AAO Addresses H-1B Cap Exemption for Public School September 15, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, News and politics.
On September 8, 2006, the AAO issued a decision regarding exemption from the H-1B cap for a Texas public school, as well as whether the position is a specialty occupation and whether the teacher holds the requisite degree. Deferring to USCIS’ interpretation of the AC21 exemption to the H-1B cap, the Office found that the District Director’s decision to apply the definition of a related or affiliated nonprofit entity found in 8 C.F.R section 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(B), which defines the term for purposes of the H-1B fee exemption as a nonprofit entity that is “connected or associated with an institution of higher education, through shared ownership or control by the same board or federation . . . or attached as a member, branch, cooperative or subsidiary”, was reasonable.
American Immigration Lawyers Association filed an amicus brief with the AAO in this case on this issue in which it argued that the regulatory provision relating to the fee exemption does not apply to the exemption from the H-1B numerical limitations (for which no regulation exists). Rather, the AAO should look to the totality of the relationship between the petitioner and certain institutions of higher education and analyze “affiliated or related” in a manner consistent with the definitions of those terms throughout immigration law and with the ameliorative intent behind the relevant statute.
Source: AILA Newsletter September 06
What is IMG? (International Medical Graduates) September 14, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Info for Doctors and Health Professionals, MyComments.
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IMG stands for International Medical Graduates. They are doctors or physicians who graduated from medical schools outside of the United States. There are thousands IMG working and studying in the U.S. every year. Most of IMS in U.S. are J-1 and H-1B visa holders. Their program can last anywhere from 1 to 7 years. For more information about IMG check of AMA’s website at http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/17.html .
If you are an IMG looking for IMG Friendly Hospitals to sponsor your visa or Greencard…here is list I found from ValueMD.
- GC – Green Card Holders / US Citizens
- H1 – Sponsers H1-B Temporary Worker Visa
- J1 – Sponsers J1 Exchange Visitor Visa
AlabamaAnniston, Alabama (GC)
CaliforniaAlameda County Hospital, Highland, CA
Kern Medical Center, CA
St Mary’s Hospital, San Francisco, CA
University of California, San Francisco, CA
USC, Los Angeles, CA
Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, CT (H1,J1,GC)
Danbury Hospital, Danbury, CT (H1,J1,GC)
Hospital of St Raphael, CT (H1,J1,GC)
Norwalk Hospital, Norwalk, CT (H1,J1,GC)
St Vincent’s Medical Center, Bridgeport, CT (H1,J1,GC)
U of Connecticut, Farmington, CT (J1,GC)
District of Columbia (Washington, DC)
District of Columbia General Hospital, Washington, DC
Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC (H1,J1,GC)
Providence Hospital, Washington, DC (H1,J1,GC)
Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL (H1,J1,GC)
FUHS/Chicago Medical School, Chicago, IL
Illinois Masonic Med Ctr, Chicago, IL
Jackson Park Hospital, Chicago, IL(GC)
Mercy Hospital, Chicago, IL (J1,GC)
Ravenswood Hospital, Chicago, IL (J1,GC)
Rush Copley Medical Center, Aurora, IL (J1,GC)
Rush Presbyterian Hospital, Chicago, IL (J1,GC)
Rush Westlake, Melrose Park, IL (J1,GC)
St Francis hospital, Evanston, IL (H1,J1,GC)
Univ of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, IL (GC)
Univ of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL (J1,GC)
