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H-1B Temporary Specialty Occupations–Statistics, FY 2014 YTD
April 17, 2014

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published the YTD FY 2014 statistics for H-1B occupations. The FY 2014 begins on October 1, 2013 till September 30, 2014.

According to the DOL statistics, a total of 297,539 H-1B applications were received during the FY 2014 (YTD) which includes 124,000 H-1B CAP applications. This indicates that 40% of the applications were received during the 1st seven days of the CAP season.

The top 5 occupations for which the H-1B applications were filed include Computer Systems Analyst (166,858), Computer Programmers (84,241), Software Developers, Applications (63,382), Computer Occupations, All Others (60,273) and Accountants and Auditors (25,606).

The top 5 States from which the applications received were California (115,122), Texas (55,465), New York (49,988), New Jersey (44,720) and Pennsylvania (33,587).

The top 5 H-1B employers includes Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP (41,666), Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S. Corporation (40,778), Wipro Limited (27,953), Tata Consultancy Services (25,983) and Deloitte Consulting LLP (23,707).

The above numbers indicate the growing demand for the high skilled worker occupations and from the Technology Industry and the need for increased H1b visa numbers in order for the US to remain competitive in the area of science and technology.

Stay tuned to our website www.emandilaw.com for latest updates on the H1B Visas.

 

GOOD NEWS: EMANDI LAW FIRM RECEIVES H1B CAP FY 2015 RECEIPT NOTICES
April 11, 2014
 
Good news for all the applicants waiting for the result of the random selection process of the H1B CAP FY 2015. The USCIS had earlier announced that it will start the premium processing H1B cap case no later than April, 28 2014. However, Emandi Law Firm PC has received almost 25 plus premium processing receipt notices email confirmations from the USCIS for the H1B CAP cases till now and expecting to receive many more in next few days.

Receipt notices for non-premium processing cases could be received anywhere between one to two weeks following completion of the selection process.

On April 10, 2014, the USCIS completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select petitions to meet the 65,000 general-H1B category cap and 20,000 H1B Masters quota cap for FY 2015.

Stay tuned to our website www.emandilaw.com for latest updates on the H1B CAP FY 2015.

 

H1B CAP FY 2015
April 10, 2014
 
The USCIS announced that as of April 7, 2014 it had received 172,500 H-1B petitions, enough to meet the statutory cap in relation to the FY 2015 General Quota and the Masters Quota limit of 20,000.

The 172,500 H-1B petitions were received during the period from April 1, 2014 till April 7, 2014. This number also includes the petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. Last year, the H1B cap limit for both the general quota and the Masters Quota was also reached by April 7, 2013. However, the total number of applications received by the USCIS in 2013 was 120,000 (50,000 less applications in comparison to the current year).

On April 10, 2014, the USCIS has completed a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select petitions to meet the 65,000 general-H1B category cap and 20,000 H1B Masters quota cap. The petitions which have not made the cap will be returned by the USCIS along with filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

The USCIS had earlier announced that it will start the premium processing H1B cap case no later than April, 28 2014. Check our website www.emandilaw.com for latest updates.

 

CERTAIN H-4s TO GET WORK AUTHORIZTION:
April 10, 2014

The White House issued a fact sheet on Monday April 07, 2014 which highlights a proposal from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allow certain H-4 visa holders to be eligible to work in the United States on adjudication of the said rule. The proposal is in continuation of the effort to make the United States more attractive for the foreign high skilled workers and also to retain the existing high skill workers in the United States for the growth of the country.

The rule states that the regulations proposed by the DHS includes rule authorizing the employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers.

The White House fact sheet has not made it clear what it means by certain high- skill workers. We are still awaiting the news when the proposal shall be implemented. However, this press release has brought a new hope for all the H4 visa holders waiting to start to work again.

 

H1B CAP FY2015 REACHES STATUTORY LIMIT:
April 7, 2014

The USCIS announced that as of today it has received enough H1b petitions to meet the statutory cap in relation to the FY 2015 quota and the Masters Quota limit of 20,000. Now, the USCIS must embark on the task for random selection which will take place at a specified date but only after logging in all the respective H1b petitions received at the USCIS. We have been aware of the fact that USCIS had received such large volumes of packages on April 4, 2014 that USCIS requested Federal Express to redeliver the packages the next day on April 5, 2014.

