Thursday, August 20, 2009

20,000 H-1Bs Still Available

There is continuing evidence that demand for H-1Bs has cooled off considerably this year. According to the latest update from Citizenship and Immigration Services, the number of Fiscal Year 2010 H-1B petitions filed in the past five months falls far short of the allotment of 65,000 H-1Bs available for employers subject to the numerical limitation. It is unlikely that the full allotment, also known as the numerical "cap," will be exhausted in the next few weeks.* As a result, employers will still likely be able to petition for H-1B employees well into the 2010 Fiscal Year, a nearly unprecedented phenomenon.

As of August 14, 2009, approximately 45,000 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 20,000 petitions qualifying for the "advanced degree cap exemption" had been filed. This marks the first year in many that the October 1 will come and go with H-1Bs still available. Almost a third of the H-1Bs available to employers for Fiscal Year 2010 have no takers. In the past this surplus would have been unthinkable. In fact, demand for H-1B professionals was so strong in 2007 and 2008 that a virtual run on H-1Bs depleted the entire annual allotment days after the filing period began each year in April.

Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

*There is an annual allotment of 65,000 H-1Bs available for employers are not exempt from the numerical limitation. This means that approximately 20,000 H-1Bs are still available.

Another 20,000 H-1Bs are set aside for beneficiaries with Master Degrees from U.S. educational institutions. Although 20,000 Master Degree petitions have been received they have not all been approved and the government has indicated that it will continue to accept petitions in the Master Degree category until it has reached the 20,000 allotment in that category.

There are also certain non-profit employers, mostly educational and research institutions, that are not subject to the cap, i.e. for which there are an unlimited number of H-1Bs available.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

J.J. Shepherd Joins Los Angeles Office

Joseph Shepherd is a recent graduate of Brooklyn Law School (J.D., 2009). He joins the firm as a Law Clerk in our new Los Angeles Office. Mr. Shepherd is a former intern of Immigration Equality, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV positive individuals in U.S. immigration law that was founded in 1993 by Noemi Masliah and Lavi Soloway. While at Immigration Equality, he assisted in client representation and conducted research for the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s publication, "Immigration Law and the Transgender Client." While working as a student intern at Brooklyn Law School’s Safe Harbor Clinic he participated in the preparation of a successful case brought by a Jamaican asylum applicant. Most recently, Mr. Shepherd interned with the United States Attorney’s Office focusing primarily on immigration litigation in the Eastern District of New York. In July Mr. Shepherd sat for the California Bar Exam.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Los Angeles Office Moves to a New Location

Masliah & Soloway's seven-month old Los Angeles office has moved to a new location at Museum Square, 5757 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 645, Los Angeles, CA 90036. The office is located at the intersection of Wilshire and Curson next to the Los Angeles County Museum.