Univ of Illinois/Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, IL (J1,GC)
Univ of Illinois at Peoria, IL
Franklin Square Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Harbor Hospital,Baltimore, MD (H1,J1,GC)
Maryland General Hospital, Baltimore, MD (H1,J1,GC)
Prince George’s Hospital, Cheverly, MD (GC)
St Agnes Health Care, Baltimore, MD (J1,GC)
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI (J1,GC)
Hurley Med Ctr/MSU , Flint, MI (J1,GC)
McLaren Regional Medical center, Flint, MI
Midmichigan Medical center, Midland, MI
Providence Hospital, MI (J1,GC)
Saginaw Cooperative Hospitals, Saginaw, MI
St Joseph’s Mercy Hospital, Pontiac, MI (H1,J1,GC)
St John Hospital, Detroit, MI (J1,GC)
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (J1,GC)
William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI (J1)
St Mary’s Hospital, St. Louis, MO
St Lukes Hospital, St. Louis, MO
Atlantic City Med Center, Atlantic City, NJ (J1,GC)
Jersey Shore Med Ctr, Neptune, NJ (GC)
Monmouth Med Ctr., Long Branch, NJ (J1,GC)
Mountainside Hospital, Montclair, NJ
Mount Sinai, Englewood, NJ
Mount Sinai, Jersey city, NJ
Muhlenberg Regional Med Ctr. , Plainfield, NJ (J1,GC)
Overlook Hospital, Summit, NJ (GC)
Raritan Bay Med Ctr., Perth Amboy, NJ
St Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ (GC)
St Joseph’s Medical Center, Paterson, NJ (GC)
St Francis Med Ctr, Trenton, NJ
UMDNJ, Pistacaway, NJ
UMDNJ, Newark, NJ (GC)
UMDNJ, Camden, NJ (J1,GC)
UMDNJ, New Brunswick, NJ (J1,GC)
Albert Einstein/ Jacobi Med Ctr., Bronx, NY (H1,J1,GC)
Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Bronx, NY
Brooklyn Hospital, Brooklyn, NY (GC)
Brookdale University Hospital,Brooklyn, NY
Catholic Med Ctr., Jamaica, NY (GC)
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Bronx, NY
Maimonides Hospital, Brooklyn, NY (H1,J1,GC)
New York Hospital and Med Ctr of Queens/Cornell U., Flushing, NY
New York Methodist Hospital/ Wyckoff Heights, Brooklyn, NY (H1,J1,GC)
NYMedical college (Metropolitan) Hospital, NY (J1,GC)
NYMedical College (Sound Shore) Hospital, New Rochelle, NY
NYU VA Med Ctr., NY
New York Flushing Hospital, Flushing, NY
St Barnabas Hospital, Bronx, NY
St Lukes Hospital, New York, NY (J1,GC)
St Joseph’s Hospital, NY
St John’s Episcopal South Shore Hospital, Fair Rockaway, NY (H1,J1,GC)
SUNY at Brooklyn, NY (H1,J1,GC)
SUNY at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY (H1,J1,GC)
SUNY at Syracuse, NY (J1,GC)
Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, NY (J1,GC)
Woodhull Med Ctr., Brooklyn, NY (J1,GC)
U of Nevada, Reno, NV
Univ of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV
Fairview Hospital, Cleveland, OH (J1,GC)
Good Samaritan Hospital, Cincinnati, OH
Jewish Hospital of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Meridia Huron Hospital, East Cleveland, OH (H1,J1,GC)
Mount Sinai of Cleveland, OH
Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA (H1,J1,GC)
Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA (J1,GC)
Easton Hospital, Easton, PA
Frankford Hospital,Philadelphia PA (H1,J1,GC)
Guthrie Healthcare, Sayre, PA
Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA
Mercy Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA
MCP Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
Pinnacle Health/ Polyclinic Hospital, Harrisburg, PA
UPMC Health System/ Shadyside Hospital, PA
Miriam Hospital of Brown University, Providence, RI (J1,GC)
Roger Williams Hospital, Providence, RI
Texas Tech University, Amarillo,TX
Texas Tech University, Odessa, TX
Texas Tech University, El Paso, TX (J1,GC)
U of Virginia, Roanoke Salem, VA (J1,GC)
West Virginia University Hospital, WV (J1,GC)
Sinai Samaritan Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI
Note: This list is meant as a guide only, please call/email the individual program to confirm.