As for the Masters quota, the USCIS will conduct the random selection process for the advance degree exemptions cases and then place the remaining advanced degree petitions into the 65,000 quota limit. After the random selection process is completed, the USICS will return the H1b petitions and filing fees that have not made the H1b quota for FY2015.

We estimate that employers and law firms shall receive the receipt notices for cases that made the quota perhaps within two weeks similar to the prior year FY 2014 process.

 

H1B CAP SEASON FY2015:
March 27, 2014

The H-1B Cap season is just round the corner. It is expected that this season will have the highest number of H1b applications in the past few years. The majority of immigration attorneys are expecting the H-1B cap to be reached in no time for both the regular category and the Masters category and thus resulting in a lottery.

USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions that are subject to the FY 2015 cap on April 1, 2014. The USCIS is anticipating that both the CAP’s will be reached by April 7, 2014 and is expecting the use of the random selection process (lottery process).

The average processing time for a Labor Condition Application (LCA) is seven working days. We are advising our clients and prospective H1B employers to send their H-1B petitions and cases at the earliest for timely filings.

 

The January 2014 Visa Bulletin

The Department of state (DOS) lately issued the visa bulletin for January 2014. The Visa Bulletin gives information in regards to the cut-off dates which controls the visa availability in different visa categories.

The cut-off dates for the family sponsored category have moved ahead by a month or so except for Mexico and Philippines.

 

Family-Sponsored All
Charge -ability Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA-
mainland born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 8-Dec-06 8-Dec-06 8-Dec-06 22-Sep-93 1-Jul-01
F2A 8-Sep-13 8-Sep-13 8-Sep-13 1-Sep-13 8-Sep-13
F2B 1-Jun-06 1-Jun-06 1-Jun-06 1-Apr-94 1-May-03
F3 15-Apr-03 15-Apr-03 15-Apr-03 1-Jun-93 1-Feb-93
F4 1-Oct-01 1-Oct-01 1-Oct-01 1-Nov-96 1-Jul-90

 

 

Under the employment based category, the employment based first preference (EB1) is current for all countries. As anticipated there is a deep retrogression by 4 years in the employment based second preference (EB2) cut off dates for India. Whereas, the cutoff date for EB2 – China have moved ahead by one month.  The employment based third preference cut off dates have moved ahead for all except for India which stays at 01Sep 03.

 

 

Employment- Based All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-
mainland born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 8-Nov-08 15-Nov-04 C C
3rd 1-Oct-11 1-Oct-11 1-Sep-03 1-Oct-11 8-Jan-07
Other Workers 1-Oct-11 1-Oct-11 1-Sep-03 1-Oct-11 8-Jan-07
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th C C C C C
Targeted
Employment Areas/
Regional Centers and Pilot Programs 

 

 

Stay
tuned to www.emandlilaw.com for the latest
updates on immigration news.

EMANDI LAW FIRM continues to stay abreast of the latest Immigration Laws and Procedures
December 16, 2013

Attorney Rani Emandi and her paralegals attended the following Immigration Conferences:

1. Attorney Rani Emandi attended the EB-5 Summit for Attorneys and Developers in New York City on Friday December 13, 2013. The event was organized by ILW.com, the leading Immigration Law Publisher. Many experts and practitioners involved in the EB-5 work process attended the detailed all day workshop event. The workshop covered all the major topics related to EB-5 and also focused on The Regional Center View, Structuring the Deal and Finding Investors; Lawfully Advising on Choosing a Project; Developing the 924 Application; 526 Petitions and Source of Funds Issues; 829 Applications and Documenting Job Creations and Innovation in EB-5, The Non-Regional Center Concept.

2. Navigation Waivers: Options for Individuals In Proceedings Before The Immigration Court, held on November 4, 2013, sponsored by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), New York Chapter at the New York Law school

3. Advance Corporate Immigration Conference, held on October 23, 2013, sponsored by the NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education at the Newark Club. The conference covered hot topics like strategies for convincing USCIS adjudicators, advanced labor certifications, practice and review Board of alien labor certification decisions, etc.

