November 2019 Newsletter
1. Continuation of EB-1 Worldwide Backlog, Mainland China Moved Forward 3 Months; EB-2 Rest of the World (ROW) Continues to be “Current”, Mainland China Moved Forward 2.5 Months
The U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) most recently released Visa Bulletin for November 2019 shows a continuation of worldwide backlog for EB-1, and cutoff dates for issuance of an EB-1 immigrant visa for Mainland China born applicants have moved forward 3 months to February 1, 2017.
On the other hand, the Visa Bulletin for November 2019 shows that EB-2 for Rest of the World (ROW) is “current”, and cutoff dates for issuance of an EB-2 immigrant visa for Mainland China born applicants have moved forward 2.5 months to March 15, 2015.
As with last month, apart from F2A Spouses and Minor Children of Green Card Holders, USCIS will accept adjustment of status applications for all other family-based cases and employment-based cases based on the “Dates for Filing” charts.
The November 2019 Visa Bulletin can be found here.
2. A Statistical Data Analysis on Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions
H-1B specialty occupation work visas have long been an essential avenue for employers to hire foreign workers temporarily to work in jobs that require highly specialized knowledge and at least a baccalaureate degree. U.S. Congress sets the annual cap for H-1B visas, where the number of H-1B visas issued have been capped at 65,000 a year, plus an additional 20,000 visas for foreigners with a graduate degree from a U.S. academic institution. Employers have exhausted the total quota of 85,000 H-1B visas every year since FY 2004.
Based on the analysis conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) on data obtained from USCIS’ new H-1B Employer Data Hub, denial rates for H-1B petitions have increased significantly over the past 5 years, rising from 6% in FY 2015 to 33% in the first two quarters of FY 2019 for new H-1B petitions for initial employment.
The vastly increased denial rates for H-1B Petitions are not confined to any one industry, occupation or type of employment.
The latest data release indicates that USCIS will continue to heavily scrutinize H-1B petitions. In this increasingly challenging climate, it is important for H-1B employers to retain an experienced employment-based immigration attorney to represent them.
ALG attorneys have extensive experience working on H-1B cases. For H-1B FY 2020 cap season alone, 67% of all submitted petitions were selected in the lottery, where 50% of selected petitions were straight approvals, 25% were approved after responding to an RFE, and the remaining 25% still pending USCIS decision.
Reach out to us to learn more about the H-1B visa and in preparation for FY 2021!
3. USCIS Increases Premium Processing Fee Effective December 2, 2019
On October 30, 2019, USCIS announced that the premium processing fee will increase from $1,410 to $1,440 for Forms I-129 and I-140, effective December 2, 2019, where the fee increase is consistent with the consumer price index. Applications postmarked on or after December 2, 2019 must include the new fee.
USCIS’ alert can be found here.
ALG SUCCESS STORIES
L-1A Petition Approved in 3 Months for CEO of Import Distributor of Wig and Other Human Hair Products Mr. H had been serving as the CEO of a successful Chinese e-commerce company, specializing in design, product research, marketing, and online and retail sales of wigs and other human hair products, for over 8 years, where he directly oversaw and managed 40 employees, including 3 managers and 37 of their subordinated staff. The U.S. affiliate company hoped to transfer Mr. H as CEO to expand its existing U.S. business, as well as have him manage 13 employees in the U.S.
ALG attorneys consulted with Mr. H 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 in 3 months from initial submission.
OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS AND UPDATES
ALG celebrates the successful conclusion of the 3-year lawsuit between Deadwood Mountain Grand and EB-5 investors In celebration of the successful conclusion of the 3-year lawsuit between Deadwood Mountain Grand and EB-5 investors, on October 4, 2019, ALG joined L.A.-based investors in commemorating the full and unmitigated victory of the investors in the Deadwood Mountain Grand lawsuit settlement. With ALG’s assistance, after 3 years of litigation, investors were able to protect their immigration status, as well as fully recover their invested capital plus interest, and all legal fees incurred from this process.
October 4, 2019 -- Los Angeles, California -- Ashenberg Law Group, P.C.’s Managing Attorney Eric Ashenberg (center right) and Legal Assistant Chris Cheng (back row, third from left) celebrate with L.A.-based investors of the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, Casino & Event Center project the full return of their investment plus interest and legal fees.