will extend employment authorization to some non-immigrants in H-4 visa status. This is very welcome news for spouses of some H-1B visa holders. Beginning May 26, 2015, some H-4 visa holders will be granted employment authorization. To qualify, the H-4 visa holder must be married to an H-1B visa holder. In addition, the H-1B visa holder must either be the beneficiary of an approved Form I-140

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. 
As part of the President’s administrative action on immigration, the administration announced a program to reform the Optional Practical Training (“OPT”) program. OPT is a program for F-1 student visa holders to seek an additional 12 months in status to seek temporary employment in their field of study. Secretary Johnson has asked USCIS and ICE to develop a program to extend benefits and expand programs eligible for OPT, as well as
Among the announcements made during President Obama’s administrative immigration reform on November 20, 2014, was the announcement that USCIS is being directed to clarify the term “same or similar” pursuant to AC21. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson directed USCIS to issue written guidance clarifying what constitutes a “same or similar” job under current law. Secretary Johnson cites a difficulty with qualified immigrants seeking new job opportunities or promotion opportunities due to the

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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.