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Labor Certification During COVID-19: Layoffs & Labor Market Considerations

Labor Certification During COVID-19: Layoffs & Labor Market Considerations
An employer seeking to offer a foreign worker a job opportunity on a permanent basis may sponsor that foreign worker for employment-based permanent residency. Most often, this requires Labor Certification through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The Labor Certification process, also referred to as PERM, requires that employers “test the labor market” to see if there are any qualified and available U.S. workers for its job opportunity, prior to petitioning...
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952 Hits

Department of Labor Response to COVID-19 Crisis: PERM Labor Certifications

Department of Labor Response to COVID-19 Crisis: PERM Labor Certifications
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced several important policy changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which affect employers seeking to file Labor Certification Applications on behalf of foreign workers. On March 20, 2020, DOL announced that, in light of COVID-19, it would permit employers additional time to respond to requests from DOL regarding prevailing wage requests and Labor Certification applications. For deadlines that fall between March 13, 2020 through...
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1079 Hits

USCIS' New H-1B Cap Registration Process is Underway

As of March 1, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) online H-1B registration tool is open for employers and their representatives to submit electronic registrations to seek acceptance under the annual H-1B cap lottery on behalf of potential H-1B workers. The online H-1B registration system is a new process this year and few details regarding its implementation or functionality were announced in advance. Employers and representatives access the...
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717 Hits

USCIS Announces Implementation of H-1B Electronic Registration Process

USCIS Announces Implementation of H-1B Electronic Registration Process
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has formally announced that it will implement the new H-1B registration final rule for Fiscal Year 2021. The H-1B registration system will involve an initial electronic registration process, in which employers may register for potential H-1B workers to be entered into the annual H-1B cap lottery. Those whose registrations are selected will then be permitted to file H-1B petitions to be considered on...
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1395 Hits

USCIS Expects to Implement Pre-Registration Requirement for H-1B Lottery for Next Year, but No Formal Announcement Yet

USCIS Expects to Implement Pre-Registration Requirement for H-1B Lottery for Next Year, but No Formal Announcement Yet
On January 31, 2019, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a final rule making significant changes to how it will conduct the annual cap-subject H-1B lottery process. The rule creates an online “pre-registration” and selection requirement for companies intending to use the H-1B visa program to sponsor foreign workers. The Acting Director of USCIS, Ken Cuccinelli, recently announced that he believes USCIS will be ready to implement the...
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1259 Hits

USCIS Proposes a Pre-Registration Period for the Cap-Subject H-1B Visa Program

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...
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1062 Hits

USCIS announces in-person interview requirements for employment-based lawful permanent residence applications, refugee/asylee relative petitions

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...
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2311 Hits

USCIS to suspend Premium Processing of H-1B Petitions

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...
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1614 Hits

USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017

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...
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1872 Hits

Employers! It’s time to consider H-1B Cap Subject petitions again…

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...
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  2175 Hits
2175 Hits

A good day’s work

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...
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2076 Hits

Important Considerations for Employers and Employees under new Visa Bulletin Framework

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...
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1947 Hits

DOS Revises New Visa Bulletin for October 2015 – Many Employment Based Beneficiaries Negatively Impacted

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...
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  2380 Hits
2380 Hits

233,000 H-1B Petitions Filed under Cap for Fiscal Year 2016!

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...
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  1846 Hits
1846 Hits

For H-1B Employers, Change of Employee Work Site Location May Require Amended 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...
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2957 Hits

H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2016

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...
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  1927 Hits
1927 Hits

DHS updates guidelines for L-1B specialized knowledge

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...
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  1853 Hits
1853 Hits

The Often Overlooked Q-1 International Cultural Exchange Visa

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...
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1960 Hits

Some H-4 Visa Holders to Receive Employment Authorization

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...
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  1888 Hits
1888 Hits

Happy H-1B Cap Season!

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. ...
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  1942 Hits
1942 Hits

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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.