IT COMPANIES SUE US GOVERNMENT OVER H-1B APPROVALS

February 28, 2019
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in recent days by a group of IT companies who are alleging that the US government coordinated to limit the number of H-1B visas approved for companies known for IT outsourcing.
ITServe Alliance, a group of 1,100 IT outsourcers, including all of the companies in the lawsuits, are claiming that new regulations around H-1B visas are meant to eliminate the industry. H-1B visas allow for skilled foreign workers to gain entry and employment in the United States, and are used to fill critical skill shortages, particularly in the IT sector.
Evidence of discrimination does exist, as notable domestic IT companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple had very successfully navigated the new regulations with less than 1% of their applications denied. However, other IT companies like Capgemini had an 80% denial rate for their H-1B applications.
Lawsuits like this are further evidence of the need for legal counsel throughout this process, for both companies and potential employees. Lawyers specializing in immigration law can assist in navigating the complex administrative process, as well as help protect clients in the event of discriminatory practices.
科技公司状告美国政府,只因H-1B通过率太低
最近几天,出现了数十起诉讼,共同指控美国政府限制科技外包公司H-1B签证批准数量。
ITServe Alliance是一个由1100家科技外包公司组成的联盟,其中就包括提起诉讼的数十家公司,他们称,新出台的H-1B政策注定要摧毁这个行业。H-1B签证当初设立的目的就是为了允许技术熟练的外国员工能有在美国工作的机会,并且很大程度上解决了科技行业方面人才空缺的现象。
但就目前来看,歧视现象的确存在。微软,苹果,亚马逊等巨头美国科技公司的H-1B拒签率还不到1%。然而,Capgemini等其他科技公司,H-1B申请的拒签率却高达80%。
由此看出,在整个H-1B申请过程中,各种流程细节之复杂,并不是雇主和雇员自己就能够完美处理,往往都需要有经验的法律顾问来协助。也许只是一个小小的错误,都有可能将整个H-1B签证申请的心血毁于一旦。

IT COMPANIES HIT HARD BY IMMIGRATION CHANGES

February 25, 2019
Early in his Presidency, President Trump made a concerted effort through legislation and executive orders to encourage companies to hire Americans and discourage the use of foreign labor. One year out, we can see that these policy changes have hit IT companies the hardest.
The USCIS announced the denial rates for many companies attempting to hire foreign workers through H-1B applications, and the results were disappointing to many new disruptors in the IT field. While major companies like Amazon and Microsoft only had 1% denial rates, the denial rates for others like Capgemini and Cognizant were 80% and 61%, respectively. Newer organizations are likely going to face an uphill climb in future years as they attempt to fill critical skills shortages at a time when domestic unemployment is hitting all-time lows.
While much of the focus is often on the employees themselves ensuring that their application is correct, it is important that companies hiring foreign workers are on top of their game when it comes to navigating the complicated system. Many of the denials were as a result of lagging responses to “Requests for Evidence”, and the bar appears to be getting higher. It is in the interests of both employers and employees to seek qualified legal counsel to assist with these requests, to prevent a scenario like the ones facing Capgemini and Cognizant.
Citations:
美国移民新政对美科技公司带来巨大打击
川普总统在其早期任期通过立法和行政命令,鼓励美国公司雇佣本国人打击外国劳工的雇用。一年过后,我们可以察觉,这些政策变化对于科技公司的打击最为严重。
美国移民局公布了许多试图雇佣外国员工的公司的H-1B申请拒签率。像亚马逊和微软这样的大公司只有1%的拒签率,但是像Capgemini和Cognizant等科技领域的新公司公司的拒签率则分别有80%和61%。对于以后进行发展的新公司而言,因为国内失业率创新低,导致高技术人才的短缺难以从国内得到解决,他们的挑战在近几年可能会急剧攀升。
除了确保员工的申请步骤的正确以外,保证雇佣外国员工的公司在面对复杂的申请系统时的及时处理也至关重要。许多拒签往往是由对RFE的不及时处理而造成的,而现在RFE的出现越来越频繁,问题也越来越复杂,一旦收到RFE,应该寻求经验丰富的律师来协助处理。

