Our Santa Clara Immigration Attorney Explains Some Recent Changes to H-1b Visas and Green Card Processing
Welcome viewers to the legal segment of sitaarre TV, this is Shweta Khandelwal I’m an attorney practicing in Santa Clara and I specialize in u.s. immigration and nationality law. Today we’ll discuss some recent developments and changes in H-1b visas as well as green card processing which I believe would be relevant to the South Asian audience. Now, most of the people who are on H-1b visas would be familiar with the Neufeld memo which was issued on January 2010. This memo imposed strict guidelines on establishing an employer-employee relationship and made it very difficult for staffing companies to get H-1b visa approvals. Particularly employees found it very hard to get an H-1b visa stamped at the consulate and they were often issued a 221 G administrative proceeding notice which would take forever to resolve. There was not uncommon to find people stuck in an administrative review for a year to find that they never got their H-1b visas even though the petition was approved in the US. Now as recently as March 12, 2012, USCIS announced certain relaxations when it came to H-1b visas for staffing companies. USCIS issued a clarification to its original Neufeld memo and made it clear that staffing companies can benefit from the h-1b visas and that there is no particular set of evidence which is compulsory or which has to be presented by a staffing company rather the evidence can be depending upon the facts of each case so long as they establish that there is an employer-employee relationship between the staffing company and the employee, USCIS was willing to consider the evidence, for example, it is no longer mandatory that a client letter must be submitted in support of an H-1b petition. USCIS has specifically agreed that absence of a client letter will not be fatal to cut a long story short it implies that staffing companies need not fear the H-1b visas and they can go ahead and file H-1b petitions expecting that USCIS will consider their petitions just as it considers those of other technology companies. So if you have an H-1b visa for a staffing company or if you have an interview at the consulate I would encourage you to take a copy of the memo, consult your attorney and this would kind of improve the chances of the success of your petition or visa. Another recent development has been in the priority dates for EB-2 and EB-3 category of visas we just did discuss this in a previous episode as to how the EB-2 category of visas is moving at a much faster rate as compared to the EB-3, however in august 16 2012 the Department of State has announced that it will likely retrogress the EB-2 category of visas for both India and China to about August 2007 starting with the May or the June visa bulletin, therefore if you have to file your adjustment of status petitions and you find that your priority dates are current, I would advise you to file it sooner before the visa bulletin has a chance to retrogress. Hope you found this segment useful and relevant as usual feel free to send me your comments suggestions thoughts or concerns at [email protected], see you next week.