May 2019 Newsletter
1. Continuation of Worldwide Backlog for EB-1A Green Cards, No Forward Movement for China-Mainland Born Applicants
The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) most recently released Visa Bulletin for May 2019 shows a continuation of worldwide backlog for EB-1, with no forward movement for China-Mainland born applicants.
As with 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 May 2019 Visa Bulletin can be found here.
2. USCIS Completes FY 2020 H-1B Cap Random Selection Process
On April 11, 2019, USCIS announced that the FY 2020 H-1B cap season computer-generated random selection process has been completed. This year, during the filing period between April 1 and April 5, USCIS received 201,011 H-1B cap petitions, a 10,000+ increase from last year’s number of 190,098.
USCIS previously announced on April 5, 2019 that it had received enough petitions to reach the H-1B regular cap of 65,000, and it is projected that received petitions will reach the H-1B U.S. advanced degree exemption (i.e. master’s cap) of 20,000.
Petitions selected in the random selection process will slowly start receiving receipt notices notifying of case processing. USCIS will also reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees in the near future.
USCIS’ alert can be found here.
3. Crackdown on Employers Engaged in Visa Fraud Operations
Recently, it has come to ALG’s attention that there has been an uptick in reports of crackdown on employers engaged in visa fraud operations. Cracking down on fraud is the latest effort by government agencies in abiding by Trump Administration’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, so as to find ways to ensure U.S. workers are given priority over foreign workers.
California Chinese Woman Offer False OPT Employment Verification to 1,900 International Students through Findream, LLC
According to court records, federal prosecutors charged Bay Area woman Weiyun “Kelly” Huang with conspiracy to commit visa fraud through her company Findream, LLC. Ms. Huang is accused of exploiting the OPT program – records show that she was providing false OPT employment verifications for F-1 students through Findream, so as to convince USCIS that these students were maintaining “legal” status in the U.S. USCIS records show that Findream, established in 2013 and located in a shared workspace building, is one of the top 10 U.S. companies employing OPT students, ahead of huge companies such as Facebook, IBM and Apple. The complaint indicates that approximately 1,900 F-1 visa holders had listed Findream, LLC as an employer for OPT, indicating the widespread extent of the alleged fraud.
Largest ICE Workplace Immigration Raid in a Decade, 280 People Working Illegally Arrested
On April 4, 2019, ICE agents stormed the offices of CVE Technology Group, a technology repair company in Allen, Texas, after receiving tips in January that the company allegedly knowingly hired illegal immigrants, many of whom were using fraudulent documentation. 280 workers were arrested at the immigration raid. ICE agents will interview those arrested to determine if anyone may be considered for humanitarian release; however, all will get fingerprinted and be processed for removal from the U.S.
ALG attorneys would like to take this opportunity to remind all international students and foreign workers to be in compliance with the terms of their respective valid statuses in the U.S. ALG attorneys also recommend employers to improve record keeping of information and documentation of the employed foreign worker, and to hire an experienced immigration attorney for legal matters involving immigration law.
ALG SUCCESS STORIES
EB-1A Petition Approved in 3 Months for Festival Planning and Organization Expert
Mr. L is an extraordinary festival planning and organization expert, with close to three decades of experience in the field. Because of his work in, and contributions to, China’s festival industry, Mr. L is recognized as one of the most influential experts in the industry. Given Mr. L’s extraordinary festival planning and organization skills, ALG filed and obtained EB-1A approval for him as a person of extraordinary ability.
To demonstrate Mr. L’s extraordinary ability, ALG submitted evidence of his numerous nationally recognized awards for his work in China’s festival industry; the results of his work as a judge and selected committee member for many important tourism and festival events; invited memberships into selective festival planning and tourism associations; his publications in nationally recognized journals regarding festivals in China; and media outlets and reports covering his work in festival planning.
Even with a request for additional evidence, which ALG attorneys swiftly responded to, USCIS approved this EB-1A petition within 3 months from initial submission.
L-1A Petition Approved in 6 Weeks for General Manager of Designing, Manufacturing and Sales Company Mr. S had been serving as the General Manager of a successful Chinese designing, manufacturing and sales company for over 12 years and oversaw a total of 171 employees. The U.S. affiliate company hoped to transfer Mr. S as General Manager to expand its U.S. market and develop a U.S. design team, as well as have him manage 7 employees in 3 different departments in the U.S.
ALG attorneys consulted with Mr. S 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.
Even with a request for additional evidence, which ALG attorneys swiftly responded to, USCIS approved this L-1A petition within 6 weeks from initial submission.