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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

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  1. PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDERS

    by , 03-08-2017 at 02:09 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Maria Schneider

    On Monday, March 6, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This Executive Order will go into effect on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Among other provisions, the Executive Order states individuals from six designated countries who are outside the United States and do not currently have a valid visa are not eligible to travel to the United States for 90 days.


    • Iran
    • Libya
    • Somalia
    • Sudan
    • Syria
    • Yemen


    Please note that Iraq has been removed from the list of countries effected by this Executive Order. This Executive Order does not apply to:


    • lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
    • dual nationals who travel to the US on a passport issued by the non-designated country
    • individuals who hold a valid visa on the effective date of the Order. No visas will be revoked.
    • foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas
    • individuals granted asylum or refugee status in the US before the effective date of the order


    The US Department of Homeland Security and US Department of State have discretionary authority to issue visas on a case-by-case basis to nationals of the six named countries when denial of entry would cause undue hardship.

    Nationals from countries not named above can travel abroad but should expect additional delays and scrutiny at the airport when re-entering. Please note that the situation is fluid and may change at any time. If you have any questions, please contact our office.


    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. USCIS SUSPENDING H-1 PREMIUM PROCESSING, STARTING APRIL 3

    by , 03-04-2017 at 10:23 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    USCIS will no longer accept Premium Processing Service (PPS) filings for any H-1B petition, starting April 3, 2017. USCIS says that the suspension could last for 6 months. PPS will not be available for H-1B cap cases, H-1B cap-exempt cases, H-1B extensions, H-1B amendments, or any other type of H-1B petition.

    USCIS claims that by suspending the PPS program for H-1B petitions, it will help them reduce overall H-1B processing times.

    Here is the full press release:



    USCIS Will Temporarily Suspend Premium Processing for All H-1B Petitions

    Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months. While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners will not be able to file Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. We will notify the public before resuming premium processing for H-1B petitions.
    Who Is Affected

    The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. Since FY18 cap-subject H-1B petitions cannot be filed before April 3, 2017, this suspension will apply to all petitions filed for the FY18 H-1B regular cap and master’s advanced degree cap exemption (the “master’s cap”). The suspension also applies to petitions that may be cap-exempt.
    While premium processing is suspended, we will reject any Form I-907 filed with an H-1B petition. If the petitioner submits one combined check for both the Form I-907 and Form I-129 H-1B fees, we will have to reject both forms.
    We will continue to premium process Form I-129 H-1B petitions if the petitioner properly filed an associated Form I-907 before April 3, 2017. Therefore, we will refund the premium processing fee if:

    1. The petitioner filed the Form I-907 for an H-1B petition before April 3, 2017, and
    2. We did not take adjudicative action on the case within the 15-calendar-day processing period.

    This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129.
    Requesting Expedited Processing

    While premium processing is suspended, petitioners may submit a request to expedite an H-1B petition if they meet the criteria on the Expedite Criteria webpage. It is the petitioner’s responsibility to demonstrate that they meet at least one of the expedite criteria, and we encourage petitioners to submit documentary evidence to support their expedite request.
    We review all expedite requests on a case-by-case basis and requests are granted at the discretion of the office leadership.
    Why We Are Temporarily Suspending Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

    This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:

    • Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
    • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.



    \Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

    Updated 03-08-2017 at 02:11 PM by CMusillo

  3. GRASSLEY H-1 BILL INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE

    by , 03-03-2017 at 10:25 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017, which was proposed recently in the Senate by Sens. Grassley (R-IA) and Durbin (D-IL) has now been offered in the House. The text of the House version of the bill has not yet been made public but it is expected to mirror the Senate version of the bill. The House version has four co-sponsors, Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Dave Brat (R-VA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Paul Gosar (R-AZ).

    The Senate version of the bill has yet to attract many co-sponsors – no Senators have co-sponsored it since the initial four co-sponsors were announced on January 20. This is not surprising. The 2015 version of the bill only ever attracted six Senators co-sponsorship. One of which, Jeff Sessions, is no longer in the Senate and is now the embattled Attorney General.

    Nonetheless, Sen. Grassley has long been a foe of the H-1B visa. While his version of the bill may not get passed into law, it would not be surprising if many of the ideas and concepts that underlie the bill make up a future revision to the H-1B visa.

    The press release offered by the four House members says that the bill would modify the H-1B and L-1 visa programs by:


    • Requiring employers to make a good faith effort to recruit and hire American workers before bringing in foreign workers and prohibits employers from replacing American workers with H-1B and L-1 workers or giving preference to H-1B visa holders when they are filling open positions.



    • Modifying existing H-1B wage requirements, and establishes wage requirements for L-1 workers.



    • Prohibiting employers from outsourcing H-1B and L-1 visa holders to other sites unless the employer obtains a waiver which is available only in limited circumstances when the rights of American workers are protected.



    • Giving more authority to the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor to investigate fraud and abuse in the H-1B and L-1 programs by requiring the two departments to audit employers and share information, ensuring visa petitions are more effectively scrutinized.



    • Prohibiting companies from hiring H-1B employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50% of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.



    • Creating a new H-1B visa allocation system that gives top priority to workers who have earned advanced science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) degrees from U.S. institutions.



    • Increasing penalties on those who violate the law, and provides visa holders with a list of rights before they enter the U.S. to ensure they are better protected against mistreatment or underpayment of wages.


    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

    Updated 03-08-2017 at 02:11 PM by CMusillo

  4. THE $130,000 MINIMUM H-1B SALARY RUMOR IS FALSE

    by , 02-28-2017 at 12:32 PM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo


    Over the last few weeks many news outlets have been reporting that the minimum salary for an H-1B worker will rise from $60,000 to $130,000. This is false. There is not a minimum floor salary for H-1B workers. There is no proposal to raise that nonexistent floor to $130,000.


    There are proposals that seek to raise the minimum salary floor for companies who seek an exemption to the H-1B dependent attestations. This is significantly different than minimum floor salary for H-1B workers.


    Companies that employ more than 15% H-1B workers (so-called “H-1B dependent employers”) have to make two attestations for employees who either (i) do not earn $60,000 or (ii) do not hold a US equivalent master’s degree.


    Displacement Attestation 20 CFR 655.738: The Displacement Attestation is ensures that U.S. workers are not being terminated or laid off in order to make room for an H-1B worker. H-1B dependent employers who are seeking to employ an H-1B worker who is to earn less than $60,000 (or does not hold a US equivalent master’s degree) must make the Displacement Attestation.


    Recruitment Attestation 20 CFR 655.739: The Recruitment Attestation proves that an H-1B employer is attempting to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers. H-1B dependent employers who are seeking to employ an H-1B worker who is to earn less than $60,000 (or does not hold a US equivalent master’s degree) must also make the Recruitment Attestation.


    Again, these attestations do not have to be made if the employer offers a salary in excess of $60,000 or if the H-1B worker holds the equivalent of a US master’s degree.


    There are two different pieces of proposed legislation that have been introduced into Congress that seek to raise the exemption floor from $60,000. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)’s proposal raises the $60,000 to $100,000. Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s bill proposes that the exemption floor could be raised to $130,000. It is the Lofrgren bill that is the cause of the headlines.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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  5. MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN PROJECTIONS: PHILS EB-3 TO ADVANCE INTO 2014

    by , 02-22-2017 at 10:51 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State’s Visa Bulletin guru, Charlie Oppenheim, hosts monthly meetings with the American Immigration lawyers Association. Charlie Oppenheim is the Department of State’s Chief of the Control and Reporting Division. He is the officer who is responsible for producing the Visa Bulletin each month. This month’s Check In With Charlie featured predictions about EB2 and EB3 in most of the popular categories for readers of this Blog. Here are some of this month’s highlights:

    Philippine EB-3As with last month, Charlie again offered his most optimistic predictions for this category. He said that he expects predicts future advancement at a pace of “up to six months.” He expects that the Philippine EB-3 date should quickly move through 2012 and 2013, and quickly move into 2014. This is consistent with internal MU Law analysis, which sees this category progressing at least into 2013 by the summer of 2017.

    India EB-2 – Charlie hopes that the India EB-2 category can progress at a pace of “up to one month.” He cautions that an increase in EB-3 upgrades could slow the progression of India EB-2.

    India EB-3 – There was no specific comment by Charlie. Mu Law expects that India EB-3 will progress at about the same 1-2 week rate as it has in prior months. The India EB-3 date may stall/stop in the summer of 2017, as the full allotment of numbers gets used. It will then recommence in October. This is normal. It happens every year. Read our FAQ on why the Visa Bulletin progression stops in August and September.

    Worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 – EB-2 will remain current for the foreseeable future. Worldwide EB-3 will continue to move ahead steadily and be effectively current.

    China EB-2 and EB-3 – These categories are the most difficult to predict because of the upgrade/downgrade phenomenon of EB-2 and EB-3. At present China EB-3 is 15 months ahead of EB-2.

    Please read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com and www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
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