HAPPY JOB HUNTING! If you need any legal assistance applying for your work visa or permanent residency…feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information regarding H-1B dependent employer September 12, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in H-1B visa, MyComments, Tips.
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Generally speaking, an H-1B dependent employer is a company that is composed of at least 15% H-1B workers. The non-displacement requirement prevents such employers from displacing U.S. workers with H-1B workers within the period beginning 90 days prior to, or 90 following, a petition for an H-1B worker.
H-1B dependent employer and other definitions (based on “American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998″)
- “H-1B Dependent Employer”: determined according to the following scale:
1-25 full time equivalent (FTE) employees in the US: more than 7 H-1Bs
26-50 FTE employees in the U.S.: more than 12 H-1Bs
More than 50 FTE employees in the U.S.: 15% or more H-1Bs.
- Dependent calculations: In calculating whether an employer is H-1B dependent, exempt H-1B nonimmigrants are not counted during the first six months after the date of enactment or until final regulations are issued, whichever is longer.
- “Exempt H-1B nonimmigrant” is as described in the summary for Section 102, supra.
- Corporate Families: For purposes of determining whether an employer is an H-1B dependent employer, any group which is treated as a single employer under Section 414 (b), (c), (m), or (o) of the Internal Revenue Code is considered a single employer.
- “Displace”: for purposes of the layoff attestation defined as the laying off a U.S. worker from a job that is essentially the equivalent of the job for which the H-1B nonimmigrant is sought. A job is not “essentially equivalent” unless it has essentially the same responsibilities, was held by a U.S. worker with substantially equivalent qualifications and experience, and is located in the same area of intended employment.
- “Lay off”: defined as a worker’s loss of employment other than through discharge for inadequate performance, violation of workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure or retirement, or the expiration of a grant or contract (other than a temporary employment contract entered into in order to evade the layoff attestation). It does not include any situation in which the worker is offered similar employment with the same employer (or in the case of third-party placement, with the other employer), at equivalent or higher compensation and benefits, regardless of whether such offer is accepted. (However, this provision does not limit an employee’s rights to other remedies under a collective bargaining agreement or other employment contract.)
- U.S. worker: defined as: (a) A citizen or national of the United States; (b) a lawful permanent resident; (c) a person admitted as a refugee under Section 207; (d) a person granted asylum under Section 208; or (e) an “immigrant otherwise authorized” to be employed (not a nonimmigrant).
Displacement Attestations: Required employers must attest that they have not “displaced” – and will not displace any U.S. worker employed by them within the period 90 days before and 90 days after the filing of a visa petition based on that LCA. Must also attest that they will not place the H-1B nonimmigrant with another employer (where there are “indicia” of an employment relationship between the nonimmigrant and the other employer) unless the petitioning employer has inquired and has no knowledge of the fact that the other employer has displaced or will displace a U.S. worker within the 90 days before and 90 days after the H-1B nonimmigrant is placed with the other employer.
Notice to Contractors: New notice on LCA informing H-1B dependent employers that if they place a nonimmigrant at another employer’s worksite and the other employer displaces a U.S. worker during the period described in the attestation, they are still liable and may be subject to penalties (see Penalties section below).
Recruitment Attestation: Required employers also must attest that they have taken good-faith steps to recruit in the United States using industry-wide standards and offering prevailing wages and that they have offered the position to any U.S. worker who applies and is equally or better qualified than the H-1B nonimmigrant. However, employers are not prohibited from using selection standards normal or customary to the type of job involved, as long as they do not apply the standards in a discriminatory manner.
Exception: Recruitment attestation is not required if the H-1B nonimmigrant would otherwise qualify as an EB-1 nonimmigrant (extraordinary ability, outstanding professor or researcher, or multinational manager or executive).
