Catherine Brown - Immigration Blog← Older posts May 18, 2013
On May 8, 2013, the Colorado legislature approved a bill allowing undocumented/illegal residents the ability to obtain a Colorado drivers license. The bill is now sitting with Governor Hickenlooper to sign into law, who according to the Colorado Observer, is likely to sign.
The bill – known as Senate Bill 251 – was handily passed in the Senate. It cleared the House on a final 34-31 vote; three Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the measure.Proponents of the bill argue that the licenses will improve public safety. But many Republicans believe that the legislation amounts to amnesty.
The bill would require undocumented Colorado immigrants to present a certified copy of the prior year’s state tax return filing, a federal tax identification number (ITIN) or social security number, and proof of identity from their country of origin, such as a passport or consulate card in order. They also have to pass the written test in English. The bill includes a provision that enforcement cannot refer cases to federal immigration authorities based on these state licenses. (This provision also was a separate bill that has been signed into law, reversing a prior law issued in 2006 that required local authorities to refer such persons to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE)). The Colorado license would look different than those issued for the majority of Colorado residents. The Colorado-issued ID card or driver’s license would not be valid federal identification to vote, obtain benefits or board airplanes. Finally, while no criminal background check is conducted, fingerprints are collected in order to issue the card.
If the governor signs this into law, Colorado would be the 4th state to provide such a license after New Mexico, Illinois and Washington. This is quite a turnaround from 2006, when the legislature imposed many punitive measures on illegal immigrants. If signed into law, an estimated 60,000 illegal immigrants living in Colorado will be able to apply for an ID, license or driver’s learner permit in 2014.
For more information on obtaining a drivers license in Colorado for illegal immigrants, please contact immigration lawyer Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117.
Posted in Legislative Updates | Tagged drivers license Colorado, illegal Colorado, license in Colorado for illegals, state license for undocumented | Leave a comment May 4, 2013
With hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth now granted DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, I get many questions on various issues ranging from what happens when I travel on DACA?” “How do I tell my employer I have a valid social security number?” or “How do I correct my tax history and credit after DACA ?” Here is some information I have collected so far that may be of use.
Domestic and International Travel
Once someone is granted Deferred Action status, they are prevented from being deported and are eligible for work and travel privileges. If you have your original I-821D approval notice, domestic travel should not be threatening as you cannot be arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for being in the US illegally.
International travel is a trickier issue. The program allows DACA approved persons to apply for Advance Parole in order to internationally travel, so long as you have a humanitarian, education or work purpose. You must apply on Form I-131 Application for Travel Document. You must have this application approved before you can travel internationally. Even if approved, there could be serious risks associated with international travel so you should always seek legal advice from a licensed immigration attorney like Catherine Brown, before actually traveling. For instance, if you have previously been deported or removed from the US internally or at the border you must reopen your case with EOIR to ask for administrative closure of your removal proceedings. Failure to do could result in being barred from re-entering the US. There also has not been clear guidance issued from USCIS on how to treat those traveling on Advance Parole with unlawful presence (illegal time in the US) and whether one triggers a 3- or 10-year bar upon re-entry. However, US Customs and Border Patrol has stated that such travel will not be considered a trigger to these bars. Again, I would recommend speaking to a competent immigration lawyer on this topic as it is in a state of change.
Your Advance Parole document will have a limited time frame on it so be sure to review the validity dates if you do decide to travel internationally.
Some DACA approved folks are wondering how to now provide their new social security card that is valid to their employer if they used to use a fake social security number. Again, you should speak to an immigration attorney about this subject. A US employer is required to verify that its workforce is authorized to work in the US, so if it comes to their attention that someone is working for them with a false social security number or name, the recommended action would be to terminate that employee because of the economic and criminal consequences that can take place for knowingly hiring illegal workers.
Your new social security number needs to be updated on a Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. You may just ask your employer if you can update this form. If they question or deny this opportunity, then I recommend seeking immigration counsel before talking further.
Your employer verifies its workforce using a Form I-9. A guide is provided to employers on DACA specific folks, but its still inconsistent. In any event, this form may arise in conversation because your social security number has changed and it is beneficial for your US employer to update their records with your correct Social.
If your employer wants to terminate you because you used a fake name/social security number, they may do so but they cannot do so in a discriminatory way. If you believe discrimination is occurring to you or at your work place, you should seek immigration advice about your rights.
