H-1B VISAS CONTINUE BEING DENIED AT RECORD RATES

April 19, 2019
The first quarter of 2019 has continued an alarming trend: H-1B visa being denied at a record rate. Compared to a denial rate of 6% in 2015, the first quarter of 2019 currently has an incredible 32% of petitions being denied. This has been paired with an increase in denials for continuing employment petitions, which has risen to 18%.
Many outsiders are particularly worried because the denials do not appear to be tied to any formal policy changes or legal changes. These denials are further evidence of an administration that is averse to allowing foreign workers into the United States. The Trump Administration, which just celebrated the second anniversary of the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, is being sued by multiple companies who claim they’ve been discriminated against during the visa process.
With many more changes to the visa system being proposed and with the heightened level of scrutiny for applications, it is more important than ever for applications to work with qualified legal counsel to guide them through the visa process.
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H-1B签证拒签率创新高!?

2019年第一季度继续出现令人担忧的趋势:H-1B拒签率达到历年最高!与2015年6%的拒签率相比,2019年第一季度已经有32%的申请被拒绝。H-1B续签的拒绝率也上升至18%。
社界特别担心,这一现象似乎与任何政策变化或法律变化无关。拒签率的上升进一步证明了政府不支持外籍工人进入美国工作。川普政府才刚刚庆祝“买美国货,雇美国人” 两周年,就被多家公司起诉,声称政府在审阅签证过程中歧视科技业公司。
随着对签证制度的诸多改变以及对申请包裹的高度审查,与有经验的法律顾问合作以指导每一步签证要求比以往任何时候都更为重要。
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H-1B DEMANDS STILL HIGH DESPITE DENIALS

April 15, 2019
The demand for H-1B visas is still high despite an alarming number of denials last cycle. The number of requested visas rose from 190k to 201k, an increase of roughly 6 percent. Many of the nation’s largest technology companies, such as Amazon and Google continue to rely heavily on skilled foreign workers to fill their ranks in the US.
The number of highly educated visa holders also continues to rise, with holders of advanced degrees making up a larger percentage of H-1B visas than in previous years. Some of that might be because advanced degree holders are eligible for certain cap exemptions, but it is likely also due to the fierce competition over the highly coveted visa.
The future of the visa program remains in doubt, however, with the current administration making frequent and dramatic changes due to an emphasis on encouraging domestic hiring. With denials rising as well, it is important for anyone considering an H-1B visa, or any US visa, to work with qualified legal professionals to navigate the administrative hurdles.
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拒签数量居高不下,H-1B的需求仍然高涨!

尽管在去年申请中,H-1B的拒签数量高得令人震惊,但今年H-1B签证的需求却依然高涨。申请的数量从去年的19万增加到了今年的20.1万,增幅约为6%。许多美国的大型科技公司,如亚马逊和谷歌,都仍然非常依赖于雇佣有能力的外籍员工来确保他们在美国的地位。
硕士学位以上的申请人数也在不断增加。相比前几年,今年拥有硕士学位的申请者占H-1B签证总额的比例更大了。其原因有可能是因为拥有硕士学位的申请者有抽签资格。
然而这一项签证的前景却仍旧存疑,由于现白宫政府在鼓励本国企业雇佣本地员工,相关政策常常发生重大变化。随着拒签数量的增加,对于任何考虑申请H-1B签证的人来说,与有经验的律师合作显得非常重要。

ATTENTION: H-1B SPOUSAL RULES CHANGING

April 8, 2019
The USCIS announced new regulations on Friday regarding the review process for spouses of H-1B holders. In particular, the new regulations are focused on spouses who are legal minors. The administration said the new regulations are meant to ensure that the visa process is protecting vulnerable populations and not being abused as a human trafficking tactic.
The changes mainly add new review procedures to the spouse of an H-1B holder attempting to immigrate to the US with them using an I-130 petition. It only applies when the spouse is under 16 years of age, OR if they are 16 or 17 years old with more than a 10-year age gap between partners.
The practical implications are that there might be more “request for evidence” requirements for those affected. Given that failure to provide evidence is a common reason for visa rejections, it is important to ensure that these requests are handled timely and appropriately.
For anyone concerned about the visa process, regardless of your marriage status, the best course of action is to work with a qualified legal team to help navigate the shifting rules and regulations.
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号外!H-1B配偶相关的法规正在发生变化!

