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  1. BALCA Upholds Denial Where the Employer Made a Clerical Error in the ETA Form 9089

    The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) recently issued a decision discussing errors made in labor certifications. In Matter of APT –Advanced Polymer Technology, the employer sponsored the position of R&D Manager/ Chemist for labor certification and stated that it conducted recruitment through an employee referral program, a job search website, and the employer’s website. The case was selected for audit and the employer submitted proof that it had conducted recruitment through a job search website, its website, and on-campus recruitment. The audit response did not address the discrepancy between the evidence of on-campus recruitment provided in the audit response and the employee referral program that was listed in the ETA 9089. The case was denied by the Certifying Officer (“CO”) on the basis that no evidence of an employee referral program was included in the audit response. The employer requested that the case be reconsidered on the basis that its statement that recruitment was conducted through an employee referral program was a clerical error. BALCA reviewed the federal regulations and found that the PERM process does not “permit[] employer’s to make changes to applications after filing. The … program is designed to streamline the process and an open amendment process that freely allows changes to applications … is inconsistent with the goal.” However, BALCA went on to state that the regulations do “recognize the appropriateness of an opportunity to present … evidence that was generated to comply with the record retention requirements.” Unfortunately, BALCA determined that the appropriate time to provide this additional evidence is in the audit response. Since the employer failed to do so, BALCA reaffirmed the denial. It is critical that labor certifications are filed with accurate information. However, this case does give some support for the idea that explanations or clarifying information can be presented in an audit response. This post originally appeared on HLG's Views blog by Cadence Moore. http://www.hammondlawgroup.com/blog/
  2. Global Mobility Book: ISRAEL by Tsvi Kan-Tor & Amit Acco


    [This is an Excerpt fromt he Global Mobility Book. You can find more information about the book and purchase it here: http://www.ilw.com/books/globalmobility.shtm.]



    SUMMARY

    The State of Israel is situated on the Eastern Mediterranean, bordering Lebanon and Syria to the north and northeast, Jordan and the West Bank to the east and the Gaza Strip and Egypt to the southwest. Israel is the world's only predominantly Jewish state, with a population of 7.6 million people, of whom 5.7 million are Jewish. Arab citizens of Israel form the country's second-largest ethnic group, which includes Muslims, Christians and Druze. Israel has two official languages, Hebrew and Arabic.

    Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948 and from its inception has been a liberal democracy with a parliamentary system and universal suffrage. The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel's legislative body.


    Whilst Jerusalem is the center of Government and politics, Tel Aviv is the country's capital of business and finance. Israel is considered one of the most advanced countries in Southwest Asia in economic and industrial development. It has the second-largest number of startup companies in the world and the largest number of NASDAQ-listed companies outside North America.


    In 2009, Israel had the 49th highest gross domestic product and 29th highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita (at purchasing power parity) at $206.4 billion and $28,393, respectively. The New Israeli Shekel (ILS) was announced as one of 17 freely convertible currencies according to the CLS list.


    LEGAL SYSTEM

    Israel has no written constitution. The Basic Laws however function as an unwritten constitution and in 2003, the Parliament of Israel (Knesset) began to draft an official constitution based on these laws.


    Israel's legal system combines English common law, Civil law and Jewish law. It is based on the principle of precedent and is an adversarial system, where the parties in the suit bring evidence before the court. Court cases are decided by professional judges rather than juries.
  3. How to find a Reliable Chinese EB-5 Agency? by Dr. Gregory Finkelson

    Chinese law requires that every Agency be licensed by the Bureau of Entry and Exit Administration under the Ministry of Public Security. However, sorry to say, not all Agencies have legitimate licenses. So, the best place to search for a reputable Agency is not by contacting or visiting Agencies, it is by contacting both the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the U.S. embassy in China. Consult the ministry for a list of duly-licensed Agencies. Don’t accept a document from an Agency that they claim is their license. People can create incredibly realistic-looking documents thanks to digital technology. If you have already begun a search by contacting Agencies directly, you have already made a major mistake. Back away and start over again.