Social Security Number, Taxes and Credit History
Once you receive your work authorization card you can then obtain a social security number from the Social Security Administration Office (SSA) You will need to show the employment authorization card AND original passport or birth certificate – no copies. You must apply IN PERSON the first time. Please refer to your local phone directories for one closest to you.
If you did not file taxes previously, you should definitely file US and state income taxes after obtaining a valid social security number if you earn income or have assets that earn income. If you filed with an ITIN number, it may be possible to transfer your SSA earnings to your new social security number. You also should rescind your ITIN number with the IRS because you cannot use both an ITIN and a Social Security Number. To do these things, send a letter asking to rescind the ITIN to:
Enclose the copies of your ITIN and SSN. You will then receive a letter from the IRS confirming that your ITIN was revoked and to use your new SSN for all tax purposes.
To correct your credit history, you need to contact all three credit bureaus and ask them to transfer your credit history. To do so, you have to physically mail letters to all three bureaus with your request and identifying information. Additionally, you have to reach out to your financial institutions and ask them to update their records to reflect your new SSN. Contact any banks or financial institutions that you have accounts with and ask them to replace the ITIN on your account with your new SSN. Write and send three separate letters to the three different credit bureaus, include the relevant documents that the form letters indicate you are sending. The three addresses for the bureaus are as follows: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
State Drivers License
You are also eligible to obtain your valid drivers’ license. You obtain these through the state Department of Motor Vehicles office (DMV) nearest you. Your license will be valid for as long as your status. In general, these are the eligibility criteria: a Social Security number (SSN), evidence establishing lawful or authorized presence in the U.S., identity and date of birth, and state residency. States use various approaches in implementing these requirements, including whether exceptions or alternative documents are permissible. State departments of motor vehicles often have considerable discretion in determining which documents must be presented.
In Colorado, you will need your work authorization card, your passport or birth certificate, proof of current residence AND also your Social Security Card. Proof of residence can include one of these items: Utility bill, Credit card statement, student ID or bill, Pay stub or earnings statement, Rent receipt, Telephone bill, Transcript or report card from an accredited school, Bank statement, Mortgage document, Tax document, Homeowners/renter’s insurance policy, Vehicle registration. There have been some Colorado applicants under 18 who have had issues getting drivers licenses due to requirement of parents’ being in lawful status for insurance purposes. This should be challenged and I encourage you to bring it my attention if this happens.
According to the National Immigration Law Center, officials in at least 45 states (AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, ID, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NV, NH, NM, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WY) have confirmed that DACA recipients are eligible for licenses or have been issuing licenses to people in this group. Three of these states (NM, WA, UT) issue driver’s licenses or driver’s privilege cards to eligible applicants regardless of their status.
By contrast, the governor or other state officials in only 2 states (AZ, NE) announced that DACA recipients will not be eligible for a driver’s license. Arizona did this by creating — either formally or informally — special rules for DACA recipients.
Stay tuned for more information on DACA and school benefits. Seek advice of Boulder immigration lawyer, Catherine Brown on any issues with DACA before or after approval at 303-322-2117.Posted in Deferred Action | Tagged after DACA, Colorado drivers license DACA, taxes and DACA, traveling on DACA | Leave a comment April 29, 2013
Today, Colorado Governor John Marking Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 33, also known as the ASSET bill into law. The bill provides for in-state tuition for undocumented college-bound youth who live and reside in the state. This bill ends a decade-long effort to provide in-state tuition rates to undocumented Colorado college students by many legislators and school officials advocating for the change. The rate differential is huge, for instance, with in-state tuition at University of Colorado in 2013 at least $20,000 cheaper than out-of-state tuition per year.
The Democrat-sponsored bill got a boost of support from the recent Deferred Action program launched by the Obama Administration in August 2012. Deferred Action allows eligible undocumented students to legally stay in the US in two-year increments and obtain work authorization and the coveted social security card. For some legislators, handing out in-state tuition to undocumented students was a lost cause because they couldn’t work legally beyond college due to their status. Now, there is some impetus for giving the tuition break.
