Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New I-9 Form

USCIS Revises Form I-9, Used for All New Hires in U.S.

Read more . . .

Monday, June 13, 2016

Form I-983 F-1 OPT Students Employed at Client Worksites

Please see detailed information and article by Cora-Ann Pestaina:

Read more . . .

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Current PERM Processing Times as of June 1, 2015

The US Department of Labor tags a case once it is certified, denied, withdrawn or denied or certified-expired (they expire 6 months after approval so file your I-140 within that 6 months).  Trackitt posts statistics about DOL here:

The latest update on PERM processing time as of June 1, 2015 is as follows:

Read more . . .

Friday, May 9, 2014

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: F-1 Student Visa Denials and Subsequent B-1/2 Visa Applications

Question: I came to the US in August 2007 and completed my Masters in Electrical Engineering in December 2009. Then I got enrolled in an MBA program in January 2010. In the meantime my F-1 visa got expired and I went to India to get a new F-1 visa. I was not eligible for re-stamping because my visa had already expired more than 1 year ago. New Delhi US embassy rejected it twice, saying that I could be a potential immigrant. Now I want to go for third attempt. My question is if my visa is denied this time, can I apply for a B-1/2 visitor visa immediately? In case I don't get an F-1 visa, I want to come back to US to take care of my belongings.

Read more . . .

Friday, April 25, 2014

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: Leaving the US while Advance Parole Application [I-131] is Pending

Question: I was granted asylum status 3 years ago. Based on that, I filed I-485 [application for adjustment of status] with an I-131 form for advance parole. On 08/23/11 my current Advance Parole will expire. I already filed for a new Advance Parole and did the biometrics [fingerprints] two month ago – but my new AP is still pending. I am supposed to leave the country in a week.

Is it possible for my husband to mail the AP letter after he receives it? Or do I have to pick it up in person? Is it going to affect our I-485 applications if I leave before getting the AP letter? Please, help!

Answer: I would wait for the AP. The general rule is if you travel before the advance parole document is issued, the I-485 application will be deemed abandoned. See Form I-131 Instructions, Page 4, Section 3 [Advance Parole Document], Part E, which states: If you travel before the advance parole document is issued, your application will be considered abandoned, if: (1) you depart the United States; or (2) the person. Seeking advance parole attempts to enter the United States before a decision is made on the application.

See link:

There are some exceptions for certain individuals in H, L, K or V status AND restrictions for asylees [I believe focused on traveling to the country of claimed persecution].

Please let me know if I may be of further assistance.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Visa-Renewal Waiver Program Made Permanent


The visa-interview waiver program for renewing nonimmigrant visas is now permanent, after the conclusion of a two-year pilot program, according to the State Department.

As a result of recent revisions to the department’s Foreign Affairs Manual, consular officers now have discretion to waive in-person applicants’ interviews for certain H-1B, TN, L and other nonimmigrant visas.

Specifically, they may waive interviews for applicants seeking to renew any nonimmigrant visa within 12 months of the initial visa’s expiration date if it’s in the same classification with the same employer. For example, an L-visa holder who is seeking to renew her visa in the same category within a year of her last visa’s expiration date qualifies for the waiver. But an H-1B-visa
holder applying for an L-1 visa would need to appear for an interview.

With the exception of E, H, L, P and R visas, interview waivers are also available for nonimmigrant visa renewals up to 48 months after the initial visa expires if it’s in the same classification with the same employer.

First started in January 2012, the visa-interview waiver program allowed certain applicants in designated countries to renew U.S. visas without interviews. This is part of an effort to improve the visa process for individuals who have been screened previously, interviewed and approved for
certain nonimmigrant visas.

“This should improve the ability of nonimmigrant visa holders to renew visas in a timely fashion, rather than planning on time-consuming trips outside the U.S. to obtain visa renewals,” said Dillon Colucci, an immigration attorney in the Irvine, Calif., office of Greenberg Traurig. “Waiving the visa-interview requirements for these visa classes should free up valuable consular time and
decrease the time requirement to complete the overall visa process.”

