Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Opt extension 24 months STEM - New Proposed Rule

The new OPT proposed rule is under "OMB" comments. The battle is on and many are hoping that the new 24 months will be a blessing for them all. However, this possible good news come with a lot of good and bad. The good part is it is going to be 24 months. The bad part is that many employers will be reluctant to employ people on OPT with so many conditions namely the "Training" part where a special form is required. This means that it will overburden an employer to have to report to the government on a permanent basis explaining in details how this person is being trained. The other part which is a 'turn-off' is the part of making sure that nobody is terminated while OPT students are being hired. This means that employer which reasonably terminate someone will not be able to do so because the employee can claim, he or she is being replaced by an OPT student. This adds up to the frustrations and the news of getting this law passed!

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Proposed OPT rules will give 24 months extra of EAD to F1 students.

Improving and Expanding Training Opportunities for F–1 Nonimmigrant Students With STEM Degrees and Cap-Gap Relief for All Eligible F–1 Students

"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to amend its F–1 nonimmigrant student visa regulations on optional practical training (OPT) for certain students with degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) from U.S. institutions of higher education. Specifically, the proposal would allow such F–1 STEM students who have elected to pursue 12 months of OPT in the United States to extend the OPT period by 24 months (STEM OPT extension). This 24-month extension would effectively replace the 17-month STEM OPT extension currently available to certain STEM students. The rule also improves and increases oversight over STEM OPT extensions by, among other things, requiring the implementation of formal mentoring and training plans by employers, adding wage and other protections for STEM OPT students and U.S. workers, and allowing extensions only to students with degrees from accredited schools.

  >> Read The Full rule here

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

H4 COS is approved but H4 EAD not yet approved - what happens to your job?

Recently many has gladly shifted either from H1B or OPT to H4 and ultimately the H4 EAD. Even though the cases in such changes of status (COS) are being processed concurrently, most people are receiving a H4 status approval before their EAD. The H4 EAD is usually being followed around few weeks later. In this situation,  what happens to your job in the meantime and whether you should work? 

Positively once the H4 COS is approved until the EAD is approved, you are not allowed to work. However, in case you are working by mistake, and USCIS brings this issue in the future especially for your permanent resident card process, you can always look into INA 245(k) to defend your case. See memo guidance from USCIS on INA 245(k)
However note that the INA 245(k) is only a defense.

The best solution is to work with your employer to take a break until the H4 EAD is approved, and if you are confused or need help on the matter, please call (510) 7425887 for a consultation.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

TRO on October 2015 Visa Bulletin Denied

As the hopes went up with the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) filed on the Mehta v DOS, the court decided that the TRO could not be granted. This means the court will not allow the forcing of the original October 2015 visa bulletin.  This is not great news however there might be some hope if the court found out that the situation might be "moot"!

Due to the pressure, there is a chance that the Department of State might actually give us some reasonable good news for the November 2015 visa bulletin.  Of course, it might be totally speculative to think this way.  The reason the DOS might not budge is because of their situation.  Indeed, if the government goes back on its decision, it might actually not be good for their so-called image. But if they update the November 2015 visa bulletin to look better or the same as the previous October 2015 visa bulletin, it will not look as if they are capitulating under pressure.  This is what we might hopefully see soon.  See my article explaining attorney Shah Peerally's logic on the matter.

Therefore, the idea is not completely lost, let us wait and see how the November 2015 Visa Bulletin behaves. In the meantime, please sign the petition below to keep the pressure.

Shah Peerally Newark, CA
Fighting Back the October 2015 Revised Visa Bulletin – Call for action!
As you all know by now the government has revised the Visa Bulletin affecting thousands of applicants who in the hope of finding a new future prepared to file for their adjustment of status. The truth is that many are suffering because 1) of the endless delay and 2) because of the “false hope” instigated by the original Visa Bulletin. To this end some have taken it to the court filing a class action in D.C Court to push the government to honor it ‘original October 2015 Visa Bulletin’. Some organisations including AILA is calling on the government to actually honor the previous October 2015 Visa Bulletin.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

No news yet on the TRO and lawsuit on the October 2015 Visa Bulletin

As time passes, many are actually waiting on the news regarding the lawsuit. The situation is tensed and we are still waiting on the decision of the Temporary restraining order. This is what was published on LexisNexis
Oct. 1, 2015 - There may be a hearing in Seattle this morning on the motion for TRO.  Meanwhile, here are links to key documents in Mehta v. DOS, No. 15cv1543, W.D. Wa.: