Wednesday, June 8, 2011

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  • Macaca
    04-22 09:07 AM
    Passing On H-1b Costs to the Employee? ( -- Smart Business Practice or DOL Violation?, by Michael F. Hammond and Damaris Del Valle

    After all the costs associated with an H-1B petition are totaled, the sum can be alarming. In order to offset this cost, some employers ask that the beneficiary, the employee who is being hired, reimburse the company in whole or in part. Which costs may and may not be paid by the beneficiary can be a tricky matter. What follows is an analysis of H-1B costs and who may pay what.

    All deductions from an H-1B worker’s pay fall into three categories: authorized, unauthorized, or prohibited. Authorized deductions can be taken without worry of whether or not such a deduction will lower the employee’s rate of pay below the required wage rate. Unauthorized deductions, counter to what the term may connote, can be taken from an employee’s wage but are considered non-payment and are only allowed if the beneficiary’s wage rate, after the deduction(s), is greater than the required amount listed on the Labor Condition Application (LCA). Unauthorized deductions cannot push the employee’s wage below either the prevailing wage rate or the actual wage rate, i.e. salaries of those similarly employed and qualified at the work site. Prohibited deductions may not be taken from the employee’s pay regardless of the effect they would have on the required wage rate.

    The most straightforward of the deductions is the prohibited deduction. The Training Fee associated with the H-1B petition is the only prohibited deduction associated with the cost of filing an H-1B petition. Rajan v. International Business Solutions, Ltd. and the language in the relevant regulation make it very clear that the Training Fee is to be paid by the employer or a third party; it is not to be reimbursed in part or whole by the employee. This fee must be completely shouldered by the employer or a party who is not the employee.

    Deductions are considered by the Department of Labor (DOL) to be authorized if:

    The deduction is reported as such on the employer’s payroll records,
    The employee has voluntarily agreed to the deduction and such agreement is documented in writing (a job offer which carries a deduction as a condition of employment does not meet this requirement),
    The deduction is for a matter that is principally for the benefit of the employee,
    The deduction is not a recoupment of the employer’s business expenses,
    The amount deducted does not exceed the fair market value or the actual cost (whichever is lower) of the matter covered, and
    The amount deducted is not more than 25% of the employee’s disposable earning.

    An Education Evaluation arguably qualifies as an authorized deduction. Similar to a translation fee, which is payable by the employee, the employee is benefiting from the evaluation and will be able to use it in the future in his/her private capacity if s/he so wishes. Of course, if the employee is paying for the evaluation, then s/he must be able to acquire a copy of the evaluation so that the future benefit upon which his/her payment is presumed is a real possibility.

    Attorney’s fees associated with obtaining H-4 status for family members accompanying the Beneficiary may qualify as authorized deductions since the Beneficiary is the party who primarily benefits from such fees. In addition, attorney fees associated with visa issuance, assuming that international travel is not a requirement for the position, could be properly considered as authorized deductions. In order to properly deduct the attorney fees associated with these processes, it is important that the attorney break down the specifics of how much is being charged for each element of the H-1B process- this will allow the employer to deduct those fees associated with the retention of the visas for the accompanying family members without concerning itself with the deduction requirements necessary for unauthorized deductions.

    The circumstances surrounding the Premium Processing Fee determine if deduction of the fee is to qualify as authorized or unauthorized. While the speedy decision that the Premium Processing Fee guarantees often benefits both the employer and the employee, it is important to take notice of which party requests and benefits most from premium processing. If the employee has decided to utilize premium processing for his/her own personal benefit, then the employer may be reimbursed by the employee in accordance with the requirements established by the DOL for authorized deductions. If the employer is the party desiring premium process and who will benefit from such processing, then any deductions from the employee’s pay are unauthorized and, as such Deduction of attorney’s fees associated with the filing of the LCA or H-1B and the Base Fee (or I-129 Fee) are considered to be unauthorized. These fees are considered to be the employer’s business expenses and, for this reason, are not authorized deductions. These fees may be deducted from the employee’s pay so long as they do not drop the rate of pay below the required wage rate.

