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  • H1B Cap Update: USCIS Returns Petitions Unselected In The H1B Lottery

    USCIS has announced that it has returned all FY 2019 H-1B cap petitions that were not selected in the H-1B lottery. Petitioners who submitted an H-1B cap petition during the first 5 business days of April 2018, and who have not received the Receipt Notice or the returned petition by August 13, may contact USCIS for assistance.

    If your H-1B Cap petition is not selected in the lottery, you can utilize H1B visa alternatives. Contact our experienced immigration lawyers today for a FREE H1B Alternatives Consultation. We’ll talk through your priorities and recommend strategies based on our attorneys near 100% success rate.

    The post H1B Cap Update: USCIS Returns Petitions Unselected In The H1B Lottery appeared first on VisaPro.

  • CNMI CW-1 Cap Raised, Employers Must Enrol In E-Verify

    President Trump has signed a new law extending the CNMI CW-1 program that allows employers within the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to seek permission to employ foreign workers who are otherwise ineligible to work in the CNMI under other nonimmigrant worker categories.

    Under the new law:

    • The CNMI CW-1 program has been extended through 2029;
    • CW-1 employers must pay an additional $50 fraud prevention and detection fee with each petition;
    • CNMI employers seeking CW-1 workers must enrol in E-Verify and comply with the requirements of the E-Verify program
    • The CW-1 cap for FY 2019 has been increased from 4,999 to 13,000. USCIS will now resume accepting CW-1 petitions. Employers whose petitions were previously rejected because the cap was reached must file a new petition for CW workers to be considered under the increased cap.

    Contact VisaPro if you have any questions regarding the new act, or need help applying for a U.S. work permit. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule a Free Visa Assessment today to discuss your specific situation.

    The post CNMI CW-1 Cap Raised, Employers Must Enrol In E-Verify appeared first on VisaPro.

  • Digital Delivery of FOIA Requests: USCIS Implements Phase 2

    The second phase of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Immigration Records SysTem (FIRST) has been introduced by the USCIS. FIRST is a new system for online processing of Freedom of Immigration Act (FOIA) requests.

    The first phase of FIRST implementation enabled requesters who have an immigration court date pending and who filed an FOIA request, to digitally access documents they have requested through FOIA as soon as USCIS processed the request. You may read more about FIRST and the first phase of its implementation here.

    Under the second phase, all FOIA requestors will now be allowed to create a USCIS online account, track their cases, and receive their responses electronically.

    USCIS has advised all FOIA requestors to continue filing their FOIA requests through the current process – by mail, fax, or email – until the new system is fully operational. Once fully implemented, FIRST will allow online submission, online case management, and digital delivery for all USCIS FOIA requests.

    Contact VisaPro if you have any questions regarding any immigration benefit, or need help applying for a U.S. visa. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule a Free Visa Assessment today to discuss your specific situation.

    The post Digital Delivery of FOIA Requests: USCIS Implements Phase 2 appeared first on VisaPro.

  • Form N-565: USCIS Allows Online Filing By Attorneys

    USCIS has announced that Attorneys and Accredited Representatives can now file Form N-565, Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document for their clients using their myUSCIS online account.

    The Form N-565 is used to apply for a replacement

    • Declaration of Intention;
    • Naturalization Certificate;
    • Certificate of Citizenship;
    • Repatriation Certificate; or
    • to apply for a special certificate of naturalization as a U.S. citizen to be recognized by a foreign country.

    In addition to online filing, USCIS will continue to accept Form N-565 received through mail. USCIS, however, will no longer provide paper copies of the Form N-565, and applicants will have to download a copy of the form from the USCIS website to complete and submit the form by mail. There are no substantive changes to the content of the form.

    If you have any questions about applying for a replacement naturalization certificate or certificate of Citizenship, or need help filing a Form N-565, please contact VisaPro. Our experienced Attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule a Free Visa Assessment today to discuss your specific situation.

    The post Form N-565: USCIS Allows Online Filing By Attorneys appeared first on VisaPro.