Liability of Petitioning Employer in Case of Placement with Another Employer: As stated above, if an H-1B dependent employer places an H-1B nonimmigrant with another employer and the other employer displaces a U.S. worker within the relevant time period, the petitioning employer may be fined $1,000 per violation, regardless of whether or not the petitioning employer had knowledge of the action or made the required inquiries. A debarment penalty also may be assessed only if the petitioning employer knew or had reason to know of the displacement at the time the H-1B nonimmigrant was placed with the other employer or if the petitioning employer had been previously subject to sanctions based on placement with the same other employer.
Attention H-1B Employers! September 11, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Action, H-1B visa, MyComments, Tips.
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“The H-1B blackout is bad for business and only an increased cap will make it better.”
We want to encourage all H-1B employers and businesses to urge Congress for H-1B relief with a personalized letter. We want to share share this model letter (prepared by AILA) with you and we want to ask you to copy the text onto your company letterhead and add specific examples of limitations imposed by the H-1B cap. This is a great way for American businesses to discreetly educate policy makers about the adverse impacts of the cap and express your support for reform.
Here is the sample letter…
September XX, 2006
The Honorable __________
United States Congress
Washington, DC ______
Dear [Senator/Representative] ________:I am writing to you regarding a crisis that is negatively impacting our company’s ability to stay at the cutting edge. There is a current H-1B visa “blackout” crisis that is detrimentally affecting American businesses. The H-1B visa is a vital tool necessary to keep the
U.S. economy competitive in the world market and to keep jobs in America.
[Add info here about your company; add any specific examples you may have re problems caused by the H-1B cap].
As you may be aware, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service announced that the numerical cap limiting the H-1B program for temporary professional workers was reached on May 26, 2006, over four months before the start of fiscal year (FY) 2007. As the situation now stands, companies seeking access to the best and brightest global talent must now wait until April 1, 2007 to begin the application process for hiring an H-1B, highly-skilled worker for FY 2008, which does not start until October 1, 2007. It is untenable for American businesses to be cut-off from this talent pool until late next year.
Far from harming U.S. workers and the U.S. economy, highly educated foreign professionals benefit our country by allowing U.S. employers to develop new products, undertake groundbreaking research, implement new projects, expand operations, create additional new jobs, and compete in the global marketplace. [Add any examples of how H-1B workers have helped your company]
An important step you can take to address this situation is to cosponsor [H.R. 5744/S. 2691], the “Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership Act of 2006,” also known as the SKIL Bill. The SKIL Bill was introduced by [Representative John Shadegg (R-AZ) on June 29, 2006/Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) on May 2, 2006], and is a positive sign that Congress is serious about correcting a growing competitiveness crisis for the United States.
Every day that passes without access to these highly-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. If U.S. companies do not have the ability to hire the best and brightest from around the world, our international competitors will continue to hire away these talented workers, causing our nation’s competitive advantage to suffer.
If you need any additional information or would like to meet regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at __________. Thank you for your attention in this urgent matter.
[You name, title and business]
H-1B visa Part 2: What are H-1B cap exemptions? September 10, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in H-1B visa, MyComments, Tips.
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H-1B cap exemptions mostly applies or those employed or seeking employment at an institution of higher education, a related or affiliated non-profit entity, nonprofit research organization, or a governmental research organization. The petitioners or H-1B employers who are not a qualifying institution could also based the exemption on the fact that the alien will be performing all or part of his/her duties at a qualifying institution.
The USCIS has determined, based on Congressional intent, aliens that are not employed directly by qualifying institutions are exempt from the H-1B cap, provided that the petitioner (non qualifying institution) could show their employment promotes the purposes of the qualifying institution that they will be working at. Therefore, petitioners who are not a qualifying institution can be exempt from the H-1B cap if they show that a “connection” exists between the work performed by the alien employee and the work performed by the qualifying institution.
