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A Rundown of the January 2021 Visa Bulletin

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner USCIS recently published January’s Visa Bulletin – the first bulletin for the new year.   Before we get into the cutoff dates, it’s important to note that USCIS has chosen to use the final action cutoff date for this month’s employment-based visas, rather than the date of filing typically used (family-based visas will still use date of filing). The dates for this month remained largely the same for every country, except for India and China, which saw minor advancements. The maximum advancement was the EB-1 for China and India, which saw a 5-month advancement.  Final Action Dates  EB-1  China and India: September 1 2019 (5 months)  Worldwide:

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Trump Administration Extends Visa Ban and Lifts Ban on Health Insurance Requirement 

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner Now in its very last days, the Trump Administration has delivered a double blow to the immigration industry. The original proclamations issued by the Trump Administration to ban most immigrant entry in April and June 2020 (which were set to expire January 7th) have been extended to March 31, 2021.   The first proclamation, enacted in April 2020, suspended a majority of immigrants (specifically green-card holders) from entering the country. Following closely in its footsteps, Trump announced another proclamation last June, in which the Trump Administration specifically halted the entry of those holding H-1B, L-1, ...

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Ambiguous Language: USCIS Loses Appeal against Tech Company

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner Innova Solutions Inc. recently went to court against USCIS for the rejection of an H-1B visa, specifically for a Computer Programmer position. While rejections are not out of the norm, the argument behind the refusal and what transpired made this court case particularly interesting.  Innova originally petitioned for an H-1B petition for an individual with a bachelor’s degree. They used the OOH handbook to make the call that the candidate’s education contributed to their specialized knowledge, as OOH states that a bachelor’s degree or higher is typically the minimum requirement for entry into said position.   However, USCIS denied the visa because they believed that since

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Federal Judge Disposes Trump Administration’s Recent IFRs restricting the H-1B Work Visa

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner The federal courts struck down both of the Trump administration’s restrictive Interim Final Rulings (IFRs) proposed to significantly restrict the number of H-1B visas available to file and approve.  The US Chamber of Commerce filed lawsuits in California against both the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security for their IFRs: “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States Rule” and “Strengthening of the H-1B Nonimmigrant Visa Classification”, respectively. The DOL’s proposition, which went into effect in October, targeted the minimum wage for those employed through the H1B work visa. Even at the lowest wage level, the minimum wage would have increased significantly (specifically from ...

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How an Expert Opinion Letter for PERM Could Potentially Prevent an Audit from the DOL

Posted by: Park Evaluations

By: Rachel Horner In our last PERM post, we discussed steps you can take to help ensure your PERM advertising campaign is successful. But what about other potential challenges from the Department of Labor (DOL), unrelated to a position’s advertising? Often, the DOL will take issue with a position’s requirements, its applicants, or its relation to previous positions held by the sponsored worker, leaving it on attorneys to respond swiftly and firmly. Fortunately, the team at Park Evaluations has put together a number of Expert Opinion Letters that, when prepared by our network of professors and industry experts, can directly tackle several of the DOL’s challenges. Below is ...

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Top 5 Things You Need to Know about Translations

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By: Rachel Horner Last month, following the October Bulletin, Park Evaluations dealt with a crush of translations projects brought on by I-485 Adjustment of Status applications. Luckily, Park’s Translations team offers a robust, diverse set of translation-related services in a wide variety of languages. In this post, we provide an overview of the process works from the perspective of clients hoping to supplement their H1B, L1, EB, and other visa petitions with certified translations. From our desk to yours, here are the top 5 things you need to know about Park's Translations services. 1. What does the Translations team do? We provide translations for documents of any kind—birth certificates, academic degrees, corporate papers, you name it. We have a network of third-party translators we ...

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The Key to an Effective O-1A Visa Expert Opinion Letter

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The Key to an Effective O-1A Visa Expert Opinion Letter

By: Rebecca Anderson What is an O-1 Visa? According to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “an O-1 nonimmigrant visa is available for the individual who possesses an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of astonishing achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.” The O-1A visa, in particular, is for individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics. These visas are a beautiful thing. First of all, they are the only non-specific work visa, and while candidates must show a letter of intent for future work, they are by no means bound to any single ...

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How do I prevent or answer a USCIS “First-Hand Knowledge” RFE?

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How do I prevent or answer a USCIS “First-Hand Knowledge” RFE?

The changing tides of immigration laws have brought with them a host of new requirements for the H-1B Visa application process. What’s more, as is almost always the case with new requirements, they have provided immigration authorities with new opportunities for objections and denials. First-Hand Knowledge Issue The objection is this: USCIS has been challenging how the expert writing the opinion letter gained his or her knowledge about a given position, knowledge leading to the conclusion that the position does qualify as a Specialty Occupation. USCIS believes “the [expert] reached this conclusion by relying on [the organization’s] description of the position rather than any specific study of the position at [the] organization” and wants to see evidence that “the [expert] visited ...

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Is My Job a Specialty Occupation?

Posted by: Park Evaluations

Is My Job a Specialty Occupation?

Throw a dart. Roll the dice. Get on your knees and pray. Nowadays it seems like these are your only options when petitioning for an H-1B visa on behalf of your client. Immigration processing appears chaotic and random, almost designed to exasperate you to the point where you want to throw up your hands and quit. And who could blame you? Visa applicants with sterling and highly specialized professional records are receiving RFEs at an alarming rate. The stories would make you laugh if the real-life consequences weren’t so painful. Contact Park Evaluations for a Specialty Occupation Expert Letter Today The problem: who knows what a “specialty occupation” is anymore? Take the ongoing case of Anubhav Shandilya, an Indian immigrant who came to ...

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