  • USCIS Updates Guidance On Issuance Of NTAs
    USCIS has issued a Policy Memorandum updating the guidelines USCIS officers use to determine when to issue a Notice to Appear (NTA). An NTA is a document given to an alien that instructs them to appear before an immigration judge on a certain date. The issuance of an NTA commences removal proceedings against the alien. Under the updated guidance, USCIS officers will now issue a Notice to Appear for a wider range of cases where the: individual is removable and there is evidence of fraud, criminal activity, or. where an applicant is denied an immigration benefit and is unlawfully present in the United States. The updated policy generally requires USCIS to issue an NTA when the foreign national is removable under the following circumstances: Cases where fraud or misrepresentation is substantiated, and/or where an applicant abused any program related to the receipt of public benefits. Criminal cases where an applicant is convicted of or charged with a criminal offense, or has committed acts that are chargeable as a criminal offense, even if the criminal conduct was not the basis for the denial or the ground of removability. NOTE: USCIS may refer cases involving serious criminal activity to ICE before adjudication of an immigration benefit request without issuing an NTA. Cases in which USCIS denies a Form N-400, Application for Naturalization, on good moral character grounds because of a criminal offense. Cases in which, upon the denial of an application or petition, an applicant is unlawfully present in the United States. The revised policy does not change the policy for issuing NTAs in the following categories: 1. Cases involving national security concerns; 2. Cases where issuing an NTA is required by statute or regulation; 3. Temporary Protected Status (TPS) cases, except where, after applying TPS regulatory provisions, a TPS denial or withdrawal results in an individual having no other lawful immigration status; 4. DACA recipients and requestors when a. processing an …
  • Petitions Without Required Initial Evidence Could Be Denied Without RFE

    A new policy memorandum from USCIS will now empower USCIS adjudicators with full discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish eligibility. This new guidance will replace the current policy under which RFEs were issued unless there was no possibility of approval.

    Under the new guidance, if all required initial evidence is not submitted with the petition, USCIS, in its discretion, may deny the petition for failure to establish eligibility based on lack of required initial evidence. USCIS will also continue to issue statutory denials without first issuing an RFE or NOID when the applicant, petitioner, or requestor has no legal basis for the benefit or request sought, or submits a request for a benefit or relief under a program that has been terminated.

    The new guidance will apply to all applications, petitions, and requests received after September 11, 2018, except for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications. This guidance does not change the RFE and NOID policies and practices that apply to the adjudication of DACA requests.

    Contact VisaPro if you need help applying for an immigration benefit or US visa. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule a Free Visa Assessment today to discuss your specific situation.

    The post Petitions Without Required Initial Evidence Could Be Denied Without RFE appeared first on VisaPro.

  • Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban

    In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court of the United States has upheld President Trump’s September 2017 travel ban proclamation that placed entry restrictions on nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. The Supreme Court held that the President has lawfully exercised the broad discretion granted to him to suspend the entry of aliens into the United States. Travel restrictions placed on nationals of Chad was subsequently removed in April 2018.

    We will continue to monitor developments related to the travel ban and keep our readers informed.

    The post Supreme Court Upholds Trump Travel Ban appeared first on VisaPro.

  • USCIS Recalls Incorrect EADs

    USCIS has announced that it will be recalling about 800 incorrect Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) that were mailed to recipients in April and May 2018. The first and last names of individuals receiving the EADs were transposed in these incorrect EAD cards.

    The EAD cards were issued in connection with Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal. USCIS will send notices to individuals who received the incorrect EADs. If a Form G-28 was submitted, USCIS will also send the notices to the attorneys or accredited representatives of these individuals. The affected individuals should return their incorrect EADs to USCIS in the provided pre-paid envelope, or to a USCIS field office, within 20 days of receiving the notice. Replacement EADs will be sent within 15 days of receiving the incorrect card.

    Contact VisaPro if you have any questions regarding any employment authorization, or need help applying for a U.S. work permit. Our experienced Immigration Attorneys will be happy to assist you. Schedule a Free Visa Assessment today to discuss your specific situation.

