When Immigration Matters

Sponsoring an Employee on an H-1B Visa | Employer Responsibilities

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

dream-act-button-resized-120.jpgh-1b visaThe H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation for a period of three years. The visa can be extended for an additional three years. The employer can also employ the employee part-time.

Employer Responsibilities 

The first step in the H-1B process is to submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor (Form ETA 9035). The LCA contains a number of important attestations that the employer agrees to. They are the following:

  • Agree to pay the prevailing wage: The actual wage is the wage that the company has set for the position for all employees with similar experience and skill. Usually, the prevailing wage is a wage set by the Department of Labor. The employer must pay the higher of the two wages. If the employee is employed part-time then the salary will be the hourly prevailing wage for the position or the actual hourly salary whichever is higher.
  • Working conditions: The employer must state that employing the foreign national will not adversely affect the working conditions of other similarly employed workers.
  • Strikes, lockouts, and work stoppages: If any of these develop after the Labor Condition Application is filed with the Department of Labor, the petitioning employer must inform the Department of Labor.
  • Notice regarding the LCA: employers must provide notice of the LCA to its employees through posting the LCA on the premises for at least ten business days. The posting must be done in two different conspicuous locations.

Next Topic - Public Access File

The next topic covered in our four part series on the H-1B specialty occupation visa will discuss public access file.

Learn More

To learn more about how to sponsor an employee on an H-1B visa, contact the team at Pollak PLLC today.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

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Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Sponsoring an Employee on an H-1B Visa | Filing Fees

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Sun, Jun 11, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

dream-act-button-resized-120.jpgh-1b visaThe H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation for a period of three years. The visa can be extended for an additional three years. The employer can also employ the employee part-time.

Filing Fees 

  • Standard (Base Filing) Fee: The standard (base) H-1B visa processing fee is $460 and this is for the I-129 petition. This H1B visa fee is also applicable to transfers, amendments and renewals. 
  • ACWIA (Training) Fee: For employers who have between 1-25 full-time workers, the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act fee is $750. For employers with 26+ full-time employees, the fee is $1,500. Some organizations are exempt from this training fee including non-profits with affiliations to educational institutions, governmental research organizations and primary/secondary educational institutions. 
  • Fraud Prevention & Detection Fee: This $500 fee is applicable to new H-1B petitioners or those changing employers. This H-1B visa fee is not required for extensions with the same sponsoring employer.
  • Public Law 111-230 Fee: This H-1B visa fee is applicable to companies that have upwards of 50 employees with over half on H-1B or L1 status. The PL 111-230 was suspended in October 2015, but was replaced by PL 114-113 on December 18, 2015. This law requires H-1B petitioners that employ 50 or more employees in the United States if more than 50 percent of these employees are in H-1B, L-1A or L-1B nonimmigrant status to pay an additional $4,000 per applicant
  • Optional H-1B Visa Fees: Premium processing is an option available to those who want to expedite the H-1B visa process. This service is offered by the Department of Homeland Security and guarantees a 15-day time frame. In order to do so you must complete form I-907 along with the $1225 fee. Again, this is one of the optional H-1B visa fees. Another option is to have family members apply to be dependents of the petitioner by filing out Form I-539. Currently, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has suspended premium processing and it is not available.

Fee Breakdown

Fee type

Fee in USD

Details

 Base filing fee

$460

 For every petition ( went up in Dec 2016)

AICWA Fee
(American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998)

$750

or
$1,500

 $750 – for employers with 1 to 25 full time employees )

$1500 – for employers with 26 or    more full time equivalent employee )

Fraud prevent & detection fee

$500

Only applies to New H1Bs and Change of employers petitions only. Does not apply to Chile and Singapore based H1B1 petitions

Fee based on Public Law 114-113

$4000

Applicable, if 50 or more employees and more than 50% of employees are on H1B or L1 Visa status, required for new H1B filing and change of employers.
Read H-1B fee increase $4000 rule to check if it applies to your case

Premium processing fee (Optional)

$1,225

 For faster adjudication within 15 calendar days.   USCIS has currently suspended premium processing for H1-B visas

Immigration Attorney Fee

 

 

 

Who Pays Filing & Legal Fees 

  • For legal fees the H-1B employer cannot require that an employee pay for or reimburse the employer for attorney fees associated with an H-1B Visa.
  • The employer is required to sign an attestation in the labor condition application that they paid the fees and that they will not seek reimbursement from the employee.
  • The same rule applies to most filing fees except that the employee can pay the premium processing fee

Next Topic - Employer Responsibilities

The next topic covered in our four part series on the H-1B specialty occupation visa will discuss employer responsibilities.