To qualify for the in-state tuition, undocumented students must attend a Colorado high school for three years. They must graduate from a Colorado high school or obtain a general education diploma, and must declare their intention to pursue legal immigration status. In general, such students must apply to college within 12 months of obtaining the GED/high school diploma, but exceptions apply. The schools do not require verification of the student’s immigration status and therefore, such students are NOT required to be in Deferred Action or any other status to obtain the in-state tuition benefit. Also worth noting is that the in-state tuition rule applies to those states that have a reciprocity agreement with Colorado, such as Wyoming.
Colorado Senator Udall lauded the move in Colorado in hopes of further reform at the federal level, stating “I will take Colorado’s example with me to Washington and continue fighting for a balanced, bipartisan immigration-reform proposal. …. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act.”
Good news for the Colorado Dreamers this week. Contact Boulder lawyer Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117 for more information for DREAM Act eligibility or Deferred Action.
Posted in Deferred Action, Legislative Updates | Tagged colorado illegal tuition, deferred action colorado, in-state tuition undocumented Colorado, tuition benefits Colorado, tuition illegal immigrants Colorado | Leave a comment April 20, 2013
On April 16, 2013 8 US Senators announced a detailed bill — Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 — to overhaul the existing immigration system. The bill is comprehensive in hopes of tackling both the illegal problem, the huge backlog in immigrant visas for family and workers, border security and worksite enforcement. This blog will just focus on what the bill proposes for people who have been in the US illegally.
The proposal states that illegal persons can apply for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) Status if he or she was present in the US on or before December 31, 2011. RPI status will then allow a person to get work authorization and access to a social security card, which is key to functioning in the US legally.RPI status is not a green card.
RPI eligibility as written now, requires the following:
1) Physical presence in the US on or before December 31, 2011
2) Continuous physical presence in the US until granted RPI status
3) Pay any taxes due in the US
4) Meet criminal background check requirements (People will be disqualified if they have Any felony conviction; an aggravated felony conviction – as defined under immigration law (can be misdemeanor or felony); have 3 misdemeanor convictions (for 3 different events) other than traffic offenses.
Issues with being here illegally, with triggering the permanent bar, with triggering misrepresentation or false claims to US citizenship will not apply unless you enter the US illegally after the date of the law’s enactment.
Those in removal proceedings now will be eligible for RPI status and can have removal proceedings terminated or stopped.
However, those in RPI status will need to wait at least 10 years before they can even apply for a green card, getting in line after those who have already been doing the process legally. This portion is aimed at appeasing the Republican-majority House of Representatives, and many conservative Republican Senators as well. So there is a path to green card, and then citizenship – eventually.
RPI status for those considered DREAM Act kids -children brought to the US illegally by their parents – will happen within 5 years instead of 10. As proposed, an RPI youth who fits the following definition will be eligible:
1) RPI status for at least 5 years;
2) younger than 16 years of age on the date on which the alien initially entered the United States;
3) has earned a high school diploma or obtained a general education development certificate in the United States;
4) has acquired a degree from an institution of higher education or has completed at least 2 years, in good standing, in a program for a bachelor’s degree or has served in the US military for 4 years
This is a higher bar than the current Deferred Status process which required no higher education – just a high school diploma/GED.
The undocumented legalization process also hinges on many security-related initiatives that must happen prior to the launch of RPI folks getting a green card. This piece is the fuzziest part of the proposed bill and it is not clear how this will be changed or qualified.
In any event, the bill has the support of many Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and is a more positive approach than those seen in the last major reform bill proposed in 2007.
For any questions about how the new proposed immigration law may impact you, please continue to read our blogs on this topic and if you want detailed information and advice, you can always scheduled an appointment with Colorado lawyer, Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117.Posted in Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Legislative Updates | Tagged green card proposal 2013, immigration reform Colorado, provisional status for illegal | Leave a comment April 14, 2013
On April 11, 2013 the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) representatives met with USCIS on a variety of topics including the I-601A provisional waiver.
AILA inquired into how USCIS was going to make the decision if disqualifying criminal issues or other issues that prevented a person from obtaining a green card – what are known as “admissibility issues” – other than the unlawful presence bar – were going to be determined by USCIS. For example, a crime may or may not qualify as a “crime of moral turpitude,” which is an inadmissible offense. Normally an applicant/attorney would argue at the Visa Interview the law supporting that it would NOT trigger the offense. If one files a provisional waiver, what will USCIS do with this situation?