Here is an example: ABC Inc. is a for-profit marketing company, which typically is not a qualifying institution. ABC Inc. filed an H-1B petition on behalf of its employee after the noram cap was reached. In the petition, ABC Inc. indicated that the alien will be working at GOV LAB, a governmental research organization, which is a qualifying institution, to further the research organizations purpose by performing similar tasks to those that are preformed by the employees of the research organization. The alien employed by ABC Inc., a non-qualifying institution will be exempt from the H-1B cap, since he or she will be working at GOV LAB, a qualifying institution and performing the same tasks that the workers at the qualifying institution will be performing in the hopes of furthering the organization’s goals.
The USCIS also defined what is meant by related or affiliated nonprofit entity and nonprofit research organization or governmental organization. According the USCIS, in order to determine if the related or affiliated nonprofit entity is exempt, the entity must be “connected or associated with an institution of higher education, through shared ownership or control by the same board or federation operated by an institution of higher education, or attached to an institution of higher education as a member, branch, cooperative, or subsidiary.”
A nonprofit research organization as defined by the USCIS is “an organization that is primarily engaged in basic research and/or applied research.” A governmental research organization is “a United States Government entity whose primary mission is the performance or promotion of basic research and/or applied research.”
In addition to theses types exemptions, the USCIS was instructed to set aside 20,000 numbers to aliens who are U.S. graduate with advanced degrees (such as MD, MBA, JD and Ph.D., etc.) on an annual basis. However, the 20,000 set aside for the current fiscal year been reached already (check out my previous blog post for more information re H-1B cap).
What is H-1B Visa? PART 1 September 4, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in H-1B visa, Tips.
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H-1B is a non-immigrant work visa that allows alien who work temporarily in the United States in a specialty occupation. Such specialty occupations include engineering, business, accounting, medicine and health, physical and social sciences, architecture, mathematics, education, law, and other fields that require specialized knowledge. An alien with an H-1B visa must prove that he or she is qualified for the specialty occupation position, which generally requires a four-year degree or a combination of education and experience.
A sponsoring U.S. employer is required for this visa. The employer must meet certain requirements to qualify as a sponsore or “petitioner.” The employer must file paperwork, which includes a labor condition application and Form I-129 petition, on behalf of the alien worker seeking such a visa. The labor condition application includes information about “prevailing wages” for the position and the available working conditions. During the period that an H-1B worker is employed, the employer must comply with regulations and reporting set by the U.S. government.
*Next Week’s topic: general requirements for alien worker and H-1b employer
Current Cap Count for H-1B Worker Visas For Fiscal Year 2007 August 31, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in H-1B visa, News and politics, Tips.
What is a Cap?
The word “cap” refers to annual numerical limitations set by Congress on the numbers of workers authorized to be admitted on different types of visas or authorized to change status if already in the United States. H-1BEstablished by the Immigration Act of 1990 (IMMACT), the H-1B nonimmigrant visa category allows U.S. employers to augment the existing labor force with highly skilled temporary workers. H-1B workers are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years, which may be extended for an additional three years. The H-1B visa program is utilized by some U.S. employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in a specialized field. Typical H-1B occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors. The H-1B visa program also includes fashion models. The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. H-1B Advanced Degree ExemptionThe H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, which took effect on May 5, 2005, changed the H-1B filing procedures for FY 2005 and for future fiscal years. The Act also makes available 20,000 new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master’s or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution.
Beneficiary Target 1
Date of Last Count
H-1B (FY 07)
H-1B Advanced Degree Exemption (FY 07)
H-1B (FY 06)
H-1B Advanced Degree Exemption (FY 06)
1 Refers to the estimated number on April 1, 2006, of beneficiary applications needed to reach the cap, with an allowance for denials and revocations. This target is subject to revision later in the cap cycle as more petitions are processed.
2 6,800 visas are set aside during the fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool can be made available for H-1B use with start dates beginning on October 1, 2006, the start of FY 2007. USCIS has added the projected number of unused H-1B1 Chile/Singapore visas to the FY 2007 H-1B cap as announced in the H-1B Press Release, dated June 1, 2006.