Credit for this article belongs to Roy Maurer, online editor/manager for SHRM.

Friday, April 18, 2014

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: Traveling with Company A visa stamp and Company B approval notice

Question: I have been working with Company B since June 2009. Current I-797 for Company B expires in June 2012. Current H-1B visa stamp in passport is for Company A, and expires on September 7, 2011. I wish to take a quick trip to India this Friday and return on September 5, 2011. I do not have time to renew the H-1B visa stamp during this trip. If I arrive as per schedule, is there still risk that the immigration officer might not let me enter the US or only stamp my I-94 with validity till Sep 7th 2011? Also, current I-94 is valid till Dec 18th 2011. It was not stamped with I-797's expiry date of June 2012 because my passport was expiring on Dec 18th 2011; however, my renewed passport is now valid for another 10 years.

Answer: The Officer should grant you entry in H-1B status valid to the expiry date noted on your Company B I-94, June 2012. The expiry date on the visa stamp [9/7/2011] refers to the last day you may use that visa stamp to enter the US. However, it’s not uncommon for CBP to issue an I-94 valid only to the visa validity date, so don’t walk away from the counter until you have inspected your I-94 to make sure that a mistake was not made. I would also bring evidence of your current employment with B, including paystubs and/or an employment verification letter.

Friday, April 11, 2014

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: Working for Multiple Employers in H-1B status Simultaneously

Question: I am a salaried employee working for Employer A on an H-1B. I currently have offers from 2 different Clients and I wanted to ask if it's legally allowed for me to work for both of these Clients being on H-1B? My employer is fine with it; however he wants me to send him an email stating that I'd like to work for the second Client to gain better experience and better salary compensation. Before I send them an email I wanted to make sure that by doing this, I'm not by any means jeopardizing my status. I'd appreciate if you can answer my above question. Thanks!

Answer: Yes, an H-1B can work (part-time or full-time) for more than one employer, but each must file a petition. See Letter, Bednarz, Chief, NIV Adjudications, CO 214h-C (June 29, 1994), reprinted in 71 No. 27 Interpreter Releases 936, 952 (July 18, 1994); Letter, Gorsky, Acting Chief Advisory Opinions Division, DOS (Apr. 13, 1998), reprinted in 75 No. 17 Interpreter Releases 631, 648 (May 4, 1998).

Read more . . .

Friday, April 4, 2014

I-9 Compliance Resource Center

I-9 Compliance Services and SSNs
With our I-9 Compliance services, we help US and international companies on US soil with their Workforce compliance systems. Our job is to interpret the I-9 Work Authorization laws, anticipate fines and discrimination pitfalls, teach methods for compliance, prepare for government audits and partner in visa matters during the hire of non-US workers. Clients request our legal services at several junctures: 

  • Organizing I-9s in-house
  • Learning how to complete an I-9
  • Determining if E-Verify is for a company, with consideration for FAR (federal acquisition contract clause)
  • Dealing with SSA No-Match letters
  • Getting a Notice of Inspection (NOI) from the government for an “I-9 Audit”
  • Doing an Internal I-9 Self-Audit to assess potential fines in system as is, clean up I-9 files

Read more . . .

Friday, March 14, 2014

H.R. 3012: "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act"

Reforming the per-country limits on employment and family-based visas are both up for consideration this week in the House. The purpose of "HR 3012" is to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes.

Read more . . .

Friday, March 14, 2014

Q & A: EAD/AP Combo Card

Question: I have an I-485 (adjustment of status) application pending, based on a labor certification filed 6 years ago. I am waiting for my priority date to become current. I work in H-1B status, have an H-1B visa AND a valid EAD (employment authorization document) and AP (advance parole/travel document). My EAD and AP will expire soon. Now that USCIS is issuing a convenient “combo card” combining the EAD and AP into one card, will I get a combo card when I apply to renew my EAD and AP?

Answer: You are only eligible for an EAD/AP combo card if both applications (I-765 and I-131) are filed simultaneously, and both the EAD and AP documents are within 120 days of expiry. Below please find a link to the USCIS Policy Memorandum, on the subject of issuance of the combo card.

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