USCIS stated that it will review the criminal background check conducted through the biometrics appointment. If the results of the background check give USCIS “reason to believe” that a Department of State consular officer would find that the individual is inadmissible on grounds other than unlawful presence, USCIS will deny the application.
AILA then asked if a provisional waiver case would be automatically denied if a criminal issue arose.
This is an interesting and disconcerting response. No they won’t analyze arguments or evidence to make a determination of criminal or misrepresentation issues – which are often factually based. Nevertheless, they must still “analyze” something to make their “reason to believe” conclusion. This analysis will be based merely on the criminal background check and nothing else. “Reason to believe” is a vague definition that gives USCIS wide latitude to make decisions. If there is anything in the background check – prior removals, criminal charges or convictions that could possibly be construed as inadmissible problems, then the provisional waiver will be denied under this “reason to believe” standard.
The bottom line is that you should speak with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer like Catherine Brown about your I601 provisional waiver if you have any criminal issues, prior visa or entry denials based on misrepresentation, and any issues with being “picked up” by ICE or stopped at the border and returned or what is known as expedited removal. These may be determined as “reason to believe” grounds that make one ineligible for a provisional waiver. Call us at 303-322-2117 for a consultation.
Posted in Family Immigration | Tagged criminal issues and provisional waiver, provisional waiver Colorado, reason to believe standard for waivers | 2 Comments April 7, 2013
The “H-1B cap” – or limited number of H-1B visas allowed to be issued – was met on April 5, 2013, 4 days after the earliest filing date became available on April 1, 2013. A lottery will be held for those applications received from April 1 through 5, 2013. Those cases filed after April 5th will be rejected.
It was predicted to be a short H-1B year due to the continuous improvement in the economy over the past year, and thus, demand for more high-skilled foreign labor. Last year the cap was reached in June, and the year before the cap reached in November.
What does this mean for those whose applications were received by April 5th? USCIS announced it will subject ALL cases filed from April 1st thru 5th to a lottery. The agency will conduct the selection process for advanced degree exemption petitions first (20,000). All advanced degree petitions not selected will be part of the random selection process for the 65,000 limit. Due to the high number of petitions received, USCIS is not yet able to announce the exact day of the random selection process
What does this mean for those who were not able to file by this date? Those persons will not be able to obtain an H-1B visa until the next fiscal year (2014/15), October 1, 2014 and can apply no earlier than April 1, 2014. This will be a long and painful year for those foreign nationals who otherwise would be eligible for an H-1B but for the limited number issued. Such foreign nationals need to maximize their STEM OPT, think of ongoing student status, and entertain other types of work visas such a TN (for Mexicans and Canadians), L-1A, B for intracompany transferees, J-1 and H-3 trainee visas.
There is also the option of working for an H-1B cap exempt organization such as the governmental and non-profit research organizations, or an institution of higher education or an entity affiliated with such an organization, such as many hospitals.
This event continues to underscore the dire need for Congress to increase the H-1B cap levels to something more logical and in tune with the pace of the economy. The cap limit is 65,000 for those with a Bachelor’s degree and 20,000 for those who obtained a Masters or higher in the US for a total of 85,000. Prior to this severe decrease in FY2003, the cap limit was 195,000 per year. In fact, the cap was reached in FY2001 despite the downturn in the economy.
For more information about H-1B options or other options for high-skilled professional foreign workers in Colorado, please contact immigration attorney Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117.
Posted in Business Immigration | Tagged H-1B attorney Denver, H-1B cap, H-1B lottery, H1b lawyer Colorado | Leave a comment April 3, 2013
USCIS has finally issued the new I-9 Form, required for US employers to verify whether an employee is authorized to work in the US. The form’s “Revision Date” is “3/8/2013.” All employers must be using this version by May 7, 2013. If US employers are reverifying existing workers or rehiring prior workers they must use the new form now. After May 7th, failure to use the new form for new hires will result in I-9 violations.
The new form has 6 pages of instructions and the form itself is now 2 pages. There are new fields for e-mail address, phone number and foreign passport in Section 1, but Sections 2 and 3 are essentially unchanged.