    It is not clear whether or not the Fraud Fee which was implemented in March 2005 is unauthorized or prohibited. The language of the act regarding the Fraud Fee states that “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall impose a fraud prevention and detection fee on an employer filing a petition.”10 Almost identical language is used in the Act to refer to the Training Fee.11 Such similarity could be read to mean that the restrictions of the Training Fee also apply to the Fraud Fee. However, 20 C.F.R. 655 is explicit in saying that the employee cannot pay the Training Fee; no such statement is made regarding the Fraud Fee. The regulation regarding the Training Fee, 20 C.F.R. 655, predates the creation of the Fraud Fee, which may explain this discrepancy. Nonetheless, the language referring to the Fraud Fee is not explicitly prohibitive and an employer may decide to be reimbursed by the employee. If an employer chooses to do so, any deductions from the employee’s salary to pay for this fee must meet the DOL requirements for unauthorized deductions. 12

    Before any payments are made by the employee or deductions are taken from his/her pay to reimburse the employer, it must be determined if such deduction is permitted and if so, whether or not it is authorized or unauthorized. Once these preliminary determinations are made, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure that the DOL’s requirements are met. As a practical matter, there are very few circumstances in which the prospective employee could legally be made to pay for the costs associated with the H-1b process without an employer risking non-compliance and causing significant record keeping.

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  • glus
    09-13 12:22 PM
    Hi, I have a quite strange situation here:

    I am from China. I have an approved EB2-NIW I-140 with priority date of 2/2008 and an EB1a 140 petition denied on 8/4/2010.

    I filed an I-485 concurrently with my EB1a, along with EAD applications. I got my EAD on 11/2009 and used it to work already.

    The strange part is, my I-485 case is still pending, even though my EB1a petition is denied. In fact, I received RFE for quality photos two weeks after my 140 was denied. I think this is a USCIS error because they think my 485 was linked to my EB2-NIW case.

    Now, am I staying in the U.S. illegally even though technically my 485 petition is still pending?

    Thanks for all you comments.

    This is a pretty complicated situation. What you should do is to speak to your attorney to "connect" your APPROVED I-140 with currently pending 485 petition. Other than that, as long as your 485 is not DENIED, you remain in period of "Authorized Stay" and all documents issued based on the pending 485 remain valid. Note that EAD and AP are issued based on a pending 485, not based on I140. Still, I highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. If you PM me, I can recommend one.

    Good Luck.

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  • hinvin66
    05-13 12:24 AM
    IO verbally said last week that it's approved but there is no SLUD, LUD, CPO, PDA or anything else yet.

    Still waiting...

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  • cinqsit
    11-24 06:07 PM
    I have seen people get a copy of their approved I-140 using FOIA Freedom of Information Act Request, where the employer was giving them a hard time and not sharing their I-140 info. So there are ways you can get a copy of the approved I-140 provided of course everything is in order. (previous poster has also posted information of getting duplicate I-140)

    This is kind of similar - you should contact a good lawyer and try and get that I-140 copy
    if you current lawyer is unhelpful just get advice and help from some other immigration lawyer - you are in the home stretch dont give up - try and provide USCIS whatever they want. (though technically they should have information about the approved I-140 - so I dont get why they are requesting a original copy from you!)

    Also you mention
    "In late 2008, with the help of a congressman, my new attorney was able to figure out that USCIS has lost my original I-140 application (filed at Nebraska center) and USCIS has issued the same I-140 receipt no. to somebody else. Then USCIS auto-created a new I-140 and gave me SRC receipt no. with filing date as Jan 2008 and as electronically filed by my previous attorney."

    Do you have any documentation abou this ? a letter from Congressman etc? This is really weird never heard anything like this before.