IS AN ORIGINAL H1B APPROVAL REQUIRED AT THE US CONSULATE ABROAD FOR VISA STAMPING?
December 10, 2013

An original I-797 A or B approval notice is not required anymore at the visa application interview due to the fact that that the Department of State’s (DOS) system called Petition Information Management Service (PIMS) verifies the existence of the approval.   In order to assist with fraud detection, the process called PIMS has put an end to the consular posts’ reliance on paper USCIS approval notices which have been altered or fabricated in some instances.

At the time of filing the H1b petition, a duplicate petition with original signatures is submitted to the USCIS which is forwarded to the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) where the date is entered into PIMS. The PIMS Petition database contains a record of all petitioners approved by the USCIS since 2004 and has facilitated the efficient processing of visa petitions as the original visa approval is not a requirement.  The Department of State set up PIMS, a separate report with the Consolidated Consular Database to provide consular posts with official, inter-agency, notification of H, L, O, P, and Q classification petition approvals.  After the USCIS sends the case to the KCC, an approved case is entered into PIMS to record the approval a change of status, extension of stay, or amendment of a petition.

However, the original approval notice may still be required by the Consular Border Post (CBP) when the foreign national applies for admission at the port-of-entry.  Some posts may still require evidence of petition approvals in order to make the appointments and if so, the attorney may intervene and clarify that the original is not required but there could be delays in this regard. It is best for the foreign national to carry the original approval and petition copy as well.

Immigration Reform – New hope
December 5, 2013

The House office on Tuesday December3, 2013 announced that it has hired immigration advocate Ms. Rebecca Tallent, director of immigration policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center to help the House take forward the long pending immigration reform. Ms. Tallent was expected to join the House office by Wednesday December 4th, 2013. House Speaker Mr. Boehner mentioned that they would go with a step by step approach as decided earlier.

Ms. Tallent has a very strong and extensive experience in immigration services. She has earlier worked as an immigration policy adviser with both the House and Senate. She also served as the chief of staff for Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona and has also helped in drafting the measures to fix immigration when John McCain and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts undertook the issue in 2007. Before that, she worked for former Rep. Jim Kolbe (R) of Arizona, another longtime advocate of immigration reform.

Speaker Boehner’s move of hiring Ms. Tallent has brought a new hope for all the supporters of immigration reform and also implies the strong desire of the House to fix the immigration reform.

Immigration Reform – House under pressure
October 31, 2013

There is lot of pressure on the House in regards to immigration reform. Recently, many business groups, social supporters and law enforcement leaders visited Capitol Hill to meet the members of House and Senate to take action on the CIR (Comprehensive Immigration Reform). Three House Republicans have recently voiced their consent to the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform bill increasing the pressure on other House Republicans. House Republicans are still insistent for a step by step approach to the immigration reform. The House leaders have approved 5 different bills including one for tighter border security.

Though there are a few working days remaining for the House Legislative s, immigration reform can still prevail if the House leaders move it forward.

ICERT Portal resumes normal functioning
October 31, 2013

The ICERT portal is now functioning smoothly giving a sigh of relief to all the employers hiring temporary non-immigrant workers and the immigration attorney’s. The ICERT portal which enables the filing of Labor Condition Applications (LCA’s related to H1b petitions) and Prevailing Wage Requests (related to perm application) has been down for the past two weeks despite being reopened on October 17, 2013.

ICERT portal down for maintenance and improvements
October 24, 2013

Employers hiring temporary non-immigrant workers and Immigration attorneys are facing setback as a result of the recent Government shutdown. The ICERT portal which enables the filing of Labor Condition Applications (LCA’s related to H1b petitions) and Prevailing Wage Requests (related to perm application), is periodically unavailable since the Government reopened.

Today the Department of Labor has updated its website with the following, “The labor Certification Registry is temporarily unavailable for maintenance and improvements on the website and that it would be available again on Friday, November 1, 2013”. We have heard reports that some are intermittently able to access the DOL site.

