Category Archives: Uncategorized

EXTENSION OF POST-COMPLETION OPTIONAL PRACTICAL TRAINING PROGRAM AND F-1 STATUS FOR ELIGIBLE STUDENTS UNDER H-1B CAP-GAP REGS

According to a USCIS Alert:  “Effective May 10, 2016, DHS is amending its F-1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Such F-1 students who have elected to pursue 12 months of post-completion OPT in the United States may extend their STEM OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension). Current practice involving Cap-Gap will remain the same. Any F-1 student with a timely filed H-1B petition and request for change of status will be allowed to extend the duration of F-1 status and any current employment authorization until the first day of the new fiscal year.”

Please visit our firm’’s websites at www.immigrantconnect.com and www.americaninvestorvisa.com.

H-1B CAP SUBJECT PETITIONS FOR FY 2017 MAY BE FILED STARTING APRIL 2, 2016

The time is now for employers who wish to hire foreign professionals to work for their companies in H-1B status to start the process.  For the past several years,  both the annual H-1B cap of 65,000 petitions and US Masters Cap of an additional 20,000 petitions were exhausted during the first week of filing.

Cap H-1B petitions may be filed with the USCIS beginning on 4/1/2016 for employment to begin on 10/1/2016.  During the first week of filing, if the USCIS receives more than the allotted number of petitions, the agency will conduct a random lottery to decide which petitions will be accepted for adjudication.  In the past few years, the number of petitions received by the USCIS far exceeded the cap limitations.

There are preliminary steps that need to be taken, strategies considered, and documents that must be collected in the weeks leading up to the H-1B filing.  It is therefore a good idea for employers to get the process rolling by mid-February.

Please visit our firm’’s websites at www.immigrantconnect.com and www.americaninvestorvisa.com.

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS! DOS REVISES VISA BULLETIN FOR OCTOBER 2015

The US Department of State has issued a Revised Visa Bulletin for October 2015.  According to the DOS:  “This bulletin supersedes the bulletin for October 2015 that was originally published on September 9, 2015, and contained Dates for Filing Applications long used by the Department of State for internal processing purposes. Following consultations with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Dates for Filing Applications for some categories in the Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based preferences have been adjusted to better reflect a timeframe justifying immediate action in the application process. The Dates for Filing Applications sections (sections 4.B. and 5.B.) which have been adjusted have been identified in Bold type.”

This was a sloppy move by the government since thousands of foreign nationals have relied on the original Visa Bulletin issued on September 9, 2015 and have started preparing their adjustment packages, hired lawyers, and had their medical examinations.  These people will all need to wait before they can file their applications to adjust status.

Please visit our firm’’s websites at www.immigrantconnect.com and www.americaninvestorvisa.com.