    You should collect all such documents (contact the congressman again if need be to get a letter or something in writing) then contact
    a good immigration lawyer.

    Good luck!


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  • jaggu bhai
    07-27 01:04 PM

    Pl find these colleges
    International Technological University (
    Herguan University (

    i thought of these two colleges which were referred by someone, i assumed that, as these colleges are having so many F1 Indian students (i saw on social networking sites), these would be accredited colleges???????????????????

    after seeing ur reply, I realised that there are so many ANNAMALAI universities here!!!!
    Do u have any idea, where can we check these college status!!!!

    the fees u were referring was for an year or per total studies?

    I said for an year approx.....


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  • bluekayal
    11-01 05:35 PM
    I am hoping to file I-140 next week or so based on an approved labor with PD of 2004. Any idea if it is possible to tie my Sch A 2006 PD with this older one? Thanks for your input!


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  • looneytunezez
    04-23 01:00 PM
    My I-140 is still pending at NSC.
    I am planning to change my apartment. Same city, different zipcode, better deal!
    Please advise when is AR-11 to be filed, is it based on lease start date or actual move date? :confused:

    Here is my question:
    In order to avail the deal, I need to "move-in" by 05.05.2009. So my lease at the new place will start on 05.05.2009.
    Due some reasons, I cannot physically into the apartment till 05.16.2009. I will still be in my old apartment until then.

    So when do I need to file an AR-11 form, by 05.15.2009 (10 days after my lease starts) OR 05.26.2009 (10 days after which I am physically in the new apartment)?

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  • bhagat69
    04-23 10:54 PM
    Only PD 2003 2004 for EB2's are getting approvals, what about EB3's ??


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  • looneytunezez
    04-23 04:42 PM
    Thanks for your reply.

    But i dont have any application pending with USCIS.
    My I-140 is pending but that belongs to my employer,correct?
    So I am confused if I should use InfoPass or not.


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  • Ivyleaf
    10-07 03:41 PM
    my votes for bat. reflections are my fav :beam:


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  • nosightofgc
    11-02 12:13 PM
    What was the status on USCIS online system when you got an RFE? The reason I am asking is today my status changed to "Document Mailed to the Applicant". Not sure whether this is an approval or RFE. Of course will know in few days.


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  • somegchuh
    08-21 04:02 PM
    Hi Guys,

    I just wanted to get some input from the veterans here who have started a business in partnership while they have been waiting for the coveted green card.

    What kind of legal paperwork does it take to start a business? I would think as long as you don't work for the business it should be ok? If you can own part of a corporation (stocks), you can be a partner in a business?



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  • niklshah
    08-25 11:02 PM
    Hi all!

    I did quick search on this website and notice nothing about infopass experience at Detroit, MI office ( ... I am sure someone smarty pants is going to say I didn't search hard enough), anyway I wanted to share my expereience, so started this thread.

    I have apointment tommorow, and will share what happened ( or didn't). If you had been already thru this, please feel free to share pointers.

    Regards and Peace!

    I had info pass at detroit office last year regarding my EAD application. They were of no help, they called just in few minutes but it was of no help guy was really rude and he did not want to see any documents which i wanted to show him. so it was of no use. than i went to Senator Levin's office and they were of real good help they followed up on my case and i got my approval in couple of days.


    good luck for your meeting.

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  • newuser
    04-15 12:15 PM
    Congratulations and enjoy the freedom


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  • nepaliboy
    05-17 04:37 PM
    Its a worth to try..give it a shot..take Infopass or call nation server center etc..

    i took infopass last week and went to atlanta to see io he shedule my fingerprint appointment for may 28 2008 and told me i will receive apointment letter with in one week and i am waiting for letter.
    i called service center 3 times open 3 sr request for finter print appointment but nothing happen so i took infopass last week so it good idea to take infopass .

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  • DSLStart
    03-11 08:14 PM
    No you don't have to walk into any bank. Just visit

    Everything is self explainotary.


