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Can An Employer Furlough an H-1B Employee?

As the coronavirus pandemic is forcing many employers to furlough or lay off their workers, questions arise about the consequences of such measures on foreign workers currently in H-1B status.  The Department of Labor regulations require employers to abide by the certified labor conditions, including payment of the required wage and full-time vs. part time employment.  The employers cannot furlough or stop paying the required wage without exposing itself to fines, back wages and debarment from immigration programs. 

If the employer wants to convert a full-time H-1B employee to a part-time status, it must file a new labor certification application and amended H-1B petition to reflect such change.  The employee can start working when the amended H-1B petition is filed.

We continue to monitor the Department of Labor’s guidance.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline the H-1B regulations.  If you are considering any changes to the approved H-1B labor conditions, call an experienced H-1B attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced H-1B attorney via our website to schedule anH-1B consultation. We will make sure you are complying with H-1B regulations and help you avoid fines or other negative consequences associated with H-1B non-compliance.

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H-1B registration ends on March 20, 2020 (noon ET)

The USCIS has implemented the electronic registration process for the first time for the fiscal year 2021 (FY 2021) H-1B cap.

The employers (registrants), who are seeking authorization to employ H-1B workers subject to the cap, must first electronically register and pay $10 registration fee for each employee. The H-B registration process for FY 2021  started on March 1, 2020 at noon ET and remain open until March 20, 2020 at noon ET.

The H-1B random selection process, if needed, will then be run on properly submitted electronic registrations. The USCIS intends to notify selected registrants by March 31, 2020. The selected registrants may start filing H-1B cap-subject petitions on April 1, 2020.

If you are considering applying for H1-B status for your employee and would like an attorney to help you navigate this new process, call our experienced H-1B Immigration Attorney Irena Juras at 480-425-2009 or contact us via our website and we will assist you.

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H-1B filing season approaches

It is now time for employers to start planning the H-1B petition filings for foreign national employees.  The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the FY 2017 cap on April 1, 2016.  Beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions will be eligible to start working on October 1, 2016, the beginning of the FY 2017.  While April 1 may appear to be away, it will be here sooner than you expect.

The H-1B visa category provides for the temporary employment of foreign nationals in “specialty occupations” for which at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is required (for example, accountants, pharmacists, computer programmers, engineers, lawyers, teachers, and many other professions).

There is a cap of 65,000 visas per year plus 20,000 visas for workers who possess U.S.-earned masters or higher degrees.  It is expected, as in the previous years, that petitions received from April 1 to April 7 (the first five business days of April) will be considered in the H-1B “lottery” (computer-generated random selection process).  The lottery will select H-1B petitions, which will be accepted for adjudication.

As the economy improved and a large number of H-1B candidates is expected to apply this year, we advise employers to be proactive and move quickly to ensure their H-1B petitions are prepared and ready to be filed prior to April 1, 2016.  Keep in mind that prior to the filing of the H-1B petition, a labor condition application has to be certified by the Department of Labor and must be submitted with the H-1B petition.  For more information and help with your H-1B petitions, call us today at 480-425-2009 or contact us through our website!

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It’s time to prepare H-1B visa petitions for fiscal year 2015

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start accepting H-1B visa applications on April 1, 2014 for Fiscal Year 2015. H-1B visas are for foreign workers in specialty occupations with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.  Fiscal year 2015 starts on October 1, 2014. There is a numerical cap on H-1B visa, which for FY 2015 is 65,000 plus additional 20,000 for individuals who earned Master’s degree or higher from U.S. accredited educational institutions.   The cap will be filled very quickly, so it’s very important to start preparing the applications early.  Before the H-1B visa application can be submitted on April 1, certification of a labor condition application by the Department of Labor is required.  The Department of Labor may take up to seven business days to certify the labor condition application.   Therefore, it’s important to make decisions about hiring foreign workers quickly and start preparing the applications as soon as possible, so complete application can be submitted on April 1. If you want to make sure the H-1B visa application is prepared correctly, please call 480-425-2009 or contact us at www.juraslaw.com/contact-us today!