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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

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  1. VISA BULLETIN: "CONSISTENT FORWARD MOVEMENT" EXPECTED FOR PHILS EB-3

    by , 01-23-2017 at 11:52 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 highlights:

    Philippine EB3 – Charlie again offered his most optimistic predictions for this category. He said that he expects “consistent forward movement” in the EB-3 Philippines category. While he does not expect the Philippines EB-3 to catch up to the Worldwide date, he expects Philippines EB-3 to “recover significantly”. This is consistent with internal MU Law analysis, which sees this category progressing at least into 2013 by the Summer of 2017.

    India EB2 and EB3 – Unfortunately the news is not so rosy for Indian nationals. Neither EB2 nor EB3 is expected to progress to any significant degree.

    Worldwide EB-2 and EB-3 – EB-2 will remain current for the foreseeable future. It is our expectation that Worldwide EB-3 will continue to see a slight retrogression, consistent with the recent past. The Worldwide EB-3 date may stall in the Spring/Summer of 2017, as the full allotment of numbers gets used. It will then move quickly again into the next fiscal year.

    China EB-2 and EB-3 - These categories are the most difficult to predict. The DOS is trying to be conservative in the forward progression of these dates in an effort to stop the see-saw progression and retrogression of dates that we have seen in the recent past.


    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. MU LAW, AAIHR, AILA SUCCESSFULLY RESOLVE MANILA POST PROBLEMS

    by , 01-19-2017 at 10:20 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    For much of the second half of 2016, the US Embassy at Manila has been delaying Visa appointments because of a bad interpretation of law. Through the combined effort of MU Law, AAIHR, and AILA, it appears that the Manila Post will no longer incorrectly interpret these visa applications, which should lead to speedier visa issuance.

    The Manila Post was incorrectly readjudicating previously approved green card applications. In some instances, these applications were several years’ old. The Post would often ask for updated prevailing wage determinations, posting, and labor certifications. MU Law and the AAIHR, through AILA and other communication channels spent much of the second half of 2016 explaining in detail why these readjudications were contrary to law. These interpretations were limited to the Manila Post. Other Posts were not readjudicating these types of applications.

    The Post has confirmed that they agree with our legal position and will no longer readjudicate these applications. The Post has also set out a framework to prioritize these types of matters.

    In the last week or two, MU Law has noticed that visa application delays have ceased, which likely is the result of this Manila Post policy change. MU Law commends the Manila Post on its willingness to dialogue on this issue.

    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 01-19-2017 at 10:23 AM by CMusillo

  3. FEBRUARY 2017 VISA BULLETIN: ANALYSIS

    by , 01-11-2017 at 09:14 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    The Department of State has just issued the February 2017 Visa Bulletin. This is the fifth Visa Bulletin of Fiscal Year 2017. This blog post analyzes this month's Visa Bulletin.

    February 2017 Visa Bulletin


    Final Action Dates

    Applications with these dates may be approved for their Green Card (Permanent Residency card).

    Employ-
    ment
    based

    All Charge-
    ability
    Areas Except
    Those Listed

    CHINA-
    mainland
    born

    INDIA
    MEXICO
    PHILIPPINES
    1st
    C
    C
    C
    C
    C
    2nd
    C
    15NOV12
    15APR08
    C
    C
    3rd
    01OCT16
    01OCT13
    22MAR05
    01OCT16
    15OCT11


    MU Law Analysis

    All Other: The EB-2 has been current for many years. The EB-3 progression continues. Consular processed EB-3 are effectively current.

    China: The China EB-2 date moved up one month. The China EB-3 date also progressed about one month. The China EB-3 continues to have a more favorable date than EB-2, as a result of many Chinese EB-3 workers "upgrading" their applications to EB-2.

    India: EB-2 India and EB-3 India stayed virtually the same, unfortunately.

    Mexico: Mirrors All Other in all aspects.

    Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead by another three months. The Philippine EB-3 number essentially cleaned out all 2010 EB-3 visas and much of the 2011 EB-2 visas in just five months. This is what we have expected. (Our note from September 2016: "This is consistent with internal MU Law analysis which sees this category progressing into 2013 by the Summer of 2017.").

    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.
  4. ISSA OFFERS H-1B BILL AIMED AT H-1B DEPENDENT EMPLOYERS

    by , 01-09-2017 at 04:22 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    Last week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) proposed the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act, which has been co-sponsored by Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA). The bill is aimed at H-1B dependent employers.

    H-1B dependent employers are employers whose workforce is comprised of at least 15 percent H-1B workers. The 15 percent rule is modified for H-1B employers with fewer than 25 employees.

    “H-1B dependent employers” must make two additional attestations to the USCIS in order to have an H-1B petition approved, above and beyond the usual H-1B requirements and attestations.

    The two attestations affirm that the employer has (i) taken steps to insure that no US workers are being displaced as a result of the H-1B petition and (ii) taken steps to recruit US workers for these positions.

    Under current law, H-1B dependent employers are exempt from these two attestations if they agree to pay the H-1B worker at least $60,000 per year and/or the H-1B worker holds at least the equivalent of a US master’s degree.

    According to his website, Cong. Issa’s bill makes two changes to the law. The bill raises the first exemption to $100,000 per year and eliminates the master’s degree exemption. The full text of the bill has not yet been released.


    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.
  5. HIGH-SKILLED WORKER REGULATION SUMMARY

    by , 12-15-2016 at 09:44 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    The USCIS recently finalized a new regulation to benefit high-skilled workers which will go into effect on January 17, 2017 – just three days before President-Elect Trump is inaugurated. The regulation was purposely timed to precede the new Trump administration. Opinions are mixed on whether the new regulation will stay in effect, or will be immediately revoked or rewritten when President Trump takes office.

    Some important highlights of the regulation are:


    • New 60 Day Grace Period. H-1Bs, L-1s, Es, TNs, and Os and their dependents will have a 60 day grace period in the event that the principal visa status holder loses his/her job. The grace period will allow these nonimmigrant visa holders to remain in the US and find a new job. The 60-day grace period may be provided to an individual only once per authorized validity period. An individual may be provided other such grace periods if he or she receives a new authorized validity period in one of the eligible nonimmigrant classifications.

    • Flexibility for H-1B licensed occupations. The USCIS will approve H-1B petitions for a validity period of up to one year where the applicant can prove that the H-1B employee does not have a US professional license due to the State’s requirement of a social security number, US employment authorization, or a similar technical requirement. This has been USCIS policy, but is now officially law. Unfortunately, the USCIS still has much discretion in this area to interpret local state licensure law.




    • EAD extensions. An EAD will automatically be extended for 180 days, as long as an EAD extension was filed before the expiration of the current EAD. This will provide needed certainty of continued work authorization.



    • Cap-Exempt Employers. The new rule reworks the H-1B cap-exempt employers rule for employers who are affiliated with an institute of higher education in two ways.


    o DHS is replacing the term ‘‘primary purpose’’ with ‘‘fundamental activity.” This is a less-restrictive standard than the current “primary purpose” rule. Going forward, ‘‘a fundamental activity’’ of the nonprofit entity must be to directly contribute to the research or education mission of the institution of higher education.

    o A non-profit that has a formal written agreement that establishes an “active working relationship” with a University, no longer has to have shared ownership and control. This is also a lesser standard than at present.


    • Retention of I-140 in almost all situations. This new rule clarifies existing USCIS policy that allows Beneficiaries to generally retain their I-140s even if the prior employer revokes the I-140. This will allow these Beneficiaries to (i) recapture the I-140 priority date in future green card applications and (ii) take advantage of spousal work authorization rules without fear of an underlying I-140 revocation.


    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 01-07-2017 at 02:24 PM by CMusillo

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