移民局上周五宣布了关于H-1B持有者配偶审查程序的新规定。新规定尤其针对法律上未成年的配偶。政府表示,新规定旨在确保签证程序能够保护弱势群体,而非成为人口贩卖的帮凶。
这些变化主要是为试图通过填写I-130申请表与H-1B持有人一起移民的配偶而言审查程序将更加严格。这些规定适用于配偶未满16岁或配偶已达16岁或17岁,但伴侣之间年龄差距超过10岁的情况。
最直接的影响可能是会产生更多相关的RFE(补件要求)。由于未能提供足够的证据材料是签证拒签的常见原因,及时和妥当的处理这些要求至关重要。
对于关注签证过程的任何人,无论您的婚姻状况如何,与富有经验的法律团队合作,了解不断变化的法律法规,都是您的最好选择。

H-1B CAP REACHED FOR 2020

April 5, 2019
The USCIS has announced that the mandated regular cap on H-1B applications for 2020 has been reached. The H-1B visa is only approved for 65,000 people for the fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 given for an “advanced degree” exemption.
The USCIS will continue to process petitions if they are exempt from the regular cap, as well as those petitions that apply to visa holders asking for extensions, changing their H-1B terms, changing employers, or attempting to gain a second H-1B position in addition to the one they hold already.
For those wondering about their H-1B status or qualifications, it is important to seek legal counsel to determine if you are eligible for a cap exemption or for another work visa.
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2020财年H-1B常规名额已满

移民局最近宣布2020财年H-1B申请的常规名额已满。H-1B签证仅在本财年批准65000个名额,和20000个“高等学历”的补充名额。
移民局将继续处理其他H-1B相关的申请如延期,更换雇主,和第二个H-1B职位申请等。
对于想要知道他们的H-1B申请状态和资格的人,寻求法律帮助对于了解您是否有资格获得免抽签或者其他签证非常重要。

WOMAN SENTENCED IN MARRIAGE/VISA-FRAUD SCAM

April 1, 2019
The US Attorney’s office has announced that a woman has been sentenced in a case involving marriage and visa fraud. Marena Mushero, of Maine, allegedly offered to marry a foreign national in need of a visa in exchange for money.
Prosecutors claimed that Mushero accepted cash and wire transfers from a foreign resident living and working in the US prior to their wedding, so that the foreign national could obtain a “green card”. This attempt to circumvent the US’s immigration policies was eventually discovered, and Mushero has been convicted and sentenced to 5 years of probation as a result.
Schemes around visa fraud in the US can be unfortunately common, with many visa-for-profit rings being busted regularly by federal investigators. It is important for potential immigrants to follow US laws and policies, or face fines, imprisonment, and deportation. If you are considering living and working in the US, it is important to obtain qualified legal counsel to ensure that you are legally protected throughout the immigration process.
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婚姻签证诈骗要坐牢了!?

美国检察官办公室宣布,一名女子因涉嫌婚姻和签证欺诈而被判刑。据称,缅因州的Marena Mushero与需要签证的外籍人士结婚以获取金钱利益。
检察官声称,Mushero在婚礼前接受了在美国生活和工作的外籍人士的现金与电汇,以帮助该人获得绿卡。执法部门最终发现了这种利用移民政策的企图,因此Mushero被判处了五年缓刑。
美国的签证欺诈现象非常常见,联邦调查人员常常会对以通过非法手段帮助外籍人士办理签证从而获取利润进行打击,对于想要移民的人来说,遵守美国的法律法规。如果您正在考虑在美国生活和工作,请务必向有经验的律师寻求帮助,以确保您的权益在整个移民过程中受到保护。

VISA FRAUD LEADER GETS A YEAR IN JAIL

March 25, 2019
The head of an illegal visa scheme has finally been sentenced. Anjaneyulu Katam, who was accused by the US Department of Justice of manipulating the H-1B visa program to help Indian nationals illegally enter the US, was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to forfeit $1.1 million in assets.
The government alleged that Katam ran a “IT Staffing Company” that had filed falsified visa applications in exchanged for payment and forced applicants to pay their own visa fees. The H-1B visa, which is intended to fill shortages of skilled laborers, has been under criticism for the ability to shift many IT jobs to foreign nationals.
Katam is not the only person to face charges due to visa fraud. Recently, several sting operations have been run against fake universities who were helping foreign nationals gain entry under false student visas. Additionally, others have faced similar charges for running fake IT staffing firms, an issue that is becoming more prominent with the rise in virtual workplaces.
It is important for potential applicants and employers to stick with the legal visa process and obtain appropriate legal counsel. With the recent USCIS announcement that employers face the potential for permanent bans from hiring foreign workers, the need for legal compliance is at an all-time high.
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签证诈骗将导致关押一年

