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Increasing uncertainty and unpredictability in H-1B adjudications Last week, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 201,011 H-1B petitions subject to the annual cap for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020. The Agency confirmed that on April 10, 2019, it completed its computer-generated selection process to select sufficient H-1B petitions to meet both the regular cap of 65,000 petitions and the advanced degree (master’s) cap of 20,000 petitions. In light of these numbers, employers have just over a 40%
Strike! Rights and responsibilities of H-1B employers and employees during a labor strike In the event of a labor strike, it is important that both H-1B employees and employers understand their respective rights and responsibilities. Rights of H-1B Employees Generally speaking, in order to maintain valid H-1B status in the United States, an H-1B employee is required to remain employed with her H-1B employer, under the terms set forth in the H-1B petition. In the absence of a strike, a failure to remain employed
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 Announces Completion of Receipt for H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions for FY 2019 On May 15, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had completed its electronic data entry for receipt of all H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions selected for Fiscal Year 2019. USCIS previously announced on April 11, 2018 that it had completed the random selection process for H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions. The May 15 announcement indicates that each of those H-1B Cap-Subject Petitions which were selected under this “cap” have now
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
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 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
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
My 2015 Christmas Wish List Dear Santa, With Christmas approaching quickly, I wanted to make sure you knew what gifts we’d love to have this year under our Christmas Trees. We’ve worked really hard this year to help our clients with their immigration problems, but we could use a few more tools around our office to better help our clients. Here is my wish list: • DAPA – Last year, the White House tried to give
Tagged in: DAPA H-1B OPT STEM U Visa
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
On May 26, 2015, USCIS will begin accepting applications for employment authorization (Form I-765) for certain spouses of H-1B foreign national workers. The H-1B foreign worker must 1) be in valid H-1B status in the United States and 2) must also be the beneficiary of an approved I-140 immigrant visa petition for an alien worker. If the principal H-1B holder meets both of these requirements, his or her spouse who is
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
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. 
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

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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.