    Can some body advise what is the best way to send money to India using SBI online?

    Do i have to have an account with SBI? NRE/NRO/Regular

    I have an account with State Bank of Bikarner and Jaipur, can i send money from my US account into SBBJ and then to SBI (parents account) ONLINE?

    I live in Colorado and hence do not have the luxury of walking into an SBI US branch.

    Any advise is appreciated.



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  • wellwisher02
    03-29 09:37 PM
    Hello All,

    I have an Appointment in Halifax Canada but I was wondering if I am eligible for the following

    1 ) My H1B visa expired on 12/09/2006 from Company A
    2) I have I94 from Company B and I want H1B visa from Company B

    In Halifax appointment letter it says that they "issue visas for residents of our Consular district and for state-side revalidations only".

    I am from India and I going to Canada on Visitors visa.

    Please let me know.


    As far as I believe, you should not have any problem whatsoever in getting your H1B visa from Company B stamped in your passp
    ort. You need to carry all relevant documents related to H1B (including old H1B approvals, old passport (if any), employment credentials, proof of address, W2 forms, etc) so that you're not caught unawares during the H1B visa validation process. Before you board the flight back to the US with your new H1B visa, the US Immigration/Customs counter will issue you a new I-94.

    God forbid, even if they deny your H1B visa from your new employer, you should still be able to return to the US on the expired H1B visa since you made an honest H1B visa trip.

    On "issue visas for residents of our Consular district and for state-side revalidations only", I'd suggest you call up the US Consulate to make it doubly-sure you do not run into any issue.

    I had been to Vancouver, Canada a couple of times to get my H1B visa stamped. On both occasions, the H1B visa stamping was successful.

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  • sweet_jungle
    11-17 12:26 AM
    it is the primary applicat's status which matters. spouse can be on any non immigrant status to file for I-485.

    Once spouse's I-485 will be filed, F1 will become invalid but will become AOS applicant. AOS is a status by itself and you will not be out of status. Spouse will be eligible for EAD and AP to work and travel. There is no need to convert back to H4 before filing for I-485.

    The only danger is if for some reason, I-485 is denied, then AOS status becomes invalid and then it will be out of status. In that case, primary applicant should have maintained H1 status (used H1 transfer to change jobs instead of EAD and used H1 visa to travel instead of AP) and that can be used for re-instatement of status of spouse back to H4.

    In summary, bringing back to H4 before filing for I-485 might be safer but may be impractical as the conversion will take time and in that time, one might miss the priority date window which will change month to month. Also, if spouse is using F1 to work, conversion back to H4 will require stoppage of work till EAD.

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  • meridiani.planum
    11-08 11:43 PM
    How about meeting Michelle Obama... her highness the soon to be First Lady?

    sure. how about friday evening. say around 7:00? you bring the chips, I'll bring the salsa.

    09-19 01:38 PM
    Did everyone get receipt and transfer notice? I ask because I only got Transfer notice, and lawyer is not responding about whether he received a receipt notice(with July 2nd date ) also.


    11-18 10:11 PM

    I had to go to India due to a family emergency (death in family) in middle of my project. I have a new H1B and went for Stamping at Delhi Consulate on Nov 2nd. I got issued a 221G green form, to which I submitted the document requested on same day. 3 business days later I received a email from Consulate with another 221 G green form asking for all the documents. I sent all the documents via VFS on Nov 10th.

    I haven't heard back from the consulate yet. In the mean time, my husband used his contacts to approach a congresswoman who has been involved in immigration cases. She has agreed to take my case with the Consulate. But what I am seeing on the forums is that if Congresswoman write letter to the consulate can jeopardize the case by unnecessarily pressuring the Consular.

    It has been little over a week I submitted documents and I see that consulate is usually taking 2-3 weeks to respond. Please suggest if I should have the congresswoman write to the consulate or wait for the it to take the natural process and pray for the best?

    Any help/suggestion is appreciated.


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