The USCIS shall consider the government shutdown as an unusual circumstance and shall excuse the late filing for H1B extensions. Employers needs to submit evidence to establish the primary reason for late filing for the extension of stay or the change of status request was due to the Government shutdown. We shall continue to follow up with the USCIS and obtain recent information to keep you informed. Stay tuned to our website www.emandilaw.com for the latest updates.

Impact of Government Shutdown still felt
October 22, 2013

Although the shutdown is over and the Federal employees are back to work, there are numerous issues which are a direct outcome of the shutdown and are impacting smooth operations. There are obstacles in filing LCA’s (Labor Condition Application), Prevailing Wage Requests as the Department of Labor website is experiencing technical difficulties due to heavy traffic levels. Also the website is under maintenance resulting in the website being periodically unavailable. Other Government websites related to Incorporation’s and the Department of State are still not functioning properly.

Immigration Reform
October 21, 2013

President Obama in an interview last week indicated that the focus this week is fixing immigration reform. He also informed that he would take up this issue with the House as soon as the debt crisis is averted and the government shutdown is over. President Obama stated he would request the immigration reform to be brought to the floor for voting before end of the year.

President Obama also said that if the House republicans have ideas to improve the senate bill, he would like to start a discussion. The House is still certain that they would deal with the issue in a step by step manner. Immigration advocates are trying hard to bring this issue to the forefront. The President’s signal on immigration reform last week has brought back a ray of hope.

Government Shutdown Over
October 17, 2013

Great News, after a 16 day partial US government shutdown, the government has reopened. The Government has reopened as a result of a bill introduced by the Senate and passed by the House led GOP on Wednesday October 16, 2013 which was finally signed by the President into law early Thursday morning. All Federal workers are expected to return back to work today.

The Department of labor (DOL) website that affects the ability for H1B employers to file new LCA’s (Labor Condition Application) for their employees and Green Card applications should resume operation anytime today or latest by tomorrow.

Government Shutdown 2nd Week
October 11, 2013

It is the 2nd week that the US government is partially shut down with effect from October 1st 2013. The shutdown was implemented as Congress was unable to finalize the debt ceiling in regards to government spending. The deadline to avoid the Government debt default is October 17, 2013.

The White house and House Republicans have agreed to talk to find a solution to end the government shutdown and save the US economy from defaulting on its debts. It seems like that the White House and House Republicans are taking some concrete measures to reach a conclusion at the earliest. Today, the House Republicans have proposed an offer to increase the federal borrowing limit. However, the question of government shutdown still remains unresolved. This measure fails to address the bigger problem; the fact the US Government is not fully operative causing millions in lost revenue on a daily basis. The Government shutdown has also slammed many businesses which rely on the Government in order to operate.

Government Shutdown 4th day – USCIS

October 4, 2013

Today is the 4th day that the US government is partially shut down with effect from October 1st 2013. The shutdown was implemented as Congress was unable to finalize the debt ceiling in regards to the government spending.

The Emandi Law Firm has contacted the USCIS to obtain information on H1b petitions that are affected due to LCA’s (labor condition applications) not being certified. We have received news that the processing centers are awaiting for instructions and guidance from their headquarters for a policy on how to handle such cases and situations where H1b petitions would be expiring. Stay tuned to our website www.emandilaw.com for the latest update.

The Department of Labor halted services on October 1, 2013. By halting services, the Green Card applications, filing of LCA’s, prevailing wages and filing of PERM application have not been permitted since October 1, 2013. The only good part is that the USCIS continues to operate and would accept and process applications, petitions etc. period. It has been confirmed by the Department of State that consular operations in the US and overseas would continue to operate and that it would have no impact by the shutdown.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg is Pro Immigration and Speaks in Washington

October 03,2013

Mark Zuckerberg was at the Capitol during the last week of September to meet Republican and Democratic members of House and Senate leadership to drum up support for comprehensive immigration reform.  Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said that rather than being Democrat or Republican, “I’m pro-knowledge economy.  He states that immigration is an incredibly complicated issue and he supports immigration reform both as an ideology and a business decision. He said, the tech industry requires skilled laborers and they should be able to get into the country more easily.

