Spouses of certain H-1B visa workers now eligible for employment authorization

February 25, 2015 - by: Holly Jones 0 COMMENTS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published final regulations that will extend employment authorization eligibility to spouses of certain nonimmigrant workers who are in the United States on H-1B visas.

The H-1B, or highly-skilled worker, visa is the most commonly discussed and highly sought employment-based nonimmigrant visa. The number of visas available each year is closely capped—20,000 for applicants holding master’s degrees and 65,000 for those holding bachelor’s degrees—so selection is often made using a random lottery. For the 2015 fiscal year, 172,500 applications for H-1B visas were submitted to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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United States reaches cap on H-1B visas in five days

April 08, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

It took just under a week for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to take in enough H-1B visa petitions to reach the statutory cap for fiscal year 2015, which begins on October 1, 2014.

The USCIS announced April 7 that it received sufficient petitions to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 visas under the advanced degree exemption. The agency began accepting petitions on April 1.

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Categories: USCIS

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H-1B visa cap met in first week

April 10, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it reached the statutory H-1B visa cap of 65,000 for fiscal year 2014 during the first week of the filing period. This is the first time since 2008 that the cap has been met during the first week.

The H-1B program allows U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations requiring theoretical or technical expertise (e.g., scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).

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H-1B visa deadline looms

by Elaine Young

Employers wanting to hire foreign workers through the H-1B visa program need to be ready to file petitions with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on April 1. U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. The first possible start date for most H-1B employees is the first day of the federal fiscal year, October 1. Therefore, petitions submitted on April 1, 2013, will apply to the 2014 federal fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2013.

Here’s an overview of what to consider before April 1 and some information about how the H-1B process may change in the future.

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USCIS issues revised Form I-9

March 08, 2013 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised Form I-9, and employers should begin using it right away.

The new form went into effect today. The revision date of the form is printed in the lower left corner. Employers are encouraged to begin using the new form now, but forms dated February 2, 2009, and August 7, 2009, will be accepted until the effective date of the revised form—May 7, 2013.

All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. The purpose of the form is to verify employees’ identity and employment authorization. Employers shouldn’t complete the revised Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed form is already on file.

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Comments Sought on Proposed Changes to Form I-9

March 29, 2012 - by: HR Hero Alerts 1 COMMENTS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is inviting public comment on proposed revisions to Form I-9, the form all U.S. employers are required to keep on employees to document that they are eligible to work in the United States. Comments will be accepted until May 29.

Key revisions to the form include: read more…

Categories: Immigration / USCIS

2013 H-1B Petitions to Be Accepted Beginning April 2

March 29, 2012 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2013 on Monday, April 2.

Petitions for the visas, which allow nonimmigrant specialists to temporarily work in the United States, will be considered accepted on the date USCIS takes possession of a properly filed petition with the correct fee. The agency advises that it won’t rely on the date the petition is postmarked.

As in past years, the congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas is 65,000. Employers seeking H-1B status for nonimmigrant employees are accustomed to the cap being exceeded in just a few days, although the recession slowed demand for H-1B workers to the point that it took from April to November 22, 2011, for the cap to be met for fiscal year 2012 petitions, and the 2011 cap was never reached.

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Categories: Immigration / USCIS

New E-Verify Requirements Going into Effect in North Carolina

September 19, 2011 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

By Richard L. Rainey

A new North Carolina state law soon will require use of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify system to check if workers are legally entitled to work in the United States.

Under the new law, signed by Governor Bev Perdue on June 23, all employers in North Carolina that employ 25 or more workers eventually will be required to use the system. The new law will take effect at different times based on an employer’s size and type: read more…

E-Verify Redesign Coming Soon

June 08, 2010 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

Big changes are coming to E-Verify that will enhance its usability, security, accuracy, and efficiency. The newly redesigned E-Verify features a clean and modern design, easy and intuitive navigation, and clear and simple language. Additionally, a new home page, improved case management, and a streamlined tutorial are among the dozens of improvements coming to the online system.

E-Verify is a free online program that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. It is jointly operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) and is overseen by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

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Solis’ Proposed Budget Opens Door for 358 More DOL Inspectors, Staff

February 01, 2010 - by: Holly Jones 1 COMMENTS

Today, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis hosted her third live Web chat during her tenure with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). During the session, Solis answered questions on the department’s proposed budget for the 2011 fiscal year. She touched briefly on the agency’s plans with the requested $116.5 billion, a decrease from last year’s $193.6 billion. This decrease can be largely attributed to a decline in unemployment insurance benefit payments.

Solis noted that the DOL’s priorities for the coming year would focus on protecting workers’ rights, expanding the agency’s role in enforcing those rights, ensuring that workers are aware of and have equal access to DOL programs, and maintaining department transparency with the public. The DOL hopes to return worker protection agencies to staffing levels that were present in 2001. For that purpose, $1.7 billion — a $69 million increase — will be allocated to these programs, allowing for an additional 177 inspectors, investigators, and other staff to be hired.

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