September 18, 2014 § Leave a comment
Each month, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) publishes a Visa Bulletin that summarizes the available immigrant visa numbers for the upcoming month. The visa numbers are calculated based on total fiscal year limits set by the Department of State.
The Visa Bulletin is broken down by categories (e.g. employment-based), preferences (e.g. 2nd preference), and countries of chargeability (e.g. India), which are presented in matrix format. On each of the matrices, the breakdowns come together with either a “C,” a “U,” or a date.
- A “C” stands for current (i.e., all of the immigrant visa demand for that breakdown can be satisfied by the amount of available visa numbers currently allocated).
- A “U” stands for unavailable (i.e., all of the allocated visa numbers in that breakdown have been used for the fiscal year).
- A date represents the cut-off date for an oversubscribed breakdown (i.e., not all of the immigrant visa demand for that breakdown can be satisfied by the amount of available visa numbers currently allocated).
Cut-off dates are determined by priority dates (i.e., date of filing for the petition or application granting a visa number). Thus, if a date is listed in one of the matrix breakdowns on the monthly Visa Bulletin, the date represents the priority date of the first applicant whose immigrant visa application could not be processed within the numerical limits.
For example, if “01APR11” appears in one of the matrix breakdowns, then only applicants whose priority dates are earlier than April 1, 2011 are eligible to receive an immigrant visa.
Countries of chargeability are determined by countries of birth. It is important to note that this is not referring to country of citizenship. Often times, foreign nationals mistakenly believe that they can “skip the line” by obtaining citizenship in another country. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Currently, the Department of State has four countries designated on the Visa Bulletin whose visa demand exceeds the per-country limitation. These countries are China (mainland born), India, Mexico, and Philippines. If a country is not specifically represented on the Visa Bulletin, it falls into the “All Chargeability Areas” section. In recent months, the India Employment-Based Second Preference (“EB-2 India”) cut-off date has been rapidly advancing due to the use of “otherwise unused” immigrant visa numbers. However, this rapid advancement has led to increased demand for these visas.
In the October 2014 Visa Bulletin, the DOS specifically mentions that the increased demand will require the retrogression of the EB-2 India cut-off date. The Visa Bulletin goes on to explain that the retrogression could occur as early as November 2014. Currently, the cut-off date for EB-2 India is May 1, 2009. However, Visa Bulletin experts are predicting a retrogression to around 2005.
Pursuant to this information, foreign nationals who fall under the EB-2 India category should verify whether they are eligible to file an immigrant visa application based on the current cut-off date. Eligible individuals should heed the retrogression warning and file their applications as soon as possible. Not sure how to verify this information? GoffWilson is here to help! Please contact our office today for more information on filing an immigrant visa application.
To view the October 2014 Visa Bulletin click here.
April 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
Employers and human resource professionals, do you have questions about how to complete the new 2013 I-9 Form? Don’t miss our training seminar, “The Brand New I-9 Form: How to Complete it & E- Verify for 2013” on Thursday May 16 at the Delta Dental Auditorium in Concord, NH.
We urge you to register early as this event always sells out quickly.
With a revised format and e-verification stipulations, it’s essential you understand how to properly complete the new I-9 which will be required for all new hires starting on May 7, 2013. We’ll cover everything you need to know about the new I-9 Form and how to complete it properly. We will also review E-verify. The workshop will offer extensive I-9 compliance training, with topics including:
- Lists of Acceptable Documents
- Receipt Rules Samples
- Establishing Office Procedures to Ensure Compliance
- Issue Spotting, Retention Requirements and Social Security
- No-Match Letters and E-Verify Requirements
- Federal Contractor and I-9 Compliance Resource Guide
In addition to intensive I-9 training, attendees will receive three hours of HRCI credit, the updated version of the GoffWilson proprietary I-9 manual, and breakfast. Space is limited and this event sells out fast, so register today to reserve your seats!
December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment
Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals will soon be able to travel outside of – and return to – the United States under limited circumstances. These changes are part of the regulations issued in June 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security.
Travel under these regulations for a DACA-approved person will be available once the need for such travel has been established to the satisfaction of USCIS. Following approval, the individual traveler will be issued an Advance Parole document that they will need to present at the time of departure and on return to the U.S. « Read the rest of this entry »
April 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
This workshop will provide an in-depth look at each section of the I-9 Form and the Lists of Acceptable Documents. Your questions about E- Verify will also be answered, as we will explain the program, how it relates to the I-9 Form and the obligations created by enrolling and participating in E-Verify.
Each participant will receive GoffWilson’s up-to-date reference workbook that has been tailored to contain a practical guide to completing the Form I-9, examples of correctly completed I-9 forms using the most recent documents issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Service, frequently asked questions and issue spotting examples.
The presentation will be from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and a yummy breakfast will be provided. GoffWilson is pleased to offer participants three recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute for PHP, SPHR and GPHR.
For more information and to register for the event, please click here.