    The post USCIS Recalls Incorrect EADs appeared first on VisaPro.

  • Missed The H-1B Cap? Here Are Some H-1B Visa Alternatives
    USCIS has announced that it has completed the data entry for all FY 2019 H-1B cap-subject petitions selected in the H-1B lottery. As of today, if you have not yet received an I-797 Receipt Notice and if the filing fee checks submitted by your employer have not been cashed, it is unlikely that your H-1B cap petition was selected in the lottery this year. If the H-1B cap-petition filed on your behalf was not selected in the FY 2019 H-1B lottery, a new H-1B cap-petition cannot be filed until April 1, 2019. This would push your H-1B start date to October 1, 2019! So, are there any alternate U.S. visa options you can pursue to be able to come and work in the U.S.? Below are a few: If you are currently working in the U.S. under F-1 OPT, and are eligible for a STEM OPT extension, don’t delay your OPT extension filing. Secure the STEM OPT so you can continue working in the U.S. until at least the next H-1B cap-filing season. If you are a manager, executive or an employee with specialized knowledge working for an organization outside the U.S. with a related entity in the U.S. (parent, subsidiary, branch or affiliate), you and your employer can explore the L-1 visa to come to the U.S. and work for the related entity in the U.S. If you are a national of Chile or Singapore, the H-1B1 visa category, which is very similar to the H-1B and is available only to Chileans and Singaporeans, could be an appropriate H-1B alternative. If you are a national of Australian, the E-3 visa category, which is very similar to the H-1B and is only available to Australians, could be an appropriate H-1B alternative. If you are a recent graduate or want to come to the U.S. simply to gain experience in your field, the J-1 Trainee or Intern visa may be an option. If you are an “extraordinary” artist, entertainer, athlete, scientist, researcher, educator, or businessperson, the O-1 visa may be right for you. If you want to enter the U.S. to receive training that is generally not available in your countr …
  • USCIS July 2018 Visa Bulletin Update

    USCIS has announced the Adjustment of Status Filing Charts for July 2018, providing information on which Green Card applicants can file their Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS in July 2018.

    According to the July 2018 Adjustment of Status Filing Charts, applicants under employment-based visa preference categories must use the Final Action Dates chart of July 2018 DOS Visa Bulletin for filing their Adjustment of Status application in July 2018.

    Green Card applicants in employment-based visa preference categories whose priority date is either current, or earlier than the date on the Final Action Dates chart, may file their Adjustment of Status application in July 2018.

    Applicants under family-based visa preference categories must use the Dates for Filing chart of July 2018 DOS Visa Bulletin for filing their Adjustment of Status application in July 2018.

    Check out the latest visa bulletin for a complete listing of the current cut-off dates and availability of immigrant visa numbers.

    Schedule a FREE Case Evaluation with our experienced immigration attorneys if you have any questions about your eligibility for filing an Adjustment of Status or an Immigrant Visa application.

    The post USCIS July 2018 Visa Bulletin Update appeared first on VisaPro.


Archived Snapshot: 2017-03-30

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Startup Visa For International Entrepreneurs li{padding-bottom:10px}p{line-height:24px}

Starting July 17, 2017, the International Entrepreneur Parole will enable start-up business-owners and entrepreneurs to begin to establish and gr…

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H-1B1, E-3 Nonimmigrants Eligible for 240 Days Continued Employment When Extension Application is Pending p,li{line-height:24px}

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has published a final rule revising regulations affecting

H-1B1 (Highly Skilled Workers for Specialty Occupations…

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Additional H-1B and L-1 Filing Fees Imposed for Certain Employers li{padding-bottom:10px;line-height:24px;}p{line-height:24px}

On 12/18/15, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, the omnibus appropriations bill for 2016…

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Border Security Fee $2,000 and $2,250 For H-1B and L-1 Petitions Is No Longer Required Provisions imposing the 'border security fee', an additional filing fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1 petitions has lapsed on October 1, 2015.