ATTENTION: H-2B CAP REACHED FOR THE YEAR, LOTTERY CONDUCTED

February 22, 2019
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that they have reached the cap on H-2B visas for fiscal year 2019. This means that all new H-2B visa requests that request a start date before Oct 1, 2019 will be automatically rejected.
The final date for accepted visa requests will be Feb. 19, 2019. Because the number of petitions exceeded the number of allowable visas, this triggered the selection system known as the “lottery” to determine who would receive a H-2B visa. The lottery was conducted on Feb 21st, with the assignments being released on Feb 22nd.
IMPORTANT: There are visa requests that are EXEMPT from the cap. These include:
· Current H-2B workers extending their stay
· Fish roe processors, technicians, and supervisors
· Labor or service workers in Guam or Northern Mariana Islands
If you are unsure of your lottery status, confused as to whether or not you qualify for an exemption, or if you want to ensure an optimal visa for best lottery odds next year, it is important to seek qualified legal counsel specializing in immigration law immediately.
For more information:
号外:H-2B签证满额,抽签结束!
日前,移民局已宣布2019财年收到的H-2B签证已经满额。这意味着所有要求2019年10月1日之前开始工作的申请将自动被拒绝。
接受签证申请的最后日期是2019年2月19日。由于移民局收到的案件数量超过了年配额,移民局将进行抽签。抽签于2月21日进行,结果将于2月22日发布。
重要提示:部分H-2B申请可以免抽签。包括:
·已有的H-2B签证持有者进行签证延期
·鱼籽加工商,技术人员和主管
·关岛或北马里亚纳群岛的劳工或服务业工作者
如果您不确定自己的抽签状态,对于您是否有免抽签资格存在疑惑,或者您希望确保明年获得最佳的中签几率,请务必立即寻求专门从事移民法的经验丰富的移民律师进行咨询。

ATTENTION H-1B APPLICANTS

February 18, 2019
The USCIS has announced that it will resume premium processing of H-1B petitions filed before the end of last year. While the properly requested premium processing normally guarantees a 15-day processing time, the USCIS has previously announced in January that they had suspended the program due to the government shutdown.
With the government now refunded, the USCIS will resume the premium processing for those applicants who submitted the requests before December 21st, 2018. It is imperative that applications are properly submitted, and that in the event of a transfer or a request for evidence, those materials be handed promptly and appropriately. The USCIS notes that the premium processing clock does not start until all the materials are sent into the correct service center!
If you are confused or concerned about the validity of your application or how to handle the numerous and complex immigration laws, it is highly, HIGHLY encouraged that you seek qualified legal counsel. Don’t let a simple mistake ruin your chances at a visa!
Reference:
H-1B申请者注意了!
美国移民局已宣布将恢复在去年年底之前提交的H-1B申请的加急处理。一般来说加急申请通常可以保证案件在15天内处理,但由于政府停摆,USCIS此前已于1月份宣布,他们已暂停加急服务。
随着政府复工,移民局将继续处理2018年12月21日之前提交请求的加急申请。如果您收到移民局的补件要求,应当及时处理。 USCIS指出,只有在服务中心收到所有材料后,加急程序才会启动!
如果如果您对申请H-1B有任何疑问,我们强烈建议您寻求经验丰富的法律顾问。不要让一个简单的错误破坏您获得签证的机会!