Learn More

To learn more about how to sponsor an employee on an H-1B visa, contact the team at Pollak PLLC today.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

--

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Sponsoring an Employee on an H-1B Visa | Who Qualifies?

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Sat, Jun 10, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

dream-act-button-resized-120.jpgh-1b visaThe H-1B is a non-immigrant visa that allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in a specialty occupation for a period of three years. The visa can be extended for an additional three years. The employer can also employ the employee part-time.

Must Be a Specialty Position 

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for the particular position; 
  • The degree requirement is common for this position in the industry, or the job is so complex or unique that it can only be performed by someone with at least a bachelor's degree in a field related to the position;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree. 

Next Topic - Filing Fees

The next topic covered in our four part series on the H-1B specialty occupation visa will discuss filing fees.

Learn More

To learn more about how to sponsor an employee on an H-1B visa, contact the team at Pollak PLLC today.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

--

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Quoted in Law360 Article About DACA

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Jun 09, 2017 @ 5:08 PM

dream-act-button-resized-120.jpgdream act
Immigration Attorney Karen-Lee Pollak was quoted in the Law360 Article, "What Attys Should Tell DACA Clients as Uneasiness Lingers".

The article provides recommendations from some of the nation's top immigration lawyers for DACA "Dream Act" clients seeking to navigate the turbulent immigration environment created by the Trump administration regarding Dreamers.  Pollak is quoted regarding options beyond DACA:

  • Consider Options Beyond DACA 

Where possible, DACA recipients may also want to look for immigration options beyond the program, attorneys said. For instance, if someone qualifies through a relative, it could be possible to file a hardship waiver, to show difficulty that “would be suffered if they left the country," according to Karen-Lee Pollak of Pollak PLLC.

"In order to get their green card, if the [waiver] is approved, they would actually have to 'consular process,' so they'd have to leave the country to go to a consulate, to get their visa," Pollak noted. 

Learn More 

If you are a Dreamer seeking to learn more about your immigration options, contact the team at Pollak PLLC today.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

--

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

How Can You Sponsor an Employee for a Work Visa?

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Fri, Jun 09, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Find The Right People written on road sign-763974-edited.jpegFind The Right People written on road sign-763974-edited.jpegWhen a U.S. citizen is not available to fill a position, many employers across the country want or need to sponsor an employee for a work visa. While the process is detailed and complex, here are some fundamental things to keep in mind if this scenario applies (or might soon apply) in your organization:

  • Permanent or Temporary? 

The first thing to determine is whether the employee that you wish to sponsor for a work visa would fill a permanent or a temporary position.

  • Sponsoring Permanent Workers

If the position is permanent, then the foreign employee may apply for permanent residence (a.k.a. “a green card”), provided they have unique skills that fit into one of the five preference categories (noted below). As the prospective employer, you will also need to demonstrate to the Department of Labor’s satisfaction that hiring them will not displace a U.S. worker, or have a negative impact on wages or working conditions for U.S. workers.    

  • Permanent Worker Visa Preference Categories 

There are five permanent worker visa preference categories: First Preference EB-1, Second Preference EB-2, Third Preference EB-3, Fourth Preference EB-4, and Fifth Preference EB-5 (note that EB-5 is for investors, and so typically will not apply to employers who wish to sponsor foreign employees). For a description of each preference category, click here.

  • Sponsoring Temporary Workers

The USCIC has several nonimmigrant categories of temporary workers (noted below). As part of the sponsorship application, you will have to attest to certain commitment and conditions, including that: you will pay a wage that is no less than that paid to similarly qualified workers in the geographic area; you will provide working conditions that will not negatively impact other similarly employed workers; there is no strike or lockout where the sponsored employee would be working. 

  • Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Worker Categories

As noted, USCIS offers several non-immigrant categories of temporary workers, including (but not limited to): H1B Visa - Specialty Occupation; O1 Visa - Extraordinary Ability; L1 - Intracompany Transferee; TN Visa - Nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional. For a description of each category, click here.

  • Working with an Experienced Team

To learn more about how to sponsor an employee for a work visa, contact the experienced Pollak team today. We will help you clearly understand the rules and process — including those that have recently changed and may shift in the near future — and ensure that your application to the USCIS is complete, accurate and timely. Contact us to learn more.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

--

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Recognized in Chambers USA 2017 For Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Tue, May 30, 2017 @ 12:49 PM

Immigration Attorney, Karen-Lee PollakKaren-Lee Pollak, Managing Attorney of Pollak PLLC has been recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the top immigration attorneys in the United States by Chambers USA 2017 legal directory by Chambers and Partners as “Leaders in their Field”.

According to Chambers USA 2017, Karen-Lee Pollak provides clients with a wide range of immigration expertise, including in relation to nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, compliance and contentious mandamus actions against the government.  Clients praise her as a "patient, helpful and very responsive" attorney, adding that "she has done an exmplary job assisting with all of our immigration needs."

Since 1990, Chambers and Partners has been identifying and ranking the most outstanding law firms and lawyers on the qualities of their associated attorneys and exclusively lists attorneys who are strongly recommended from in-depth interviews with peers and clients. Rankings are assessed on specific criteria, including legal knowledge and experience, technical legal ability, effectiveness, and client-service.

Pollak PLLC specializes in providing comprehensive immigration solutions to corporations, small businesses, investors and families interested in obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant visas to live and work in the United States. 

The mission of Pollak is to provide its clients nationally, internationally and locally with superb immigration counsel.  Pollak strives to build long-term, valued relationships by creating experiences that are effective, insightful and personalized.  Pollak achieves this by listening to client needs, providing timely communications, delivering on its promises and most importantly, getting stellar results.

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

What’s the Difference Between a Green Card and an Immigrant Visa?

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Thu, May 18, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Portrait of a student peeking behind flag of USA-230779-edited.jpeggreen card vs immigrant visaWhile outside of the legal world and government sector the terms Green Card and non-immigrant visa are sometimes used interchangeably, they are categorically separate types of permits. Here are the key distinctions: 

  • Residence 

A Green Card – which is officially known as a “permanent residence card” – is permanent, and entitles the holder to remain in the U.S. for the unconditional amount of time. Non-immigrant visas (of which there are several types) are temporary, and allow the holder the right to enter and remain in the U.S. for a specified period of time (typically up to a maximum of 6 years in two 3-year terms). 

  • Legal Right to Work

Green Card holders are legally entitled to work in any industry, sector or field, anywhere in the U.S. or its territories. Non-immigrant visa holders may be allowed to work under certain conditions and for a specific employer, depending on the type of visa they hold. 

  • Mobility

Green Card holders may leave and return to the U.S. as often as they wish, provided that their card and passport are valid. Non-immigrant visa holders face restrictions and limitations on travel, such as travel dates, number of re-entries, and so on. Again, the type of non-immigrant visa determines these rules.

  • Citizenship

Provided they have no serious criminal convictions, Green card holders may apply for U.S. citizenship after 5 years (or 3 years if they are married to a U.S. citizen). Non-immigrant visa holders cannot apply for U.S. citizenship. They must first obtain a Green Card and apply accordingly. 

  • Criminal Behavior 

Generally, Green Card holders are granted somewhat more flexibility and tolerance for committing certain non-severe criminal acts. However, non-immigrant visa holders must ensure that they comply with all laws at all times. A transgression that many people (including the courts) might view as relatively minor or non-serious, such as a DUI that does not result in an injury or accident, can result in a non-immigrant visa being revoked by USCIS

  • Voting

This is not a distinction between the two types of permits, but it is worth noting because there is some confusion and misunderstanding around this aspect; especially in light of the prevailing political discourse. Here are the facts: neither Green Card holders nor non-immigrant visa holders have the right to vote. Only U.S. citizens have this right. While it’s true that Green Card holders enjoy many of the rights afforded to U.S. citizens, such as serving in the military, this does not extend to voting in any election (local, state or federal). 

