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 February 2014


Please forward this newsletter to persons you think will be interested.
Challa Law Offices "Puppy Bowl"

 

Challa Law Offices began a new Super Bowl tradition this year, kicking off its very own "Puppy Bowl!"
 
Challa Law Offices Puppy Bowl
Super Bowl XLVIII
C
halla Law Offices Puppy Bowl
 
H-1B Cap Alert!
 

During the April 2013 Cap Season, the annual cap for H-1B professionals was reached within the first week. Since then, the country's economy has further recovered from the recession with the unemployment rate dropping substantially. Additionally, global competition, the pace of the tech sector, and the cyber space economy have expanded remarkably during the last year. These changes will surely widen the demand for highly skilled foreign workers almost in every sector of economy. Therefore, our prediction is not only for the H-1B cap to be reached within the first week of April, but also that the volume of H-1B cap filing will explode offering a diminished chance of winning in the H-1B cap lottery this year.

 

USCIS initiated the online pre-registration requirement rule-making process to cope with their management problem for such a crush of petitions, but it has been pushed off until now. It is still uncertain whether USCIS will launch such a pre-registration process at this later stage. Under the circumstances, employers should prepare themselves to cope with another heavy year of down-to-the wire H-1B cap filing. Employers should remember that last year the commercial overnight delivery services experienced a terrible problem with timely delivery of cap case filings because of the sheer volume of the deliveries in a very short period of time. No one will be surprised to see another potential nightmare this season as well. On top of the delivery issue, there is the potential for technical failure with the DOL online labor condition application filing system.

 

USCIS is likely to follow the same previous procedure and filing instructions, but should the procedure be changed, we will post an update.

 
State Department Issues Final Rule for TN Visa

 

The State Department has issued its final rule for the Mexican TN Professional Visa, now grantable without a USCIS petition and without annual limits.This final rule completes the rule making process for certain Mexican professional to enter the US on a TN visa without filing a petition with the USCIS, but applying directly for the TN visa at American consulates in Mexico under the NAFTA Treaty. Nationals of Mexico are no longer subject to any annual limit in the number of available TN visas. 
 
Are you interested in learning more about how you or your organization can utilize the TN visa process? Please contact our office at info@challalaw.com and we will help you determine the best ways you can use the TN visa to suit the needs of your organization.

 

A History of the H-1B and Cap Season
 

The H-1B visa category was created in 1990 through the Nationality and Immigration Act of 1990.  Upon the creation of the H-1B visa type,  INA imposed a numerical limitation ("cap") on the number of H-1Bs that could be issued in each fiscal year.  This "cap" (or quota) has varied over the past years but is set to 65,000 per year for FY2015 starting on October 1, 2014.

 

The H-1B, itself, is a nonimmigrant visa classification used by U.S. employers to hire a foreign national who will be employed temporarily in the U.S. in a specialty occupation (generally one which requires a bachelor's degree or higher) or as a fashion model.  Each year, by law, USCIS can approve up to new 65,000 H-1Bs, thereby allowing many private and employers to hire temporary qualified workers. H-1B non-immigrants who work at (but not necessarily for) universities and non-profit research facilities are excluded from the numerical cap because these kind of employers are designated as "cap-exempt."

 

There are certain exceptions to the congressionally-mandated maximum of 65,000 H-1B visas per fiscal year.  The first 20,000 H-1B visas issued to alien workers who obtained their master's degree from a U.S. university are exempt from the 65,000 cap;  H-1B visas issued to such U.S. master degree holders subsequent to the first 20,000 are then counted against the overall 65,000 cap. Additionally, the cap does not apply to foreign nationals in the U.S. who are in lawful H-1B status and who are seeking to extend their visa or change employers. If you would like to learn more about the H-1B visa and the H-1B process, please contact our office at info@challalaw.com and we would be happy to assist you.

Deport Justin Bieber?

 

Much discussion has erupted regarding the rowdy singer's indiscretions and whether this popular teen heartthrob's recent run-ins with the law could serve as a basis for his deportation. Despite what some outlets have reported, Canadian Justin Bieber's drunk driving arrest is not grounds for deporting him. Some have suggested that immigration is giving Bieber special treatment, but while he may be receiving a lot of high-profile attention, driving under the influence by itself is not a deportable offense. Nor is it a ground for denying Bieber reentry after travel abroad. Some courts have found that DUI combined with driving with a license revoked for a prior DUI makes a person deportable. However, that is a minority view rejected by most legal scholars. In any event, such a rule would still not apply to Bieber who is in the United States legally on an O-1 visa. These visas are dedicated to individuals with an extraordinary ability in either the sciences, education, business, or athletics under O-1A; or extraordinary ability in the arts, and extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry via O-1B. So, at least for right now, Justin Bieber can rest easy.

