Employers employing foreign nationals in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status must pay their H-1B employees the wage specified on the Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by DOL, regardless of whether the H-1B employer is enduring difficult economic or financial periods due to struggling national economy, an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Labor has ruled in Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division v. Shriiji Krupa Inc.
Articles Discussing Employment-Related Visas.
Noting media reports that up to 200 foreign workers hired by a Tesla contractor were able to come to the United States in tourist visa status to perform work at a construction project at a Tesla Motors Inc. paint facility in the United States, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter, dated June 7, 2016, to the heads of the State Department, Justice Department, Department of Labor, and Department of Homeland Security questioning how such individuals would be eligible to perform work in the U.S. in B visa status.
A U.S. District Court in Seattle has ruled that the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin which governs how immigrant visas subject to numerical limitations are allocated, and indicates when intending immigrants may apply for the last stage of the permanent visa process is not a final agency action or decision and, therefore, cannot be challenged in court. While it is estimated that 20,000 or more individuals relied upon the published dates to initiate filings prior to the roll-back, Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez determined that the court lacked jurisdiction because the bulletin does not constitute a final action under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but instead merely sets out “informative” data.
As we head into the final month before petitions for H-1B visas must be filed for Fiscal Year 2017,1 employers should keep the following information in mind:
On February 5, 2016, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued an alert reminding employers to identify “returning workers” when filing H-2B petitions for non-immigrant workers.
The United States has begun implementing changes to its visa policies that will make it harder for some travelers to enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). One result of the changes means certain countries’ nationals are no longer eligible to enter the U.S. under the VWP.
Executive Summary: Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) must file a Form M-1 annually and shortly after inception. The annual Form M-1 filing deadline for the 2015 calendar year is March 1, 2016.
Employers who wish to sponsor H-1B workers for Fiscal Year 2017 can begin filing petitions on April 1, 2016 for a start date of October 1, 2016. The H-1B visa is used by businesses who wish to employ foreign nationals to work in a specialty occupation requiring theoretical or technical expertise. For FY 2017, cases will be considered accepted on the date that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) takes possession of the petition, not on the date it was postmarked.
A February 12, 2016, court-imposed deadline to determine the fate of certain student work permits is fast approaching. At this point, it is unclear whether the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be able to meet its regulatory target date to extend work permits granted to certain students with F-1 visas. The failure to act or extend the work permits may adversely affect the continued employment of these workers.
Each year, USCIS issues 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 “master’s cap” visas. April 1, 2016 is he first date on which an H-1B petition may be filed for FY 2017, in anticipation of an October 1, 2016 start date. Last year, USCIS accepted 233,000 petitions in the first week. A lottery was conducted and over 60% of all petitions were rejected.
Executive Summary: We are releasing this Alert to remind employers of the fast approaching April 1, 2016, deadline for filing H-1B work visa petitions on behalf of foreign employees who need sponsorship for long-term work authorization in the U.S.
On December 30, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a proposed rule to amend certain regulations related to employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. One of the key proposed changes is an expansion of the current definition of nonprofit organizations that qualify for “cap exempt status” as a result of a “related or affiliated” agreement with an institution of higher education. Littler will provide a more comprehensive summary of the entire proposed rule later this week.
A bill winding its way through Congress could impact business travel and the U.S. tourism industry. On December 8, 2015, the House of Representatives passed by a vote of 407-19 the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (H.R.158). This bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to include terrorism risk as a factor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must consider under the agency’s Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) used to determine an alien’s eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Executive Summary: We are releasing this Alert to remind employers of the fast approaching April 1, 2016 deadline for filing H-1B work visa petitions on behalf of foreign employees who need sponsorship for long-term work authorization in the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has proposed amending its regulations on the optional practical training (“OPT”) program to allow international F-1 students with U.S. degrees in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics (“STEM”) — attained from accredited institutions — to extend by 24 months the standard 12-month OPT period available to them to remain in the U.S. to pursue degree-related work experience.