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Infosys Pays Record $34 million to Settle Allegations of Systemic Visa Fraud and Abuse of Immigration Processes The U.S. Justice Department has announced that Infosys Corporation, an Indian consulting, technology, and outsourcing company, has agreed to a civil settlement of allegations of systemic visa fraud and abuse of i…

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CW-1 Visa Classification: DHS Sets Limit of 14,000 for FY 2014 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has recently announced a limit of 14,000 nonimmigrants for fiscal year (FY) 2014 for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)-Only Transitional Worker (C…

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USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of Most H-2B Petitions USCIS has announced that effective March 22, 2013, it temporarily suspended adjudication of most Form I-129 H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers. This development follows a Court order entered on …

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Indian National Pleads Guilty in Fraudulent H1B Visa Scheme An Indian national has pleaded guilty to five federal charges for his participation in a fraudulent scheme to obtain false H-1B visas for foreign workers. It is reported that he executed a fraudulent scheme by sub…

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Sen. Grassley introduces H-1B and L-1 Visa Reforms Bill Proposes Additional Requirements for H1B and L1 Approvals On March 18, 2013, Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Sherrod Brown introduced a bill that they claim will bring reforms to the H-1B and L visa programs and help ensure that Americans are given top consideration w…

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New E Visa Processing Instructions for Mission Italy The US Embassy in Italy has published new E visa processing instructions for Mission Italy, and has announced that effective August 15, 2012 all E visa submissions must comply with the new procedures, which are br…

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Employer ordered to pay Back Wages of about $253,000 for violation of H-1B Wage Laws In a recent decision from the United States Department of Labor Office of Administrative Law Judges (Administrator, Wage and Hour Division vs. Xcel Solutions Corporation), Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) T…

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AAO issues Binding Precedent Decision on P-3 Visa Petition The USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) has issued a binding precedent decision addressing the term unique" and its significance in the adjudication of petitions for per…

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R-1 Religious Workers Can Recapture Time Spent Outside the U.S. The USCIS has recently issued a Policy Memorandum outlining the procedure to be used for recapturing time spent outside the US by R-1 nonimmigrants when seeking an extension of their R nonimmigrant status.
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New DOS Rule to allow L Visas to be issued for up to 5 years DOS has passed a new rule that permits the issuance of L visas with validity periods based on the visa reciprocity schedule, which for certain countries, can be for a period up to 5 years. Under the current DOS re…

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Report suggests dramatic increase in denials of H-1B and L-1 petitions by USCIS A recent report of the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP), a non-profit, public policy research organization based in Arlington, Virginia, suggests that there has been a dramatic increase in denials of…

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USCIS to allow bundled filings for L-1 petitions USCIS has, in a communication to stakeholders, informed that if petitioners bundle multiple L-1B petitions related to the same project, where the location and the specialized knowledge duties of the beneficiaries …

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Chennai Consulate to be the Sole Blanket L Visa Processing Center in India The US Embassy in New Delhi has announced that starting December 1, 2011, the US Consulate General in Chennai will be the sole Blanket L cat…

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ALJ approves Settlement Agreement in Prince George's County H-1B Teachers case On September 20, 2011, the Office of the Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) of the U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, DC, issued a Decision and Order approving a Settlement Agreement between the Administrator of t…

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DOL postpones the effective date for final rule concerning H-2B wage methodology The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a 60-day postponement of the effective date for the final rule concerning the wage methodology for the Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment H-2B program, postponing the…

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OFLC issues Q&As regarding delays in issuing PWD and H1B LCAs On September 12, 2011, the Office of Foreign labor Certification (OFLC) issued Questions and Answers regarding the delays in issuing Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) and H-1B Labor Condition Applications (LCA)…

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USCIS publishes Final Rule establishing Transitional Worker Classification for workers in CNMI USCIS has recently published a final rule that establishes a Transitional Worker (CW) classification for workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The CW classification allows employers in the…

