Tuesday, January 24, 2012

H-1B Visa Options Before April 1, 2012 Cap (Part 2)

Visa Options In Lieu of H1B Visa

Porter Law Office, LLC represents individuals and businesses with all aspects of employment immigration, including H1B visas. As an immigration lawyer, Matthew R. Porter provides frequent updates to H1B employers to assist with HR planning. Part one of this H-1B blog discussed the general considerations in visa options when dealing with the H1B cap.  If you are still looking to temporarily hire a foreign national on an H1B visa for an H1B cap visa, consider one of following H1B visa alternative visa options.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Columbus Ohio Immigration Lawyer Recent Publication in American Immigration Lawyer's Association VOICE Magazine

Matthew R. Porter, Esq., Columbus, Ohio immigration lawyer, recently published an article in the American Immigration Lawyer's Association (AILA) VOICE online magazine.  The article is a Spotlight on how to market oneself in the ever-changing immigration environment in Columbus, Ohio and across the country. The H-1B visa is the "workhorse" of the employment-based temporary visa category.  The H-1B visa offers a unique opportunity for both the employer and lawyer to collaborate and create an ongoing relationship. The article addresses how the ever-changing immigration laws can greatly impact the attorney client relationship. Read the full article, "How to Market Oneself in Changing Times."

The K-1 Fiance Visa and K-3 Spouse Visa: Bring Your Loved One to the U.S. Permanently

Porter Law Office, LLC provides frequent updates on the K visa.  The K visa is a “hybrid” visa because it is a temporary visa that provides a path to a green card.  The K category includes the K-1 visa, which is for a fiance of a U.S. citizen and his or her children under 21 years of age. The K category also includes the K-3 visa, which is for a spouse of a U.S. citizen and his or her unmarried children under 21 years of age. Once you obtain a K visa, you can come to the U.S. and apply for a green card. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

H-1B "Cap-Gap" Rules: A Primer

If an F-1 nonimmigrant student is employed on post-completion optional practical training (OPT) and that student is the beneficiary of a pending or approved H-1B petition, the student may be able to continue working beyond the expiration date on his or her employment authorization document (EAD).  They may do so by taking advantage of the cap gap provisions for automatic extension of OPT.  But a careful reading of the cap gap provisions indicates that it applies in a relatively narrow setting.  This article addresses what the H-1B cap gap is, and more importantly, what it is not.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Immigration 101: Family Sponsored Green Card (I-485)

Obtaining a green card through family is difficult and can be complex. There are numerous issues that come into play on obtaining a green card (I-485) through family.  What relationships qualify for a family green card?  I am a U.S. citizen, can I file for my cousin in Russia?  For my uncle, or brother?  These questions are answered in this introductory article on obtaining a green card through family.

Immigration 101: The Fundamentals of PERM

This article addresses the fundamentals of obtaining a green card through "PERM," or Program Electronic Review Management.  If you are currently working for an employer in a visa category that allows you to apply for a green card through PERM, this article provides important information that you should know regarding the PERM process.  This article is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of the PERM process.  It merely provides a context for which you can begin to understand what PERM is generally and some of the requirements during the process.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Visa Bulletin Update: EB-2 Priority Date Progresses One Year

If you review the DOS Visa Bulletin for February 2012 here, you will see that employment-based second preference cut-off date for India has moved to 1/1/2010.  This means that the EB-2 category has moved up an entire year.  In January of 2012, the cut-off date was 1/1/09.  Great news for those Indian nationals who have a priority date (i.e., In green card processing through PERM, your priority date is the date when the PERM petition is received by the DOL) at any point in 2009.  You can now file your green card application (Form I-485).

Friday, January 6, 2012

U.S. Consulate in Chennai, India No Longer Processing Immigrant Visas (IVs)

Effective January 1, 2012, the US Consulate General in Chennai will no longer process Immigrant Visa petitions. The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi and U.S. Consulate in Mumbai will become the only centers in India that will accept Immigrant Visas. The Immigrant Visa, i.e., green card, allows an individual to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis, as well as provides the immigrant the opportunity to work towards U.S. citizenship. Examples of Immigrant Visa based petitions are family based petitions of parents, children and siblings. These petitions also include the K-1 FiancĂ©e visa and the employer category, where one’s employer can petition for the individual and their dependents to immigrate to the United States through the PERM process.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You have an H-1B Visa: Now What?

If your employer recently sponsored and obtain an H-1B visa on your behalf, then you might be asking yourself, now what?  How long can I stay here on H-1B?  When can I get a green card?  What if I want to change employers, will that affect my H-1B status or green card?  Can I travel on H-1B?  These are all very good questions.  This article provides guidance to those foreign nationals who are currently on H-1B and wish to remain in the U.S. permanently and answers these very important questions.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

USCIS Announces Changes to Filing Location for Stand-Alone I-130s

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed the filing locations for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Effective Jan. 1, 2012, domestic petitioners will mail their standalone Form I-130 applications to either the Chicago Lockbox or the Phoenix Lockbox, depending on where they reside in the United States. The new filing locations will be updated with the corresponding addresses on Jan. 1 on the Form I-130 Direct Filing Locations page. This effort will balance workloads between the two locations and provide more efficient and effective processing of Form I-130.

There will be no change in filing locations when submitting concurrently filed Form I-130 with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Individuals filing these forms together will continue to mail them to the Chicago Lockbox facility.

If you have a question regarding a family-sponsored green card, contact immigration lawyer Matthew R. Porter.