Tag Archives: DOL

USCIS Issues Policy Memorandum to Define “Affiliate” or “Subsidiary for Determining the H-1B ACWIA Fee

On Aug. 28, 2017, USCIS released a policy memorandum that clarified the definition of “affiliate” and “subsidiary” for purposes of determining the H-1B ACWIA fee.  The H-1B ACWIA fee is $1500 for H-1B petitioners who have 26 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, and half that amount ($750) for H-1B petitioners who have 25 or … Continue Reading

Emerging Trends: USCIS Challenging Level 1 Wages and Computer Programmer Occupational Classification for H-1B Petitions

Over the past several months, some trends have developed which pose challenges for employers taking part in the H-1B program: 1. the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is issuing Requests for Evidence (RFEs) for H-1B petitions that challenge the H-1B position’s level 1 prevailing wage classification, the lowest permitted wage level for H-1B filings; … Continue Reading

The Department of Homeland Security Adds an Additional 15,000 Visas to the H-2B Program

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and The Department of Labor (DOL) have submitted a final rule to the Federal Register, which will be published on July 18, 2017, increasing the number of H-2B visas by 15,000. DHS Secretary John Kelly determined, along with DOL Secretary Alexander Acosta, that there are not enough qualified and … Continue Reading

Proposed California Law Would Increase Employer Responsibilities When Faced With Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions

In response to the Trump administration’s stance on immigration enforcement, California is considering legislation (Assembly Bill 450 (Chiu)) which would prohibit employers from providing federal immigration officials with access to nonpublic areas of the workplace without a judicial warrant. While aiming to provide new protections to workers, the bill’s broad language does not eliminate any employer … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Announces Labor Certification Enforcement Initiative

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Labor Jim Acosta announced an initiative aimed at addressing fraud and restoring transparency in U.S. non-immigrant visa enforcement.  As released by the Department of Labor (DOL), the key initiatives include: Directing the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (the Division) to use all its tools in conducting civil investigations to enforce labor … Continue Reading

Agencies Open H-1B Cap Season with Initiatives to Combat Fraud and Abuse

The U.S. immigration agency’s busiest day of the year was marked with reminders about the dark side of the H-1B visa program.  Acceptance of H-1B cap-subject petitions started on April 3, 2017. But the flurry of H-1B filings were met with announcements from agencies involved with the H-1B program about measures designed to tighten policies … Continue Reading

GT Alert – Preparing for H-1B Cap Season in Fiscal Year 2018

This year’s H-1B cap is fast approaching. USCIS will start accepting new H-1B petitions for Fiscal Year 2018 on April 1, 2017. Although the federal government annually allocates 65,000 H-1B visas to eligible foreign national employees, USCIS receives far more H-1B petitions within the first weeks or even days of April during each fiscal year … Continue Reading

Upgrade – DHS Finalizes Rules Affecting Employment-based Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa Programs

On Nov. 18, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published its final rule to “modernize and improve” employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visa programs.  As stated by DHS, the primary purpose of the improvements is to enhance the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain specific foreign national employees who are the beneficiaries of … Continue Reading

“Immigration Strategies for Employers During Layoffs” by Greenberg Traurig’s Kate Kalmykov Featured in The New Jersey Law Journal

Kate Kalmykov, shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, recently authored an article in the New Jersey Law Journal (NJLJ) discussing immigration strategies during layoffs and reductions in force.  The article highlights proper protocol for employers to follow when terminating a foreign national population in compliance with federal regulatory requirements.  Likewise, it identifies specific strategies to utilize based … Continue Reading

DOL Online Wage Library – Prevailing Wages will change on July 1

Every year on July 1, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) publishes updates to the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center Online Wage Library.  These updates typically include changes to the prevailing wages and may also include revisions to or additions of certain occupational classifications. The DOL Online Wage Library is the primary source of prevailing … Continue Reading

Intra-agency Initiative Produces Guidance on Internal I-9 Audits, Worker Protections

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Civil Rights Division and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) teamed up to address common questions that arise when employers conduct internal reviews of their Forms I-9. The guidance is intended to help employers conduct their audits properly, and ensure they do not discriminate against … Continue Reading