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The H1B Visa and EB-2 Green Card for Entrepreneurs and Start-up Companies On August 2, 2011, the Obama Administration and USCIS outlined a series of initiatives to continue to promote start-up enterprises and spur job creation in the U.S. Under these initiatives, which are aimed at stimulati…

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USCIS updates FAQs on Establishing the Relationship in H-1B Petitions Under the recently announced USCIS' initiatives to promote startup enterprises and spur job creation, USCIS has clarified that entrepreneurs with an ownership stake in their own companies, including sole employees, may…

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Senate Approves Strict Rules on Hiring H1-B Workers The U.S. Senate agreed on Friday to set restrictions on the hiring of H-1B workers by financial services firms that receive federal bailout funds, but it didn't bar the hiring of foreign workers as proponents had sought.

U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) had pr…

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Important Changes and Clarifications for the H1B Application Process U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued clarifying regulations
today, explaining how exactly the H-1B
application process will be handled this year. Some important changes have been
announced to th…

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USCIS Offers Helpful Hints for Filing a FY 2009 H1B Cap Case U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), anticipates that April 1, 2008
will see a repeat of the mass filings from last year. With this expectation USCIS
has published this list of measures the petitioner can take to ensure that their
petition is correctly filed.

For Fisca…

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Common H1B Errors Leading to Rejections and Denials U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a statement showing
the common errors leading to petition rejections or denials. This is a list of
the most frequently seen and easily cured mistakes.

Incorrect Fees

Frequently, petitioners miscalcu…

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USCIS to Issue Regulation on Multiple H1B Filings The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon issue an interim final regulation that will prohibit employers from filing more than one H-1B petition on behalf of a single foreign national. The regulation is…

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Premium Processing Service suspended for R1 applications U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has temporarily suspended Premium Processing Service for I-129 petitions seeking R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification filed with the USCIS. Premium Processing Service guarantees that within 15 calendar days of receipt of a petition, USCIS will issue …

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President signs Omnibus Appropriations Act; USCIS to implement the new law New law changes aspects of the temporary work program

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that President
Bush has signed the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 2005, which contains provisions
affecting the H-1B and L nonimmigrant visa catego…

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USCIS notifies H1B processing procedure The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a notice explaining
how it will process H-1B petitions for new employment for Fiscal Year (FY) 2005
now that it is clear that the demand for H-1B workers will exceed the statutory
numerical limit (the cap) for H-1B nonimmigran…

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DOL notifies interim final rule on H1B1 Labor Condition Applications The Department of Labor (Department or DOL) is amending its regulations related to the temporary employment of foreign professionals to implement procedural requirements applicable to a new visa category–the H-1B1 visa. The H-1B1 visa permits the temporary entry and employment in the United States …

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Congress passes L1 and H1B Reform Law The Fiscal Year 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was approved by both the House
and Senate on November 20, 2004. The Bill introduces many changes in the existing
provisions relating to work visas, such as: restoration of One-Year experience
requirement for L-1 Blanket entrants; re-institution …

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USCIS announces FY 2005 H2B Processing Numbers reflect cases received as of November 1, 2004

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has
received H-2B petitions for 33,153 beneficiaries counting against the statutory
visa cap for fiscal year 2005 (October 1, 2004 through S…

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Actuaries and Plant Pathologists included under NAFTA DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Adding Actuaries and Plant Pathologists to Appendix 1603.D.1 of the North American
Free Trade Agreement

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Final rule…

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The show is over; USCIS reaches H1B Cap U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to
meet the congressionally-mandated cap for fiscal year 2005. Congress has set an
annual H-1B cap of 65,000 of which 6,800 a…

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DOL issues guidance on H2B visas Supplemental Guidance for Labor
Certification Process for Temporary Employment of Nonimmigrant Workers in the
United States (H-2B Workers); Fiscal Year (FY) 2005

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administratio…

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USCIS announces FY 2005 H1B Petition filing Status Numbers
Reflect Cases Received As Of August 18th

Washington, D.C.U.S. Citizenship and Immigration

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