New USCIS Fee Increase: November 23rd

Posted October 18th, 2010 // No Comments »

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is increasing fees for immigration applications and petitions by an overall average of 10%. Although the 10% increase may sound modest, just three years ago USCIS increased the fee by an average of 66%. USCIS contends that the average 10% increase in filing fees are to close a projected $200 million deficit for 2010-2011. According to USCIS, budget cuts of $160 million were not enough to offset the gap between the agency’s projected $2.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in costs. Also unfortunate is that we have seen a marked decrease in the quality and efficiency of adjudications since fees were raised in 2007 by 66%.

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ICE I-9 Inspection Activity and Company Action

Posted September 7th, 2010 // Comments Off

The recent Notice of Inspections and Subpoenas being issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) tells us two things: ICE I-9 inspections are picking-up speed and employers can take responsibility for complying with immigration law with a sound and comprehensive I-9 policy. Take for example, an August 3, 2010 Notice of Inspection and Subpoena issued by the ICE Chicago Field Office on [...]

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Must an H-1B Employer Pay for Nonproductive Time?

Posted August 26th, 2010 // No Comments »

Employers may not “bench” a full-time or part-time H-1B employee due to lack of work.  H-1B workers must be paid the required wage rate for all nonproductive time caused by conditions related to employment, such as lack of assigned work, lack of a permit, or studying for a licensing exam.  Unlawful benching includes, failure to [...]

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A Peak at Some Possible Changes

Posted August 5th, 2010 // No Comments »

Can USCIS take immigration reform into their own hands without Congressional action to help employers and their international workforce?  Apparently USCIS is considering it. For years, many of us have been saying that USCIS should interpret existing law in more reasonable ways to improve economic growth and achieve significant process improvements so that companies can hire [...]

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The Recent PERM Surge

Posted July 26th, 2010 // No Comments »

The number of PERM petitions filed by companies with the Department of Labor (DOL) has increased over the last two recent months. In effect, more companies are testing the labor market and it appears many are passing the test.  This begs the question, which occupations have a dearth of qualified applicants? Since October 2009, the DOL [...]

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Solutions for Short and Long-Term Needs

Posted July 1st, 2010 // No Comments »

Faced with the current economic downturn, increased government work-site enforcement and the aging of the baby boomer generation, there are challenges and opportunities for those employing workers under the H-1B visa program. An employer may employ an H-1B worker full or part-time based upon the employer’s attestation to the Department of Labor (DOL).  The part-time [...]

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