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H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
H-1B Visas:  Proving You Case in 2013
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H-1B Visas: Proving You Case in 2013

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With changing government rules and requirements, winning an H-1B visa approval is still harder than ever. This webinar offers critical information that employers and their sponsored employees now need …

With changing government rules and requirements, winning an H-1B visa approval is still harder than ever. This webinar offers critical information that employers and their sponsored employees now need to prove their qualifications for an H-1B visa. Attend this tutorial to help you gather and present the proof necessary for the best chance of approval. Whether you are a sponsoring employer or sponsored employee, now is the time to learn the tips and tools to navigate the H-1B process smoothly.

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  • Hello everyone and welcome to our webinar, H-1B Visas- Proving Your Case in 2013. I’m Ann Massey Badmus with Badmus Law Firm, and I’d like to thank you all for taking the time to attend this presentation, which is intended to give you useful information and tips to help you put together the H-1B puzzle to successfully apply for H-1B visas. Because an employer is the primary applicant for an H-1B visa, we will provide information for the employer’s perspective based upon the trends we are seeing as the government processes and decides H-1B applications.
  • Thank you, Ms. Lopez. Now I’m going to address some of the key problem areas that can arise for some applications. Before I do that, it think it’s important for you to know that the officers who decide immigration applications often have wide latitude to “interpret” immigration rules; and oftentimes, those interpretations are incorrect or extend beyond what the rules really say. That’s one of the reasons we see inconsistencies and changes in the process, where nearly identical applications can be approved and denied depending upon the officer who reviews it. In our opinion, there is little accountability within the government for officers who make errors in their decision-making. But that’s the world we live in and so we are here to inform you of the issues we are seeing and how to address them.
  • The five key issues we are seeing….
  • Specialty occupation – bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific fieldGenerally, it’s easy to prove physicians, teachers, engineers, and lawyers are specialty occupations – that’s actually defined and written in the law. However, any other occupation is open to government interpretation, even those occupations that have been approved as specialty occupations in the past. Occupations are evolving but the government is not always keeping up so you must educate them…Government scrutinizes Particular occupations – business occupations – marketing, financial, administrative positions, IT Occupational Outlook Handbook – not final sourceAlso, smaller businesses are examined more closely – assumption that small businesses don’t need highly qualified people, e.g. rather than accountant, you can use a bookkeeper – audacity to substitute it’s judgment for the business owners
  • Relationship between specialty occupation and other positions – supervisory, who handles other company functions, etc.Services that can provide expert opinions – USCIS does not always defer and can criticize but for occupations that are borderline, it might be worthwhile to pay Professional associations or societies – publications that talk about minimal requirements for entry into the field
  • Establishing the position is half the job – need to show the employee is qualified for the positionsRequire B.S. in accounting or business, then employee needs to have that qualification – Copy of degree, transcript if the degree is not clear as to the field or you need to point to relevant coursework that applies to your positionEmployment experience letters – important if employee does not have degree but can qualify based upon experience – e.g. 3 to 1 rules – associates degree or all experience - engineerCredential evaluation – if no U.S. degree, get this first before starting processIf foreign BS or US master in the field, then no credential evaluation necessary…however if undergraduate foreign is the qualifying degree, then need evaluations; Expert opinion from university to equate experience to degreeLicense – doctors, CPAs, teachers, must be licensed in the state of employment before applying for H-1B – check licensing time and requirements immediately
