February 2019 Newsletter
1. Continuation of Worldwide Backlog, but USCIS’ Final Decision on Submitted Applications Moved Forward Another 2 Months, for EB-1 Green Cards
The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) most recently released Visa Bulletin for February 2019 shows a continuation of worldwide backlog for EB-1. The priority date in which USCIS gives the final decision on already submitted green card applications has moved forward another 2 months.
Different to previous months, USCIS will accept adjustment of status applications based on the “Dates of Filing” charts for family-based cases, and the “Final Action Dates” for employment-based cases.
The February 2019 Visa Bulletin can be found here.
2. H-1B Work Visa USCIS Resumes Premium Processing for FY 2019 Petitions
On January 29, 2019, USCIS resumed premium processing service for FY 2019 H-1B cap petitions. If your FY 2019 H-1B Petition is currently still pending with USCIS, you may apply to request expedited case processing.
USCIS’ previously announced temporary suspension of premium processing for all other H-1B petitions, including H-1B transfers, amendments, etc., remains in effect.
USCIS’ alert can be found here.
DHS Announces Final Rule Amending H-1B Program Regulations
On January 31, 2019, DHS posted a final rule in the Federal Register for public inspection, amending regulations governing H-1B cap-subject petitions. There are two major changes to the H-1B program in this final rule: 1) it reverses the order USCIS selects H-1B petitions; and 2) it introduces an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rule will go into effect on April 1, 2019, although the electronic registration requirement will be suspended for the FY 2020 cap season.
USCIS' alert can be found here. Time to Start Preparing for FY 2020 Petitions
Accordingly, as February approaches, prospective candidates should start preparing for their H-1B visas as soon as possible.
As mentioned in our last month’s newsletter, the main H-1B visa eligibility criteria is three-fold: 1) the offered position must qualify as a specialty occupation; 2) the employee must have obtained at least a baccalaureate education in the specific specialty occupation; and 3) the wages paid to the employee must be above the prevailing wage.
ALG attorneys have extensive experience working on H-1B cases. Just for the H-1B FY 2019 cap season alone, ALG has attained an approval rate of 96%. Reach out to us to start preparing for your H-1B visa!
ALG SUCCESS STORIES
EB-1A Petition Approved within 1 Month for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Scientist and Researcher
Dr. C is an outstanding scientist and researcher in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He has over 30 years of experience in the industry and is an expert in the research and development of information-based infrastructure products and their engineering applications. Over the years, Dr. C has been recognized as a frontrunner in GIS technological development. Given Dr. C’s extraordinary skill in the research and development of GIS, ALG filed and obtained EB-1A approval for him as a person of extraordinary ability.
To demonstrate Dr. C’s extraordinary ability, ALG submitted evidence of his national technology awards; published materials about Dr. C in professional publications; the results of his work as reviewer of national mapping and surveying standards; his original contributions of developing and establishing a classical urban and land valuation model that has been cited over 180 times and used by other researchers for decades; and his scholarly article publications that have over 400 citations.
USCIS approved this EB-1A petition in 1 month without a request for additional evidence.
L-1A Petition Approved in 8 Days for General Manager of Clothing Company Mr. X had been serving as the General Manager of a Chinese clothing designing, manufacturing and sales company for 14 years where he oversaw a total of 34 employees in 6 departments. The U.S. affiliate company hoped to transfer Mr. X as General Manager to expand its U.S. market and have him manage 5 employees in the U.S.
ALG attorneys consulted with Mr. X on the qualifying relationship of the two companies, carefully reviewed all probative documents, and drafted a detailed petition letter to incorporate all the supporting documents to prove the Chinese company’s thriving business and the genuine business need to expand to the U.S. market.
USCIS approved this L-1A petition in 8 days without a request for additional evidence.