It is almost H-1B Visa season! USCIS will start accepting H-1B applications on April 1, 2016. Over 100,000 H-1B Visas applications are expected to be submitted to USCIS, but only 85,000 will be accepted—the regular H-1B Visa Cap is 65,000 and the US Master Degree H-1B Visa Cap is 20,000 (For further discussion on the H-1B Visa Cap, click here).
Because of the relatively low amount issued each year, there is a high demand for H-1B Visas. For FY 2015, the quotas for each cap were reached in 5 days! As a result of the high demand and short window for submitting applications, attorneys have to ensure that their Client’s applications are properly completed. Errors in a client’s application will hurt their chances to obtain an H-1B Visa due to the limited period of application. In order to avoid such errors, it important for attorneys to keep up with recent trends in the H-1B process.
One such trend is stricter requirements on beneficiaries’ foreign degree credential evaluations. The trend is that generally the credentials are being highly scrutinized so you should be sure to include a detailed resume or other proof that your evaluator is very well qualified to conduct the evaluation. This is especially the case when your evaluation is being performed by college professors or others acting as independent consultants.
In the past, a professor-consultant’s academic and professional background were likely sufficient for establishing their credentials as experts. However, as recently noted by AILA at a USCIS meeting, new requests for evidence (“RFEs”) “impose exceedingly strict requirements on credentials evaluations” by professor-consultants including “exceptionally detailed and voluminous documentation” to establish their expertise. For example, professors writing evaluations must now provide “specific instances where past opinions have been accepted as authoritative and by whom.” This means that professor-consultants are expected to provide extensive documentation corroborating their credential evaluation expertise.
Attorneys should keep this new development in mind when filing H-1B petitions for their clients. At our firm, we are reviewing all our H-1B clients’ applications to make sure that we are complying with the new requirements. We are also keeping up with other trends in the application process. For further information on H-1B Visas, click here.
We cannot emphasize the importance of staying updated with new developments and trends in the law. This is especially true in immigration law, where USCIS and consulate officers have a great deal of discretion when reviewing applications.
If you are considering sponsoring an employee for an H-1B Visa, contact Scott Legal, P.C. For more information on these and other immigration Visas, click here.
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