Greenberg Traurig recently reported on the looming expiration of the H-1B and H-2B annual numerical cap exemption in Guam and CNMI, while urging local employers to consider filing extensions for any employee whose H-1B or H-2B authorization expires before December 31, 2014—the date the expiration takes effect. With pervasive Congressional deadlock on the immigration front and the end of the 113th Congress fast approaching, an extension of the exemption appears unlikely. However, employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may be able to minimize or avoid altogether the detrimental effects of the cap exemption expiration by taking advantage of an alternative employment-based non-immigrant program to satisfy their workforce needs: the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker (CW) Visa.

Continue Reading Employers in CNMI Facing H-Visa Numerical Cap Issues Should Explore the CW Visa Program

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its FY 2014 statistics on prevailing wage determinations for U.S. employers in connection with the sponsorship for foreign workers. This report provides interesting insight into prevailing wage requests by U.S. employers and their representatives for H-1B petitions, H-2B petitions and PERM labor certifications. It also reveals some broader business immigration trends.

By way of background, all U.S. employers must first establish that the wages it is offering foreign national employees are the same level as or higher than the “prevailing wage” for any given position before securing certain temporary (e.g., H-1B and  H-2B visas) and permanent (e.g., PERM labor certifications) employment-based benefits for them. For temporary visas the employer is given a choice of either performing a self-determination of the appropriate prevailing wage or requesting a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. If the employer receives the determination from the DOL this determination cannot be challenged in a future investigation, providing the employer a “safe harbor”. For the PERM process, however, the employer is required to obtain the prevailing wage determination from the DOL directly and is not permitted to perform a self-determination.  There is no fee to request a prevailing wage determination from the DOL, but the wait time to receive a determination is a burdensome six to eight weeks.

Continue Reading DOL Report on FY2014 Prevailing Wage Determinations Provides Some Surprising Data for Employers

There is a philosophical move fueled by union sympathizers and apparently imbedded in the leadership of this administration to re-engineer the temporary non-immigrant visa programs in such a way as to render them unworkable and unusable.
Continue Reading Employers of Skilled, Professional and Intracompany Transfers Beware: Administration’s Regulatory Creep Threatens Non-Immigrant Visa Programs