Heavy Penalties in Sight for Man Arrested for Visa Fraud

February 15, 2019
US Attorneys recently announced the arrest of a man accused of committing mass Visa fraud and falsely procuring US citizenship.
Neeraj Sharma, of Piscataway, NJ was arrested and charged after federal investigators claimed he recruited foreign workers under H-1B visas, but those workers and staffers never actually secured work in the United States. Sharma allegedly falsely claimed in the applications that the workers had full-time jobs secured in the US, a requirement for the H-1B, but had forged key aspects of the applications to help 11 people falsely enter the country.
This story comes on the heels of a recent sting operation, in which federal investigators created a fake university to find predatory “recruiters” falsely helping international students enter the country in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.
Sherma is facing stiff penalties if convicted, including up to 10 years in prison. This story should serve as a warning for those concerned about their H-1B applications to work only with qualified legal professionals and to ensure that all applications are done legally and appropriately.
For more information on this story, see the USCIS press release here:
签证欺诈一旦被抓,后果不堪设想!
美国律师办公室最近宣布逮捕了一名被控进行大规模签证欺诈美国籍男子,该男子假装帮助外国籍劳动者办理H-1B签证而从中牟利。
来自新泽西州的Neeraj Sharma日前被逮捕,他被指控以帮忙申请H-1B签证为由,协助外国工人进入美国,但事实上这些外国工人并未真正获得美国公司的雇用。 Sharma在申请中谎称这些外国工人在美国获得了全职工作,伪造了公司材料,帮助11人通过”假冒”的H-1B签证进入该国。
这个故事让人联想到上个月联邦调查人员主动设置陷阱,创建了一所假冒大学,引诱“招募者”上当,通过协助海外学生进入美国以换取回扣和利润。
如果被判有罪,Sharma将面临严厉的处罚,包括长达10年的监禁。这个故事警告了那些H-1B申请者,为了自己的安全和案件的顺利,办理移民服务应该要找有执照有经验的律师,才能确保所有申请都是合法的。
对原版故事感兴趣的同学可以点击此USCIS链接:
https://www.uscis.gov/news/news-releases/owner-information-technology-staffing-company-charged-visa-and-naturalization-fraud

Attention Foreign Students: Be Aware of Dramatic Policy Changes

FEBRUARY 11, 2019
Last August, the USCIS announced policy changes that dramatically impacts foreign students in the US on visas, particularly those on the F, M, and J visas. In short, the changes impact the way that those on visas can accrue “unlawful presence” in the United States, which can lead to consequences such as a 3-year or a 10-year bar. Additionally, visa holders with unlawful presence can be deported.
Foreign students can even begin accruing unlawful presence time without knowing it! Regardless of whether they are informed by the government or not (and its likely that they are not), overstaying the visa unintentionally can lead to dramatic consequences.
Now that it has been more than 180 days since the start of the policy changes, the first waves of visa holders affected are now facing a 3-year ban. Maintaining unlawful presence for a year can result in a 10-year ban.
It is important for visa holders to continuously confirm their lawful status in the US in the face of ever-changing laws and regulation. If you are a F, M, or J visa holder who is concerned about your status, it is important to seek qualified legal assistance as soon as possible!
留学生注意了:关注政策的剧烈变化
去年8月,移民局公布了新规定,某种程度上极大地影响了美国留学生的签证,特别是对持F,M和J类签证的学生。新规定会使得签证持有人有可能被指认为在美国“非法居留”,这可能导致3年或10年的入境禁令。此外,非法存在的签证持有人还可能被驱逐出境。
外国学生甚至可以在不知情的情况下开始被指认非法居留!无论政府是否通知他们(而且可能不会通知),无意中逾期居留都可能会导致严重后果。
现在,自政策变化开始实施已超过180天,第一批受影响的签证持有者现在面临3年的入境禁令。非法居留一年将可能导致10年的入境禁令。
对于签证持有者而言,面对不断变化的法律法规,持续确认其在美国的合法身份非常重要。如果您是F,M或J签证持有人,并想确保您的合法居留身份的话,请务必尽快寻求合格的法律援助!