Immigration reform is supported by many Silicon Valley CEOs. Zuckerberg said his motivation was some students whom he’s taught in an afterschool program, many of whom he learned were undocumented. He said he found it as an unfair treatment. He said he was “optimistic” of the chances for reform, “But I’m an entrepreneur and can support the reform”. With many industries, CEO’s, Social groups supporting the immigration reform, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Employment-Based Quota Limit Reached for FY2013

The State Department confirmed that the employment based annual limit for FY 2013 has been reached. They also informed that all the eligible cases which have been submitted before the cut off dates would be authorized with effect from October 1, 2013.

New identity verifying process at USCIS interviews

From September 9, 2013 USCIS has started using a new process to verify the identity through a new verification tool called Customer Identity Verification (CIV).The tool was introduced to help USCIS to biometrically verify applicant’s identity.

The process states that once the applicant reaches the office and clears the security, he would be called to the counter and requested to electronically scan two fingerprints. A digital picture would also be taken of the applicant. Both together would help USCIS to verify the identity of the applicant.

All are requested to note that the current process of biometrics prior to a green card or naturalization interview remains unchanged.

 

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Client Testimonials

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System Soft Technologies, an IT consulting and software development company located in Clearwater, Florida, has availed itself of the services of Rani Emandi, Esquire PLLC & Associates for the past 10 years, mostly pertaining to matters involving immigration-related ‘Employment Permits’ and ‘Green Cards’.  We have worked closely with Ms. Emandi and have been highly pleased with the levels of assistance and expertise provided. Ms. Emandi’s law firm has always been very professional, prompt and helpful when responding to our needs, and it is our intention to continue this successful relationship going forward.

 Sreedhar Veeramachaneni
President
System Soft Technologies
2600 McCormick Dr, Ste#230
Clearwater, FL


“I hired Attorney Rani Emandi for my US Citizenship application as well as my wife’s Green Card application. She is an excellent attorney and very proactive. She and her staff are very helpful, friendly and know what it takes to get the work done. I got my Citizenship application approved in 4 months all thanks to Rani and her team. She and her staff will be a great asset to any company’s legal needs. I will hire Ms Emandi’s services without fail in the future.”

Year first hired: 2006 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert

Gautam Gurijala


“Rani is a best attorney I have known in my life time. She always run extra mile for all her clients. She considers every client as a part of her family and would do everything which is in the best for her client. She always go extra mile to make things happen. I consider myself very lucky be find such a woderful attorney. I recommend her to every one I know. I will continue recommending her to all my friends and to people who are looking for an excellent attorney. I wish Rani all the success in her life.”

Retained 2003 till present
Top Qualities: Great Results, Good Value, High Integrity
Ash K Gupta, Management Analyst, Doctors Pain & Trauma


I would like to thank you for the professional service offered in obtaining a permanent resident visa. Not only have you offered expert and capable guidance, but also provided considerate and careful assistance.  I really appreciate all your attention and dedication on my case.   I would strongly recommend your services to anyone for any immigration matters.  It was pleasant working with you and I wish you the best in future cases.
Leandro Dias

“Rani Emandi is very meticulous, knowledgeable and thorough in her area of work. With her help we had nothing but success (yes 100% success rate). I highly recommend Rani Emandi for legal services.”

Retained 2007 till present
Top Qualities: Great Results, Expert, Good Value
Nagaranjan Chevula (Nag
Director Operations, Wyvil Systems Inc 
www.wyvilsystems.com 
860-460-0269.


4/8/10

H Rani

I received the I94 & H1B extension files yesterday. Thank you so much for all the help. J

 

Even having a recurring job & approved I140, I had 2 consecutive H1B denials when your firm came in to support my case. The petition which was filed by you was even tougher as it required fulfilling the Jan 8th memo: employee-employer relationship. But your law firm helped me get the extension in 2business days of RFE was replied.. something my previous attorney & staff had failed to do in almost 6months.

You & your staff did a huge favor to me & I am very appreciative of it.

 

I am looking forward to have my green card & other immigration matters handled directly by your firm in future.

Moreover I would also recommend any of my fellow immigrant friends/coworkers to you, so in future they too don’t have to be target of any poor paper work.

 

Once again thank you Rani for all the help.

Sincere regards..

Arunav

J

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