Learn More 

To learn more about the differences between a Green Card and non-immigrant visa, including specific details about various non-immigrant visa types such as (but not limited to): EB-1, EB2, EB-3, H-1B, F-1, R-1, L-1 and more, contact the team at Pollak PLLC today.

We are passionate about helping people realize the American Dream, reuniting families, and bringing the best and brightest minds to the U.S. so they can pursue their goals and make a positive, meaningful contribution to the community.

--

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Recognized on D Magazine's "Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017" List

Posted by Michael Pollak on Sun, Apr 23, 2017 @ 3:49 PM

Managing Partner Page image (1).jpgManaging Partner Page image (1).jpgManaging Partner Page image (1).jpgKaren-Lee Pollak, Managing Attorney of Pollak PLLC has been recognized by her peers for the fourth consecutive year as one of the top lawyers in the Dallas by D Magazine.

The “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017” list features attorneys across more than 34 practice areas chosen by fellow Texas attorneys based on their “diligence and expertise in representation.”  In order to compile the list, D Magazine asked lawyers with a valid Texas Bar number to nominate two lawyers outside their firm and one within their firm across all voting categories, keeping the following question in mind: “Which Dallas lawyers, of those whose work you have witnessed firsthand, would you rank among the current best? Answers may include co-counsel, lawyers you have observed in court, and opposing counsel.” After the votes are tallied, a panel of eminent lawyers met with the editors to evaluate the Best Lawyers in Dallas 2017 list. Self-nominations were not counted. The panel’s anonymity was assured to allow the lawyers to speak freely about issues regarding their peers that would be known only to the legal community. Voting was conducted exclusively at dmagazine.com. client-service.

Pollak PLLC specializes in providing comprehensive immigration solutions to corporations, small businesses, investors and families interested in obtaining immigrant and non-immigrant visas to live and work in the United States. 

The mission of Pollak is to provide its clients nationally, internationally and locally with superb immigration counsel.  Pollak strives to build long-term, valued relationships by creating experiences that are effective, insightful and personalized.  Pollak achieves this by listening to client needs, providing timely communications, delivering on its promises and most importantly, getting stellar results.

Karen-Lee Pollak is the Managing Attorney at Pollak PLLC located in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent speaker, author and blogger on immigration issues.  She can be reached at [email protected] or under her twitter handle law_immigration.

Karen-Lee Pollak Interviewed on KLIF to Discuss Trump Executive Order on Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 @ 8:58 PM

 

KLIF.pngThank you Dave Williams and Amy Chodroff of the Dave & Amy show on www.klif.com for having me on the radio to discuss President Trump"s executive order. Right after me was Glenn Beck's show. We live in interesting times.
KAREN ON KLIF-1.mp3

Karen-Lee Pollak Offering U.S. Immigration Consultations in South Africa from April 13th - 23rd

Posted by Michael Pollak on Sun, Mar 19, 2017 @ 10:29 PM

E--Documents_and_Settings-mpollak-My_Documents-My_PowerPoints-World_Map__Statue_of_Liberty-resiz.jpgWant To Live and Work in the USA? 

ImmigrationWe all hear scary stories of attempting to emigrate to the United States. From what one hears and reads, immigration to the United States is not for the faint hearted. However, a lot of misconceptions exist about this process. The secret to success in a smooth transition to moving to the United States, whether permanently or temporarily, is often just a mixture of understanding how the immigration process works and gaining knowledge on the best type of visa for you and your family.

Pollak PLLC will be in South Africa providing immigration consultations in Johannesburg from April 13-19th and Cape Town from April 20-23rd. Complete the form below or mail us at [email protected] to schedule.

She will be providing consulting services at the Hyatt Regency Johannesburg located at 91 Oxford Road, 2132, Johannesburg. Location in Cape Town to be determined shortly. 

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