  • Thorn in the side of many employers – can apply to any employer but really an issue with off-site employment, where the employee where work at a facility not controlled by the sponsoring employer. For example, IT workers, hospitalist physicians, government contract engineers, any time employee will work elsewhere – then must show sponsor is the true employer that has right to control, hire, fire, the employee.Prepared to provide this information for the initial application AND any renewalsPay records – renewals, student to H-1B, etc.
  • Thorn in the side of many employers – can apply to any employer but really an issue with off-site employment, where the employee where work at a facility not controlled by the sponsoring employer. For example, IT workers, hospitalist physicians, government contract engineers, any time employee will work elsewhere – then must show sponsor is the true employer that has right to control, hire, fire, the employee.Prepared to provide this information for the initial application AND any renewalsPay records – renewals, student to H-1B, etc.
  • Small companies less than 50, perhaps 100Position is specialtyNo authority for this – in fact, case law says the government cannot determine whether position is specialty based upon size nor can it ask for ability to pay salary so getaround is whether employer has valid job offer or sufficient structure to support the physicians (newer)Basically small employer may have to open their files to show such documents – some examples.Organizational charts – detailedCompany history, location (even photos), leases
  • Last issue – particular for physicians, researchers – trying to get exempt position to avoid competition for H-1B visas and start any time during the year, rather than October 1Higher Ed- easiest but need to be sure qualifies under department of education rules – for-profit post secondary schools or tech schools that offer two year training might not qualifyNon-profit affiliates – most common, eg. Hospital with teaching program,Look for all affiliations – may have several, make sure currentThird-party – employment at hospitalist group – 51% (majority) of time at higher ed or non-profit affiliate
  • Because of great inconsistency in interpretation of cap-exemption (example – 4 application) and complaints….March 2011 – interim measure (still waiting for final clear cut rule) – if previously exempted, then honor prevous determination and continue to be cap-exempt unless significant change occurred since previous case – e.g.Non-profit to for- profitAffiliations terminatedCap –exempt – review all previous H-1B petitions to determine whether cap exempt due to non-profit, not J-1 waiverGet Copy of at least one – provide updated affiliation agreement or letter confirming continued affiliation
  • Successful – continuing proof – international travel getting visa and USCIS compliance verification process
  • Employee wants to travel or needs to travel Employee coming from outside U.S.Must get visa, except for short term travel to Canada or Mexico, from home country (sometimes Canada or Mexico)Embassies can try to re-visit employee/employee relationship – require company tax returns, lists of employees, state unemployment reports, Delay Administrative processing – months – particularly science/technology/nationals of certain countries like middle east, pakistan, egyptNot much to do but wait – need to prepare businessPetition returns to USCIS – explain, could take yearsUpshot - avoid international travel if possible
  • Office of Fraud Detection and National Security – FDNS – purpose to verify H-1B compliance – employee/employer relationship, working at specified location, pay rates, etc.Random but high probabilty
  • Email slides and slide presentation recordingThank you again, have a great afternoone
  • Transcript

