Monthly Archives: December 2009

H-1B CAP HAS BEEN REACHED FOR FY-2010

As of December 21, 2009, USCIS has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap for 2010.

FY-2011 begins October 1, 2010 and cases for that start date will be accepted by the USCIS on April 1, 2010.  Also, many categories of employers and beneficiaries are not subject to the cap for various reasons so a consultation with a qualified immigration lawyer would be recommended to determine options that may be available.

COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE

According to latimes.com:  “Reporting from Los Angeles and Chicago – Raising the curtain on a new round of debate over immigration reform, a group of Democratic congressional lawmakers introduced a comprehensive bill Tuesday that, among other provisions, would offer a path to legalization for the country’s estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.”

Comprehensive Immigration Reform is long overdue yet promises to be an uphill battle for supporters.  However, after watching Lou Dobbs abruptly leave CNN and days later hearing him announce that he supports legalizing the undocumented in certain situations, I have learned that anything is possible.

H-1B CAP UPDATE – 12/15/2009

USCIS announced that as of 12/15/2009 it has received 64,200 of the available 65,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY-2010.  The numbers are almost gone and given the week it takes from the time of filing the LCA to its probable adjudication, the odds of petitions being accepted for a petition that one would prepare from scratch at this point are slim.

However, given how long the numbers have lasted this fiscal year, the wait until H-1B cases are accepted for FY-2011 cases is not too long.  For those willing to start on October 1, 2010, their employers may file H-1B petitions as of April 1, 2010.  Also be sure to ascertain whether the petitioner may be cap-exempt and therefore able to file H-1B petitions throughout the year.

PREVAILING WAGE REQUESTS MUST BE MAILED TO DOL IN DC AFTER JANUARY 1, 2010

As the new year rolls around, a special gift from our friends at the Department of Labor awaits.  Prevailing Wage Requests (Form ETA-9141) for PERM and temporary visas such as H-1Bs will need to be mailed or sent via courier (not e-mailed) to the DOL in Washington, DC.  This is arguably a step backwards as most, if not all states currently determine prevailing wages for immigration benefits via electronic mail.  This new system will likely prove both time-consuming and inefficient.  The Department hopes to have an electronic system set up at a later time.

Having DOL determine the prevailing wage from a central location can be either beneficial or detrimental depending on how happy one has been with their state’s determinations.  One would hope that this new procedure will lead to more consistent wage determinations across the board as is the agency’s goal, however given DOL’s initial goal of adjudicating PERM applications within a couple of months, I wouldn’t hold my breath.