Newsletter - October 2009

Newsletter - October 2009
October 1, 2009
RFE Trends
On a mission to eradicate fraud, USCIS is increasingly responding to petitions, including H-1Bs, L-1s, I-140, I-485 and others, with burdensome Requests for Evidence (RFE). Further exacerbating this problem is the fact that it has become the norm for USCIS to allow only 30 days for a response. Below is a brief discussion on the requests typical for the most common type of cases... (more)

Visa Processing Re-entry Issues
Individuals who plan to apply for nonimmigrant visas at US consulates or Embassies overseas should be aware of the potential delays caused by visa appointment scheduling, visa processing time and administrative background checks. Thus, it is important to thoroughly review all information on the specific Embassy's consular section website for local procedures and instructions.

Visa Bulletin Cut off Dates
The State Department recently released the long-awaited October 2009 Visa Bulletin, representing the priority dates for the new fiscal year 2010. From the month before, the October Visa Bulletin shows forward movement in China's EB-2 category of two months (March 22, 2005) compared with India's EB-2 progression of only 2 weeks (January 22, 2005). Most interesting to note is that EB-3 priority dates are now from 2001 and 2002, having actually gone backwards from the priority dates posted in April 2009, the last month before they became unavailable. In April, China EB-3 reflected February 22, 2002 and India was at April 15, 2001. (more)

Onsite Visits and Audits
USCIS Site Inspections to H-1B and L1 Employers

USCIS, utilizing the $500 "fraud fee" it has been collecting for each initial H-1B and L-1 petition, has engaged outside contractors to conduct thousands of site visits to H-1B and L-1 petitioners. Such site visits occur after approval of the petition and they are normally conducted without advance notice, although some investigators will call first to ensure s/he would not have any issues getting on the premises.

The investigators will look to verify two things: (1) that the company is a real operating business entity, and (2) that the person being sponsored is a "legitimate" employee doing the work that was indicated in the H-1B petition...

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