非法签证机构的负责人Anjaneyulu Katam终于被判刑。他被美国司法部指控操作H-1B签证以帮助印度公民非法进入美国,被判入狱一年并剥夺其110万美元的的所得资产。
政府称,Katam经营着一家“科技招聘公司”,该公司伪造签证申请以换取报酬,并强迫申请人自己支付其签证费。H-1B签证旨在填补美国熟练劳动力的短缺,因此常常被批评将许多科技相关的工作岗位转移给了外国员工。
Katam不是唯一一个面临签证欺诈指控的人。最近,对于帮助外国公民以虚假的学生签证入境的假冒大学政府展开了几项针对行动,此外,其他几家科技招聘公司也面临着相似的指控。随着虚拟工作场所的增加,这个问题变得越来越突出。
潜在的申请人和雇主必须坚持合法的签证程序,并获得有效的法律帮助。随着移民局最近宣布的,可能将永久禁止某些雇主雇佣外国工人的新闻,对于法律支持的需要达到了历史最高点。

NEW RULES MAY BAR EMPLOYERS FROM USING FOREIGN WORKERS

March 22, 2019
Last month, the Department of Labor released a memo outlining new interpretations to regulations around hiring foreign workers, such as those workers on the H-1B visa. In short, the memo states that those companies that do not comply fully with requests for evidence may be barred from using any foreign workers at all.
Much of the substance of the memo deals specifically with compliance to new electronic document requests. Namely, that much of the visa process is now online. For some companies or workers, using an electronic only process will be very difficult to navigate. For others, it might increase risk of failure to comply. For companies that rely heavily on foreign workers, even one instance of mismanagement can put their larger workforce at risk.
In light of these changing rules, regulations, and means of processing, it is important for employers to seek legal counsel to ensure that all of their documents are appropriately handled. Qualified legal professionals can not only help with the documentation but can also help protect the organization from the greater consequences in the event of a mistake or miscommunication.
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新规定或会禁止雇主雇佣外国工人

上个月,劳工部发布了一份起草,解析了各种工作签证的新规定,如H-1B签证。该起草指出,那些没有遵守材料补充要求的公司从此以后可能会被禁雇用任何外国人。
起草的大部分内容详述了对新电子注册的要求。部分签证申请过程将改为线上进行。由于是第一次实行这样的制度,对于公司和员工而言,其实过程难以把控,甚至可能会造成各种忽略漏填信息的情况。对于那些严重依赖于外国员工的公司,即使是一个小的错误也可以置他们的员工于风险之中。
鉴于这些不断变化的规定,法规和处理流程。对于雇主而言,寻求有丰富经验的律师确保妥善处理所有的文件显得非常重要。有经验的律师不仅可以帮助雇主和雇员提供准确的法律指导,还可以保护公司在犯错后免于更大的损失。

H-1B IN CHAOS? GOVERNMENT RULE CHANGES FRUSTRATE APPLICANTS

March 18, 2019
As a result of many visa processing changes announced by the USCIS earlier this week, many applicants and employers are left scrambling to ensure that everything is revised in time for the April 1st start date. Notably, changes made to the processing of premium applications have caused a large amount of chaos for many who are filing applications, as the changes have disrupted timelines, application information, and even billing and fee cycles. Premium processing of applications, which is notably more expensive, traditionally guarantees a response within 15 days. However, the USCIS announced that they would not even begin the processing of applications until May 20th at the latest, creating a significant amount of uncertainty for visa applicants.
Reports from Forbes and NBCNews have given examples of the impacts, which range from law firms forced to re-examine hundreds of pre-planned applications, to more notably foreign students in the US attempting to transfer to visas that allow them to work here after graduation. More changes to regulations might even impact or prohibit spouses of H-1B workers from entering the US with them, which would be devastating to many families.
The visa process can be very turbulent time for both applicants and employers. With the potential for dramatic changes and ever-shifting laws, it is important for applicants to seek qualified legal representation to help them understand the process and protect themselves.
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H-1B一片混乱?申请人表示新规定很失望!

由于本周早些时候移民局公布H-1B签证处理的改动,许多申请人和雇主急忙采取行动以确保在4月1日开始日期之前确保申请内容的正确。
值得注意的是,加急处理的重新开放一定程度上对申请人造成了困扰。这些变化打乱了申请人原有计划,申请信息等等。加急申请可以保证抽签结果会在十五天内得到回复。然而移民局表示他们在5月20日之前都不会开始处理申请,这给签证申请人带来了大量的不确定因素。
来自NBC和福布斯的报道,举例说明了这些政策的影响,其中包括律所被迫重新审查几百份预先准备好的申请,更值得注意的是其对试图毕业后转换签证在美国工作的外国学生毕业的影响。未来的政策改变可能影响甚至禁止H-1B持有者的配偶随他们一同进入美国,这对许多家庭来说将是一个毁灭性的打击。
这个申请过程对于申请人和雇主来说都是相当动荡不安的。对于潜在的不断变更的法律,寻求经验丰富的律师对于帮助申请人了解流程和保护自己非常重要。

2020 H-1B SEASON ANNOUNCED

March 15, 2019
The USCIS has announced the starting dates for H-1B applications for fiscal year 2020. Applications will be accepted starting on April 1, 2019 and will be subject to any 2020 caps on the total number of visas approved. The USCIS also announced a number of changes, including changes to the visa selection process, changes to the processing of premium visa requests, and even a new H-1B employer data hub for the 2020 visa season.
Immigration services in the US are still actively trying to adapt to changes mandated by the Trump Administration, which is pushing for companies to hire American and limit the number of foreign workers who enter the US. Many of the changes during the last visa cycle lead to a large number of applications rejected for administrative reasons and caused concerns about discrimination and improper filing. Immigration laws can and do change every year, as do the processes involved. It is important to work with qualified legal help when attempting to gain approval to live and work in the United States.
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2020年H-1B收件时间公布

移民局已经公布了2020财年接收H-1B申请案件的开始日期,申请窗口将于2019年4月1日起开始接收材料,批准签证总数会收到配额限制。移民局还宣布了一系列包括改变抽签程序,签证抽签加急申请等公告,还有最新的H-1B雇主数据等等。
移民局正在努力地适应川普政府下的一些列政策变化,令美国本土企业确切实行以雇佣美国人为本,从而限制外国员工的数量。去年年因为种种政策原因,导致大量H-1B申请者被拒,并产生了移民局歧视,处理不当等控诉话题。移民政策每年都会发生变化,相关的申请程序也会有调整。在追求留美工作和生活的路上,有经验丰富的律师帮你排忧解惑对你的未来至关重要。

VISA LAWSUIT AGAINST APPLE DISMISSED

March 11, 2019
A lawsuit filed against Apple and Infosys has been dismissed by US courts. The lawsuit alleged that Apple illegally conspired to abuse the US visa system to replace US workers with cheaper, outsourced labor from India. It was claimed that Apple was illegally attempting to get workers into the US on the cheaper B-1 Visa instead of the more expensive H-1B visas.
The lawsuit, filed by a whistleblower on the scheme and an independent contractor, was ultimately dismissed after the courts found that Apple’s use of the visa system was appropriate.
Companies using foreign workers should remain cautious and vigilant of scams, however, particularly in the wake of multiple sting operations against visa fraud and higher rates of denial for many firms, particularly foreign companies in the IT sector. For both companies wanting to hire foreign workers and for foreign workers seeking entry into the United States, it is important to maintain qualified legal counsel to ensure that all legal requirements are maintained throughout the visa process.
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法院驳回针对苹果公司的一起诉讼
最近一起针对Apple和Infosys的诉讼被美国法院驳回。该诉讼指控苹果滥用美国签证,用廉价的印度外包员工替代美国员工。该诉讼称Apple试图非法以较为便宜的B-1签证替代成本更贵的H-1B签证让员工进入美国工作。
法院发现Apple并未滥用签证制度后,该由告密者和独立承包商提起的诉讼最终被驳回。
然而,雇佣外国员工的公司仍应对诈骗保持警惕。特别是在最近对签证欺诈行为的打击行动和科技领域签证拒绝率提高后,对于希望雇佣外国员工的公司和员工本人而言,选择有丰富经验的法律顾问,以确保在整个签证过程中满足所有的条件至关重要。