USCIS Provides Guidance on Immigrant Visa Availability and Priority Dates

The Basics of Immigrant Visa Availability The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets a limit on the number of immigrant visas (i.e. green cards) that may be issued to foreign nationals each year, and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) is the agency that allocates the aforementioned immigrant visas. There are an unlimited number of … Continue Reading

Act Now: The Department of Labor may experience a shutdown on 10/1/2015

Although Congress continues to discuss the Fiscal Year 2016 budget, if an agreement is not reached or continuing resolution passed, the Department of Labor (DOL) will experience a shut down as of October 1, 2015. Should this happen, both the iCERT and PERM online filing systems will not accept applications and users will no longer … Continue Reading

DOL Glitch Prevents PERM Filings

A programming glitch, which occurred during a software update implemented by the Department of Labor (DOL) on September 1, 2015, prevented some employers from being able to file their PERM applications, the DOL announced today on its website. The DOL explained that the malfunction precluded employers from completing some of the ETA Form 9089 online. … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Unveils Plans to Begin Charging User Fees

As a result of extensive deliberations spanning over the course of several years, the Department of Labor (DOL) is closing in on making major changes to the labor certification process, including charging user fees for PERM applications.  At present, the electronic PERM process – an initial step in many employment-based permanent residence cases – does … Continue Reading

Commentary on Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys H1-B Visa Probe

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued an investigation to determine if Indian third-party information technology companies -Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys – have violated American labor laws. This investigation directly relates to the use of H-1B visas, a non-immigrant visa that allows a U.S. employer to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. Both … Continue Reading

DOL Directives on Business Necessity and Finite Employment Unearthed Through PERM FOIA Litigation

A recent Freedom of Information (FOIA) request has led to the Department of Labor (DOL) releasing  272 documents relevant to the operation of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) Program Electronic Review Management System (PERM).  These documents provide some useful insight into DOL policy.  For further information, see the Gluckman v. U.S. Dept. of Labor opinion here. … Continue Reading

NEW Document Requests in PERM Audits

The PERM process is first step in the employment-based green card process for many foreign nationals. In this process the sponsoring employer conducts an advertisement campaign as a test of the local labor market to determine if minimally-qualified U.S. workers are available to fill the position. The sponsoring employer can only file the PERM application … Continue Reading

Recent District Court Case Reaffirms the Importance of a Securing a Proper Prevailing Wage Determination When Filing for H-1B Positions

With H-1B filing season rapidly approaching, it is important to remember the importance of a proper prevailing wage determination for H-1B positions. This was made clear in the recent case of Health Carousel v. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (1/3/2014), where the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division … Continue Reading

USCIS Suspends Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions Pending Agency Response to Court Order

On April 2, 2013, the USCIS announced that it will temporarily suspend the adjudication of certain Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers as the federal government considers its response to the Court order entered in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas el al. v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). The Court ruling granted … Continue Reading

Eleventh Circuit Rejects U.S. Department of Labor’s Authority to Issue Rules for H-2B Program

On April 1st, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision holding that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) lacks the authority to issue rules in connection with the H-2B program, which permits U.S. employers or U.S. agents who meet specific regulatory requirements to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill … Continue Reading

Federal Budget Sequester May Affect Immigration Processing

Across-the-board funding cuts, or sequestration, took effect Friday, March 1 for all government agencies, including those playing a vital role in immigration processing. Though the Departments of Homeland Security, State Department and Department of Labor have not stated how or if their immigration-related operations will be impacted, delays are possible for many immigration processes. Of particular concern to employers is the possibility of processing delays at the Department of Labor. DOL is responsible for processing labor condition applications (LCAs), a prerequisite to filing H-1B petitions, as well as prevailing wage determinations and PERM labor certifications. With the FY2014 H-1B cap season opening on April 1, delays in LCA processing could have consequences for employers planning on filing cap-subject H-1B petitions for the next fiscal year. Employers are advised to continue preparing their FY2014 H-1B petitions, including filing the necessary LCAs. The sequester might also delay DOL's processing of prevailing wage determinations, which would impact employers' ability to conduct recruitment required under Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) regulations.… Continue Reading
LexBlog