Articles Posted in Firm News

If you are interested in finding others in the immigration community and making professional connections, including potential H-1B employers and job-seekers, then please join the “USA immigration Jobs and Visas”group on LinkedIn.

In this group, members may post or browse through H-1B job listings on the group’s Bulletin Board. You may also post questions and participate in discussions on the Community Forum. Topics include employment-based and family-sponsored immigrant and non-immigrant visas, citizenship and naturalization, student visas, treaty investor visas, DACA, audits, litigation and appeals, and various other topics pertaining to immigration in the United States.

“USA Immigration Jobs and Visas” is hosted by Attorney Gus M. Shihab, President and CEO of the Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. Gus Shihab is the former Chapter Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in Ohio, and he has more than 22 years of experience representing corporations both large and small, as well as international investors in the employment and transfer of foreign talent before the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service. Mr. Shihab has been recognized by many independent organizations as a leading lawyer in the practice of immigration law. He was nominated for the Litigator’s Award in 2014 and is a life member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate’s Forum. Mr. Shihab is an AV rated lawyer, a professional recognition by peers, a designation given to only 5% of all lawyers in the United States.

hour glass.jpgThe USCIS began accepting H-1B visa petitions for the 2013 fiscal year on April 2, 2012. To date, more than 17,400 cap subject H-1B visa petitions have been received by the USCIS, filed on behalf of temporary workers in a specially occupation. In addition, more than 8,200 petitions for persons holding a master’s degree from a college or university in the United States have been receipted into the USCIS processing system.

When will the cap be reached?
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Clock.jpgA class action lawsuit was filed last week against US immigration agencies on behalf of many asylum applicants who were wrongly denied work authorization, A.B.T., K.M.-W., G.K., L.K.G., D.W. v. USCIS; EOIR (Case No. 2:11-cv-02108 A.B.T). The nationwide lawsuit was filed by the American Immigration Council’s Legal Action Center (LAC) against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) in the United States District Court in Seattle. The suit alleges that the USCIS and EOIR delays violate the Constitution, federal statutes, and governing regulations.

Asylum seekers are not eligible for work authorization during the 180-day period after the application is filed. But according to federal law, asylum applicants are to be granted work authorization after the application has been pending for 180 days. Due to unlawful and unfair practices and policies, U.S. immigration agencies have prevented asylum seekers from obtaining work authorization after the 180-day waiting period has elapsed. For example, one named plaintiff in the lawsuit is a man from China who filed his asylum application in 2003, and he has been pursuing work authorization for years without success.
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Bad News.jpgOn May 26, 2011 the US Supreme Court ruled that Arizona’s mandatory E-Verify law is constitutional and can go forward thereby requiring all businesses operating in the State of Arizona to use this federally created voluntary pilot system, on a mandatory basis. A month later, the Ohio Legislature introduced Senate Bill 286 which is an Arizona E-Verify copycat bill, purporting to also mandate Ohio businesses to use the E-Verify employment eligibility verification online system. This article will explain that the proposed Ohio E-Verify law is bad for Ohio’s businesses and bad for Ohio’s economy. The current E-Verify system is riddled with inaccuracies and a mandatory compliance law will cost Ohio employers and citizens millions of dollars in administrative overhead and down time.

The Arizona Case
The US Chamber of Commerce had sued the State claiming that federal immigration laws may not be enforced by any State and that such enforcement is exclusively reserved for the federal government. They cited the sweeping 1986 immigration reform which stripped the States from any ability to undertake any such enforcement actions. In reality, however, Congress did leave a clause in such laws allowing the states to legislate regarding “all licenses necessary to operate the business.” It was from this narrow clause was that the State of Arizona able to successfully defeat the constitutional challenge to its E-Verify legislation.
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It is worthwhile that our clients here in Columbus, Ohio know that USCIS has announced that as of July 15, 2011, approximately 20,500 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. USCIS has receipted 12,800 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees. With so many H-1B visas currently available, there are great opportunities for businesses in central Ohio to take advantage of the H-1B visa category to help staff professional positions lacking sufficient US labor supply. Our lawyers are prepared to assist you in any H-1B related questions you have. Contact our firm today at 614-255-4872.

For those employers in Columbus, Ohio who take advantage of the H-1B visa program, you will be pleased to know that USCIS has revised the VIBE (Validation Instrument for Business Enterprises) RFE to remove language that suggested petitioners update or create a record with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). The RFE now directs petitioners to the USCIS VIBE website which provides further instructions for petitioners to update their information.

This news is welcome relief to those USCIS “solicitation” boiler plate RFE’s effectively admonishing employers to purchase D&B products or services. The hard of AILA has without a doubt helped to make this change possible.

_   h1b.jpgIf you are a company in Columbus, Ohio or any of the areas surrounding central Ohio, the Immigration Lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates understand that the economy may have hampered your hiring and recruitment efforts. The H-1B visa may be in decline for certain large businesses, due to the often burdensome evidentiary requirements and increasing fees; however, some smaller businesses here in Ohio should take advantage of the glut of H-1Bs still available to fill positions that may be in short supply from the U.S. labor force.

How can I use the H-1B Program?
U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. IT companies have been the largest applicants for the H-1B visa. There are two basic ways to hire an H-1B worker: you can hire a foreign national directly (usually right of college), or so long as certain evidentiary requirements are met, IT companies can “assign” H-1B workers to your company to implement a project, design inventory software, or create other cutting edge software that will set your company apart in the 21st century.
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green card backlog2.jpgIf you filed an employment-based adjustment of status (I-485) application between July 1, 2007 and August 17, 2007, you were definitely not alone. Approximately 325,000 adjustment (I-485) applications were filed during this period. This is because the visa bulletin briefly became current for all employment-based visa categories, except “other workers.” Since the visa bulletin retrogressed, many of these adjustment applications reverted to a “pending” status. Many of our clients have asked what they can do in this frustrating situation.

Adjustment (I-485) Switching: The Permissible Line-Jumping
This article addresses the issues of transferring I-485 applications (in a process called “I-485 switching,” transferring adjustment applications, or adjustment conversion) to a new or subsequent family or employment-based immigrant visa petition. Thousands of people are eligible for this benefit and didn’t even know it! These procedures are invaluable to aleviate the backlog created by the onslought of I-485 applications sent to the Service Centers in 2007. Properly done, you can dig your case out of the “blizzard of I-485” saving yourself and the Service years of pending paperwork and frustrating processing delays.
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In response to a FOIA request submitted by a fellow AILA member, USCIS released 486 pages of materials used to train USCIS officers in the adjudication of EB-5 immigrant investor cases. These materials include voluminous information on how adjudicators work a typical EB-5 case. This information is extremely important in understanding the EB-5 adjudicator’s approach in dealing with an EB-5 case. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have obtained a copy of these materials and utilize it when advising a potential EB-5 investor.

1275428_air_travel.jpgIf you have filed for a green card (I-485) and submitted a request for work authorization (I-765) and advanced parole travel document (I-131), and you must travel before your I-131 can be adjudicated in the normal processing time, you can request expedited processing of the I-131. This article addresses those expedited I-131 procedures:

You MUST Make a Request
Typically, anyone who files Form I-485 in the U.S. also files Forms I-765 and I-131 concurrently with the Form I-485. If you have found that you must travel before your Advanced Parole Travel Document Form I-131 can be adjudicated within normal processing times, you can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) or make an info pass appointment at your local field office. Here in Columbus, Ohio, infopass appointments are simple to make and are usually scheduled within 3-5 days.
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