H-1B registration starts on March 9, 2021

The registration for the fiscal year  2022  H-1B cap will start on March 9, 2021, and will end on March 25, 2021.  If there are more than 85,000 registrations received by March 25, the USCIS will randomly select registrations and intends to notify the registrants by Mach 31, 2021.

The petitions subject to the H-1B cap-subject may only be filed by those employers whose registrations were selected. USCIS delayed the changes to the H-1B selection process until December 31, 2021.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice.  We simplified the law to provide general information about the H-1B registration process for the fiscal year 2022.  If you would like to H-1B petition approved fast, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix at today or call our office at 480-425-2009!


What are the new H-1B rules?

On December 7, 2020, changes to the H-1B nonimmigrant visa regulations will take effect. The proposed regulations amend the definition of a “specialty occupation” to indicate that there must be a “direct” relationship between the required degree field(s) and the duties of the position. Instead of demonstrating that a bachelors’ degree is “normally”, “commonly” or “usually” required; the bachelor’s degree in a specific specialty or its equivalent needs to be “always” required.

The regulations defines the term “employer-employee relationship”. In addition to considering whether employer has “the right to control” the employee’s work USCIS will also look at whether the employer actually exercises that right to control. The regulations set a 1-year maximum validity period for all H-1B petitions in which the beneficiary will be working at a third-party worksite.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only some proposed changes to H-1B regulations. If you would like to obtain an H-1B status, call our experienced H-1B attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.


How will new H-1B prevailing wage increase effect H-1B eligibility?

On October 8, 2020, Department of Labor (“DOL”) published an interim final rule changing its method for calculating the prevailing wage rates in the H-1B program. DOL altered the level 1 prevailing wage from the 17th percentile of the OES wage distribution to 45th percentile on the false
assumption that the wages paid to individuals with a master’s degree represent the entry level wages for H-1B workers. Based on that upward adjustment, DOL increased the level 2 prevailing wage rate from 34th to the 62nd percentile, the level 3 prevailing wage from the 50th to the 78th percentile and the level 4 prevailing wage from the 67th percentile to the 95th percentile.

The upward adjustment of prevailing wage rates results in an overnight increase in wage rates and may likely result in many employers not hiring foreign workers. Lawsuits were filed seeking injunction to stop the DOL interim final rule.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only some proposed changes to H-1B rules. If you would like to obtain an H-1B status, call our experienced H-1B attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.


May investments in multiple businesses be combined for EB-5 green card?

Investors sometime want to invest in multiple business. Some businesses may not need 10 new full time jobs. We often hear a question whether the $1,800,000 investment (or $900,000 in targeted employment areas) may be diversified across a portfolio of businesses. For example, a client wanted to invest in two restaurant franchises ($800,000 in one restaurant and one million in the second restaurant).

An investor my invest in several business, but only if the minimum investment amount is first placed in a single new commercial enterprise. An investor may invest in one enterprise that diversifies and puts $800,000 towards one business it wholly owns and $1,000,000 towards another business it wholly owns.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law to outline only one aspect of the EB-5 green card process. If you would like to obtain an investment (EB-5) green card, call our experienced EB-5 green card attorney at 480-425-2009 or schedule your consultation online.


Proposed USCIS filing fee increase

In November 2019, the Department of Homeland Security proposed to adjust USCIS fees by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes, including form changes and the introduction of several new forms. For example, the filing fee for the application for naturalization is proposed to increase by 83% to $1,170, petition for H-2A non-immigrant worker by 87% to $860 (named worker), petition for L non-immigrant worker by 77% to $815 and petition for O non-immigrant worker by 55% to $715.

On July 22, 2020, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs completed review of a final rule increasing USCIS filing fees. The Federal Register will post a copy of the final rule for public inspection before publishing it officially. In the proposed rule, DHS noted that once the rule was finalized, it would not take effect for at least 60 days after publication.

If you are considering applying for a naturalization, green card or non-immigrant status, call an experienced immigration attorney at (480) 425-2009 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation
before the filing fees increase.


What Is a “Substantial” Amount of Capital for an E-2 Investor Visa?

The E-2 investor visa provides an excellent opportunity for foreign nationals from countries that have treaties of commerce and navigation with the U.S. to come to the U.S. to develop and manage the operations of a business. A frequent question of foreign investors considering applying for an E-2 investor visa is: ‘What is considered a “substantial” investment?” Our immigration lawyers can tell you that, unlike the minimum investment requirement for an EB-5 investor visa (“green card”), which is $1 million or $500,000 in targeted employment areas, there is no set dollar amount that has to be invested in order to be considered “substantial” investment for E-2 visa purposes. A substantial amount of capital for E-2 purposes constitutes an amount that is substantial in the proportionality sense.

The proportionality test compares the total amount invested in the enterprise with the cost of either purchasing an established enterprise or creating a viable new enterprise. The lower the cost of the business, the higher the percentage of investment is required. On the other hand, a highly expensive business would require a lower percentage of qualifying investment. Thus, investments of 100 percent or a higher percentage would normally automatically qualify for a small business of $100,000 or less. On the other hand, an investment of $10 million in a $100 million business would likely qualify, based on the sheer magnitude of the investment itself.

The “substantial” investment has to be large enough to lead to the successful operation of the E-2 enterprise and must be more than marginal (must have the capacity to generate more than enough income to provide a minimal living for the investor and his family). What constitutes a substantial investment is different for different industries. If an investor wants to start a manufacturing business or any other capital-intense business, $100,000 will not constitute a substantial investment. However, $100,000 or a lower amount may be sufficient for service businesses. We have helped numerous foreign investors to get E-2 investor visas for a $100,000 investment in service businesses. We recently obtained an E-2 visa for a Canadian investor who purchased an existing service business in Arizona for $70,000. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has approved E-2 visas even for smaller investments. Our most recent case was an E-2 visa for a Canadian investor who purchased an Arizona retail business for $250,000.

If you are looking to invest in a business or enterprise in Arizona or anywhere throughout the United States, call the Juras Law Firm, PLC  in Scottsdale, AZ to speak with an experienced E-2 visa attorney. Call our office at (480) 425-2009 to schedule an appointment now! We understand that the visa application process is complex; an experienced Arizona E-2 visa attorney is here to answer your questions.