    After obtaining all the pertinent information regarding EB-5 Agencies from the Ministry, the next step is to visit the U.S. embassy or consulate. The purpose of this visit is to ascertain any issues that the U.S. government may have had with any Agency, or, conversely, which ones have, to their knowledge, operated ethically and legally, and have truly provided the intended services to their clients without bilking or defrauding anyone. Before accepting to market a given project, an EB-5 Agency is supposed to use a given set criteria to find the best business partner. In the same way, an EB-5 developer needs to have some specified set of criteria to help him/her find a reliable EB-5 Agency.

    Once you have begun the third step, actually making contact with Agency heads, you will need to carefully observe their interactions with you. Especially note their apparent level of interest in your EB-5 projects. This is vastly different than observing a glad-handed welcome. It is even different than expressing their desire to see your presentation material. There is a paradigm in American culture that paying a visit to a potential client and leaving a brochure is a successful sales call. All you have done is leave material that is an expense against your company’s advertising budget. If this is the extent of your visit with an Agency, you may have gained nothing at all. You must expect to invest some time creating a real relationship.

    CAUTION: It has been the practice of some Agencies to extend you the courtesy of taking your portfolio of information and using it for nothing but evidence of their association with your Regional Center or EB-5 projects so that they have an easier time renewing their license with the Chinese government. A method worthy of consideration might be to invite the Agency executives to visit the U.S. and become familiar with your project first-hand. The trip, of course, would be at their expense. Leave little more than a business card with them. If they are interested in coming, then you are probably on to something. Once they are in the States, you then have the liberty to show them the project and, providing you still feel comfortable, share the greater details.

    Established EB-5 Agencies usually have associate Agencies in other cities. If you have done the work of establishing the credibility of a major Agency, you may be able to extend your reach by utilizing that network to expose your project to more potential clients.

    It is not uncommon for many Agencies to claim that they are the best. Keep in mind that U.S. Federal Trade Commission laws, which require proof of that claim, do not apply in China. Note, however, that such claims will be made off the record, because Chinese advertising law forbids comparatives and superlatives. A wise place to begin your search is not to look for “the best.” Obviously, all but one of them have to be prevaricating. It would be wise to seek Agencies that exhibit integrity. It may also wise to forget the idea that “bigger is better.” The fact is, that “bigger” is only “bigger.”

    CAUTION: The reason that an Agency is bigger, other than that it is located in a densely populated area, may be that is has a “good relationship” with the Chinese government.

    EB-5 Agencies tend to do their homework in order to stay on top of their game and improve their image, in the sense that they can “speak the EB-5 language.” In fact, Chinese Agency personnel can typically be expected to know the intricacies of the EB-5 program much better than their American counterparts.

    This is an extract from the book “How to Find Chinese Investors, Agents & Clients for Your EB-5 Projects & Services: A Practical Guide for Regional Centers, Attorneys, Developers and Businessmen”

    More information: http://www.business-visa-usa.com/Book.html
  4. H-1B CAP PROJECTION AND TIMING

    by , 04-04-2014 at 09:41 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)
    by Chris Musillo

    Projection

    The H-1B cap will be reached this year on its first day of eligibility. MU Law expects around twice as many H-1B petitions as allowed will be filed this year. We are basing this projection on our internal H-1B cap filings, discussions with other AILA attorneys, our historical experience with H-1B numbers since the mid-1990s, and media sources. That having been said, our projection is not a scientific one. Indeed, no one knows exactly how many H-1Bs will be received.

    The H-1B cap petitions will be divided into two categories: (1) Those who have graduated from US Master Degree programs; and (2) all other H1-B cap-subject petitions (“regular H-1B cap”). The US Masters category has a quota of 20,000 H-1B petitions. The regular H-1B cap has a quota of 65,000 H-1B petitions.

    Timing

    Since both H-1B categories will be oversubscribed, the USCIS will hold an H-1B lottery. The H-1B lottery will be held next week. Last year the H-1B lottery was held April 9, 2013. Although the H-1B lottery will be held next week, the USCIS did not notify all petitioners of the outcome until June 2013.

    If a petitioner wants know sooner, the H-1B may be filed via the Premium Processing Service (PPS). The PPS does not give a petitioner any greater chance at winning lottery, but it does allow for speedier notice and decision-making.

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  5. New Blog Location

    by , 04-03-2014 at 12:47 PM (Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy)
    For new blog posts please see http://blog.ilw.com/gregsiskind.
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