A Brewing Crisis: Immigration Services Sharply Delayed

FEBRUARY 08, 2019
According to a recent study by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the processing times for US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has increased by 46% since the start of the Trump Administration. Additionally, this decrease has occurred in spite of the fact that 2018 saw fewer visa petitions than previous years.
These delays are causing ripple effects throughout the immigration process, hurting both business trying to get skilled labor, and potential visa holders trying to obtain legal status in the US. An assessment by the Houston Public Media showed that there had been additional strain on local human resource departments trying to account for the delays, and a growing fear that the cascading results would discourage growth for US companies.
The author of the AILA report, Jason Boyd, was quoted as calling the delays “crisis level”. The report attributed the delays to the Trump Administration’s confusing and substantial changes the immigration process compared to the previous Obama Administration.
Due to the level of complexity involved, and the time-sensitive nature of the process, it is best for all prospective employers or employees to get qualified legal help as early in the process as possible.
移民服务严重延迟,案件审理速度太慢!
根据美国移民律师协会(AILA)最近的一项研究,自川普上任以来,移民局(USCIS)处理案件的时间增加了46%, 尽管2018年的签证申请数量相比较于前几年来说有所减少。
这些延误在整个移民申请过程中造成连锁反应,伤害了试图雇佣熟练度劳动力的企业,以及试图在美国获得合法身份的潜在签证持有者。 休斯顿公共媒体的一项评估显示,当地人力资源部有额外的压力,试图解释这种延误,并且越来越担心级联结果会阻碍美国公司的增长。
AILA报告的作者Jason Boyd称这种延迟为“危机等级”的延迟。 该报告将延误归咎于与前一任奥巴马政府相比,特朗普政府对移民程序的疑惑和对此的重大改变。
由于涉及的复杂程度以及流程的时间敏感性,所有潜在雇主或雇员最好尽早获得合格的法律帮助。

Be Aware! H-1B Visa Rules are Changing!

FEBRUARY 04, 2019
Late last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced a rule change to H-1B petitions, with a specific focus on those eligible for the advanced degree exemption. According to the USCIS announcement, the rule change “…reverses the order by which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects H-1B petitions under the H-1B regular cap and the advanced degree exemption, and it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions.”
USCIS Director Cissna claimed that the rule changes were meant to give those with graduate degrees a better chance of selection during the H-1B lottery and to make the visa system as a whole more efficient and lower cost. The department estimates that the increase in selected petitions of master’s degrees holders will be 16%. Overall, this will help US companies fill more specialized roles with foreign workers. These changes will be effective on April 1st.
All of this is part of the Trump administration’s goal of reforming the visa process to favor more qualified or higher skilled workers, with more changes likely over the next few years.
For any worker trying to get an H-1B visa, regardless of their educational status, it is vital to get qualified legal representation as soon as possible. The changes to both the selection system and petition process can be vital in properly applying for the visa, and so it is critical to have experienced help.
当心!H1B签证政策有新变化!
上个月,国土安全局颁布了一项关于H-1B申请的新规则,尤其特别关注了那些有资格获得高等学位豁免(硕士及以上学位)的人。 根据美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)的公告,规则变更“……颠倒了美国公民及移民服务局(USCIS)根据H-1B先普通抽签后高等学位豁免的选择H-1B申请者的顺序,并引入了电子注册,要求申请者注册。
美国公民及移民服务局局长Cissna称,规则的变化旨在让那些拥有硕士及以上学位的人在H-1B抽签期间有更好的机会被选上,并使整个签证制度更有效率和更低成本。 该部门估计,持有硕士及以上学位申请人被选中的数量将增加16%。 总的来说,这将有助于美国公司招聘到在更加专业细分的职位上的外国员工。 这些更改将于4月1日生效。
所有这一切都是特朗普政府改革签证流程的目标的一部分,以支持更多合格和拥有更高技能的工人,未来几年可能会有更多变化。
对于任何试图获得H-1B签证的工人,无论其教育程度如何,尽快获得高质量的法律援助至关重要。 选择制度和申请程序的变化对于正确地申请签证至关重要,因此获得有经验的帮助相当关键。