    • 1. Badmus Law Firm, PLLC February 21, 2013
    • 2. Audio InstructionsCall 213-416-1560 Access Code 794 837 770
    • 3. • Ask Questions Anytime? • Use your Q&A pane at the bottom of your screen to type and send? your questions. • Questions will be answered during the presentation and? during the Q & A session.
    • 4. PresentersAngela M. Lopez Ann M. Badmus Thu Nguyen
    • 5. H-1B Visa Overview
    • 6. H-1B NonimmigrantVisasA nonimmigrant (temporary) visa thatallows a non-citizen to be employedin the United States for up to 6 yearsin a “specialty occupation” for aspecific petitioning employer.
    • 7. What is a Specialty Occupation? An occupation that requires highly skilled specialized knowledge and A bachelor’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation
    • 8. Employee QualificationsHave completed a U.S. bachelor’s orhigher degree (or its foreign equivalent)orHave education, training, or experiencein the specialty equivalent to thecompletion of such degree (3:1 rule)andPossess full state licensure if requiredto practice in the state of employment
    • 9. H-1B NumericalLimitationsQuota of 65,000 new H-1B visas per fiscalyear (except Free Trade Act (FTA) nationals)20,000 per fiscal year for persons who holdUS Master’s degrees or higherApplies to first-time H-1B or previously cap-exempt H-1B employees
    • 10. Fiscal Year H1B Cap Reached Date2004 October 1, 20032005 October 1, 20042006 August 10, 20052007 May 26, 20062008 April 3, 20072009 April 7, 20082010 December 21, 20092011 January 26, 20112012 November 22, 20112013 June 11, 2012
    • 11. H-1B Cap Exemption Employers Employment Physicians• Universities/Colleges • For profit employment • Physicians who• Non-profit affiliates of at universities or their received government- universities/colleges non-profit affiliated sponsored J-1• Government or non- facilities waivers of two year profit research home residency facilities requirement
    • 12. Proving Your Case
    • 13. 1 • Specialty Occupation2 • Employee Qualifications3 • Employer-Employee Relationship4 • Valid Job Offer5 • H-1B Cap-Exemption
    • 14. Proof of Specialty OccupationDetailed Job DescriptionDaily duties and percentagesof time spent on dutiesSimilar positions in theindustry or in your business
    • 15. Proof of Specialty OccupationOrganizational chart with jobdescriptions of other positionsExpert opinions and reportsProfessional associations
    • 16. Proof of Employee Qualifications Diplomas and Degrees Employment Experience Letters Credential Evaluation or Expert Opinion Professional License, if applicable
    • 17. Employer- EmployeeRelationship Employment Contract/Offer Letter Employee Manual/Benefits Summary Performance Review Client Contracts/Work Orders Pay Records/W-2/Work Schedule
    • 18. H-1B for the Self-Employed Employer-Employee Relationship Company Structure – Corporation/LLC Board of Directors - hire, fire, or otherwise control owner Specialty occupation applies
    • 19. Proving Valid Job Offer andPosition Federal Tax Returns Unemployment Tax Reports Organizational Charts Payroll Records Company History
    • 20. Proving H-1B Cap-Exemption Non-Profit & Third-Party Higher Ed Affiliated Employment w/Higher Ed Agreement with 501(c)(3) Public or Non- Higher Ed or exemption profit Non-Profit letter Affiliate Org Associate Agreement with Supporting degree or Higher Ed, e.g. Letter from higher Clinical Training Exempt Facility Supporting Educational or Proof of letter from non-profit Accreditation Higher Ed purpose
    • 21. Proving H-1B Cap-ExemptionAs of March 2011, USCIS will defer to previous determinationsof cap exemption if employer provides:A copy of the previously approved cap-exempt petition(relevant pages of the Form I-129 and pertinent supplements);A copy of the Form I-797 approval notice (issued after June6, 2006) for the affiliation-based cap exempt petition; orDocumentation previously submitted with a petition in supportof the claimed cap exemption.
    • 22. Post-Approval Alerts
    • 23. International TravelVisa Processing at U.S. Embassy(www.usembassy.gov)Administrative Processing DelaysPetition Returns
    • 24. USCIS Compliance Review Unannounced Random Employer Site Selection Visit Email InternetDemands for DiscussionDocuments Boards
    • 25. Preparing for a USCIS Site Visit Take these steps immediately after the approval of yourStep 1 Step 2 H-1B petition to• Review the H-1B • Prepare prepare for a petition compliance evidence file for surprise site visit inspector from the USCIS.Step 3 Step 4• Identify company • Establish site visit representatives procedures for who will meet with reception, clients, a auditors nd H-1B employee
    • 26. Negative Information Review Revocation Previously ofDenial of Approved PreviouslyPending Petition ApprovedPetition • Additional Petition Proof • Criminal • Further Penalties Inspection • Civil Fines
    • 27. Questions? Comments? Badmus Law Firm, PLLC 11325 Pegasus Street Suite S-215 Dallas, Texas 75238 469-916-7900 Telephone 469-916-7901 Facsimile immigration@badmuslaw.com www.badmuslaw.com
    • 28. Legal Notice • Facts of individual situations differ. • The information provided here is general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific situations. • Consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure compliance
    • 29. You are invited to contact us for your immigration matters Badmus Law Firm, PLLC 11325 Pegasus Street, Suite S- 215 Dallas, Texas 75238 469-916-7900 Telephone 469-916-7901 Facsimile immigration@badmuslaw.com www.badmuslaw.com

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