Visa Bulletin For March 2014

Family-Sponsored Preferences 

Family

Based

CHINA   (mainland born)

INDIA

MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
ALL OTHER AREAS

F1

01 FEB 07

01 FEB 07 

15 OCT 93
15 AUG 01
01 FEB 07

F2A

08 SEP 13

08 SEP 13

15 APR 12
08 SEP 13
08 SEP 13

F2B

01 SEP 06

01 SEP 06

01 MAY 93 
08 JUN 03
01 SEP 06

F3

15 JUN 03

15 JUN 03

08J UN 93
15 FEB 93
15 JUN 03

F4

08 NOV 01

08 NOV 01

15 NOV 96
01 SEP 90
08 NOV 01

  

Employment-Based Preferences  

Employment

Based

CHINA

(mainland born)

INDIA

MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
ALL OTHER AREAS

1st

C

C

C
C
C

2nd

15 FEB 09

15 NOV 04

C
CC

3rd

01 SEP 12

15 SEP 03

01 SEP 1201 MAY 0701 SEP 12

Other Workers

01 SEP 12

15 SEP 03

01 SEP 1201 MAY 0701 SEP 07

4th

C

C

C
C
C

Certain Religious Workers

C

C

CCC

5th  Targeted
Employment 

Areas/
Regional Centers 

and Pilot Programs

C

C

CCC

If you would like to know about your case status, please call our office 804-360-8482 in Richmond or 919-380-4044 in NC and ask your attending paralegal/attorney or email them directly or send an email to our office at info@challalaw.com and someone will be able to help you.

 Supporting Our Troops and 

Showing Our Love for the Military 

 

Challa Law continues to send a box every month to our Military men and women who are overseas. If you would like to be a part of our continuing effort, you can donate and we will purchase the items to send them on your behalf, along with hand written notes to our troops.

 

You can send a check to Challa Law Office with AnySoldier.com  in the memo line, or you can donate via PayPal at www.challalaw.com  

 

The soldiers typically ask for basic items such as socks, snack foods, and laundry detergent.  For a more comprehensive list of necessary items, more information can be found on the Challa Law Facebook Page.  

  


Here is what a soldier recently had to say upon receiving our most recent package:

 

 

Excerpt from August 2013 Letter from Lt. H. Benedict

 

-          Thank you for the Morale Booster! Our soldier's faces lit up as I started laying out all the goodies from your care package. As soon as I announced the box, some soldiers made a beeline for it to see what was up for grabs! Two of my younger soldiers (21 and 20) have immediately started tossing around the mini footballs...a few others went straight for the magazines...  I try to think of the small things that will keep them going and help them remain positive, but as I get to know a number of them, many join the Army to get away from a rough upbringing and a number of them will not receive mail or packages at all from loved ones throughout this deployment. Thank you for making a difference --- my soldier, Donovan, in particular will remember your kindness... P.S. That candy kept most of our staff alert and awake for one of our late night planning sessions! Perfect timing!

 

 Challa Law is doing good things with your support. 

Please help this effort continue to grow. 

 Donations are tax-deductible !

Disclaimer
  
This newsletter has been prepared for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  No information included herein shall create an attorney/client relationship or constitute an invitation for such a relationship. This newsletter is not intended to be an advertisement.  You should always seek professional, independent legal consultation before taking or refraining from any action.
Sincerely,
  
  
Lakshmi Challa
Challa Law Offices
In This Issue
Challa Law Puppy Bowl

H-1B Cap Alert!

New Rules for TN Visas

What Exactly is the
H-1B Cap?

Deport Justin Bieber?

March 2014 VISA Bulletin

 

Upcoming Events at Challa Law 
 
Challa Law  office will be coming up with new seminar dates in 2014
 
Stay Tune for future seminars on immigration updates at a site near you.

 

Challa Law Offices After Hours Drop Box   

 

For your convenience we now have this facility at our 

Richmond office. 

 Our Office Locations:

 

RICHMOND, VA:

5040 Sadler Place

Suite 200

Glen Allen, VA 23060

804-360-8482

  

MORRISVILLE, NC:

5105 Grace Park Drive 
Morrisville, NC 27560

919-380-4044

 

HYDERABAD INDIA:

Challa Legal Services Pvt. Ltd
401 Flora Apartments
Road Number 3
Banjara Hills
Hyderabad, AP. India

info@challalegal.com

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Latest News
Lakshmi Challa Getting Probono Award from the Richmond Bar Association on Jan 19 2012
On April 11, 2014, USCIS provided an update of the amount of cap-subject H-2B visas received and approved by the federal agency for the second half of Fiscal Year 2014.
On April 7, 2014, USCIS announced that it had received enough H-1B submissions to reach the congressionally mandated statutory cap for fiscal year 2015.
On April 4, 2014, USCIS provided an update of the amount of cap-subject H-2B visas received and approved by the federal agency for the first and second halves of Fiscal Year 2014.
 
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  • Lakshmi's acceptance speech at the Richmond Bar Association's Pro Bono Awards on January 19, 2012.