An I-9 Form is required for all US employees hired by a US worker. This process is mandatory and is regulated by the US Department of Homeland Security/ICE. This is not to be mistaken with E-Verify which for most employers, is NOT mandatory under Federal law. Many states are mandating that employers comply with E-verify so US employers should check with their state rules where they have their place of employment or do business. E-verify is online verification system that allows US employers to know if a US worker is “verified” in terms of name/social security number.
You may obtain the new Form I-9 (Rev.03/08/13)N by visiting I-9 Central or the USCIS website www.uscis.gov
For any questions about I-9 compliance under federal law or Colorado law contact Catherine Brown at 303-322-2117.
Posted in Business Immigration | Tagged Colorado I-9, I-9 compliance, new i-9 form | Leave a comment February 1, 2013
This was an exciting week for advocates of immigration reform with news from the Capitol and the White House.
On January 28, 2013, 8 Senators (Schumer (D), McCain (R), Durbin (D), Graham (R), Menendez (D), Rubio (R), Bennet (D), and Flake (R)) announced a bipartisan agreement on a blueprint for comprehensive reform. First, they all admit that, “our immigration system is broken.” Always good to agree on the problem. They announced, “Our legislation acknowledges these realities by finally committing the resources needed to secure the border, modernize and streamline our current legal immigration system, while creating a tough but fair legalization program for individuals who are currently here.”
The blueprint focuses on these basic tenets:
Create a tough but fair path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants currently living in the United States: This is contingent upon securing the US borders and devising a new entry-exit system to track whether legal immigrants have left the country when required; How this actually would be implemented and measured is clearly an unknown, but the agreement to allow the undocumented population to become legal eventually is a HUGE step forward.
Reform our legal immigration system to better recognize the importance of characteristics that will help build the American economy and strengthen American families: This includes mechanisms to alleviate the intense backlogs in the family and employment based categories and with respect to high skilled talent, attracting and keeping that talent in the US to assist with strengthening the economy
Create an effective employment verification system to prevent identity theft and the hiring of unauthorized workers;
Establish an improved process for admitting future workers to serve our nation’s workforce needs, while simultaneously protecting all workers
National AILA President and Denver attorney, Laura Lichter, stated “The devil is, as they say, in the details, but this newly released bipartisan document shows that consensus is not only possible, but closer than ever.” Very hopeful indeed.
A few days later, President Obama put his two cents in on immigration saying, “now is the time for action” and applauding the Senate agreement. He highlighted similar solutions for systemic problems and also included “treating same-sex families just like other families,” “creating a ‘startup visa’ for job-creating entrepreneurs,” and “expediting an opportunity for DREAMers to earn their citizenship,” to name a few.
Then on January 29, 2013, Sens. Hatch (R-UT), Klobuchar (D-MN), Rubio (R-FL), and Coons (D-DE) got specific and introduced the Immigration Innovation (I-Squared) Act of 2013. Among other things, the bill proposes to increase the H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000, authorize employment for spouses of H-1B visa holders, recapture green card numbers to alleviate the intense backlog in the green card system right now, allow dual intent for student visa holders, and reform fees on H-1B visas and employment-based green cards to ease the burden on US employers to hire foreign skilled workers.
The bipartisan approach of the Senate on this issue is extremely positive but the question remains if the Republican-dominated House will be swayed by the momentum in the Senate. I am not normally an optimist, but I am more hopeful than I have been in years – if that means something. Please contact Catherine Brown, Denver attorney, about any questions pertaining to the recent comprehensive reform debate.Posted in Legislative Updates | Leave a comment January 31, 2013
In November 2012, two Senate Republicans introduced the Achieve Act, legislation that could offer renewable work permits to undocumented young people living in the United States.
Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Jon Kyle, both of whom are retiring in the near future, introduced the bill with support of Congressional Republicans but to a lukewarm response from Democrats.
With the election complete and President Obama in office for another four years, the hope is that immigration reform will be passed quickly in 2013. The introduction of the Achieve Act shows some movement from the Republican party on the topic of immigration.
What is the Achieve Act and how does it differ from the Dream Act?
What is the Achieve Act?
The Achieve Act is closely related to the Dream Act, which failed to pass the Senate due to Republican opposition in 2010. The Dream Act received support from the White House and Congressional Democrats, but Republicans opposed it, arguing that the bill rewarded illegal immigration.
Congressional Republicans effectively reworked the Dream Act by substantially limiting eligibility. The Achieve Act would only apply to undocumented young people who entered the United States while under the age of 14, and unlike the Dream Act, the Achieve Act does not provide any type of special pathway to citizenship for qualifying persons. Under the Acieve Act, immigrants would still have the right to pursue permanent residence/citizenship through the traditional channels.
Some immigration reform advocates have noted the Achieve Act’s significant limitations; if approved, the Act would only offer temporary work permits to about 1.2 million undocumented immigrants. There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and some Democrats and activists note that the Achieve Act falls far short of the Dream Act’s goals.
It’s important to note that the Dream Act is NOT the same as Deferred Action. The Deferred Action bill stops the deportation of undocumented immigrants while they are in the US and trying to obtain legal immigration.
Republican Immigration Policies
Hutchison and Kyle admitted that the Achieve Act will probably not pass while they are members of the Senate due to the increased pro-immigrant momentum recently articulated this year.
However, it does indicate that Republicans have shifted their stance on the topic and scope of immigration reform. Voters saw Republicans presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s stance on immigration as unacceptable, and President Obama received somewhere from 70-75 percent of the Latino vote in the 2012 election. Romney’s controversial “self-deportation” policy garnered negative headlines in pro-immigration publications late in the election, and Congressional Republicans are looking for a way to redeem themselves with immigrant voters. The Achieve Act is a starting point.
The future for legal immigration is looking brighter with new immigration opportunities being discussed by all sides. Do you have questions about your status and wondering what immigration opportunities are best for your family? Contact us today, as qualified Denver immigration attorney, we can help you evaluate the options.Posted in Family Immigration, Legislative Updates | Leave a comment January 7, 2013
With the recent downturn in the United States unemployment rate, some individuals can take advantage of the H-1B visa, a three-year, non-immigrant visa for professional foreign workers operating in the United States.
Do you qualify for this specialized visa? A qualified immigration attorney can let you know for sure.
What is the H1B Visa?
The H-1B is designed for individuals in a specialty profession. A US employer must sponsor someone for an H-1B visa; employees cannot apply on their own, and must meet several key criteria for consideration.
The applicant must have Bachelor’s or higher degree (or experience equivalent) that is relevant to his or her specialized occupation, and the employer must normally require a degree for the occupation. The degree must be equal to a US bachelor’s degree in the United States.
Does declining unemployment improve opportunities?
The United States’ unemployment rate currently stands at 7.9 percent according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the lowest rate in several years. When unemployment rates are relatively low, work-related visas like the H-1B become viable options for some workers, as hiring companies are more likely to go through the application process and pay the required fees for necessary labor.
The USCIS initially grants the H-1B visa for a period of three years, although approved applicants can extend their visas for another three years and can extend thereafter if they have filed for permanent residence in a qualified time period.
As more jobs open up and economy strengthens, the demand for skilled workers increases.
How many H1B Visas are issued?
Each fiscal year, the USCIS offers a limited number of H-1B visas. The federal government, in particular Congress, decides the cap based on financial numbers and indicators from the previous fiscal year. It takes an act of Congress to change the cap level.
For the 2013 fiscal year from October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013, the H-1B visa program has a general cap of 65,000 and an advanced degree cap of 20,000. When the USCIS reaches this cap, it cannot approve any visa applications until the next fiscal year. Employers can apply for H-1B visas six months before the scheduled start of a specialized occupation. There are several exceptions to the cap rule that can be investigated with the assistance of an immigration attorney, particularly in the healthcare and education industries.
Given the United States’ declining unemployment rate, the H-1B visa is a viable option for individuals with specialized skills and college degrees. As with most visa opportunities and applications, an experienced Denver immigration can help you select the best option for you.
When Can One Apply?
With Colorado employers thinking about their labor force needs for 2013, one should keep in mind that the earlier one can file an H-1B for a foreign national the better chance of getting within the visa cap. The earliest a US employer can file for a start date of October 1, 2013 is April 1, 2013. It is anticiapted that the cap will be reached within a few months of April 1st due to the improvement in the economy over the past year.
Contact Catherine Brown Law for more information today.
Posted in Business Immigration, General Immigration | Leave a comment ← Older posts
|Call today to schedule a consultation: 303-322-2117|
|844 Main St.
Louisville, CO 80027