Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Timely Filed H-1B Petitions: Avoiding 4 Common Mistakes to Prevent Rejections

Avoid H-1B petitions from being rejected by the USCIS which could have dire consequences for the H-1B candidate and employer. There are four common filing mistakes that could cause a petition to be rejected: 1.) not filing on the first day the petitions are being accepted, 2.) filing with the incorrect USCIS service center, 3.) using a non-bonded courier service, and 4.) improper H-1B filing fees.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will accept H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2009 on April 1, 2008 for jobs starting on October 1, 2008. Mistakes in filing procedure or including improper filing fees will cause the rejection of an H-1B petition. Such rejections may have dire consequences for your H-1B candidate and your company. Here are four common mistakes to avoid.

Mistake #1 Thinking You Have Plenty of Time to File: Lessons from History
Filing H-1B petitions for delivery at USCIS service centers on April 1, 2008 is no longer an option. This past April thousands of employers saw their petitions rejected because they did not file early enough. On the very first day H-1B petitions were being accepted this April, USCIS received 133,000 petitions seeking one of the 65,000 available H-1B slots. Those employers whose petitions arrived on the second day of filing were rejected because the H-1B quota had already been met. Do not be one of those to get rejections because you filed too late. Early document preparation is essential to making timely filed H-1B petitions.

Mistake # 2 Filing with the Incorrect USCIS Service Center
Filing a petition with the incorrect USCIS Service Center will result in a rejection. A petition is filed with the California Service Center if the temporary employment will be in the following states: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, or Wyoming.

A petition is filed with the Vermont Service Center if the temporary work will be performed in: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, or West Virginia.

When the temporary employment will be in different states, the state where your company is located will determine the Service Center for submission of the petition. For example, if the beneficiary will work in Arizona and Texas, and your company is located in California, file your H-1B petition with the California Service Center.

Mistake #3 Using Non-bonded Couriers for Delivery to the California Service Center
If you send documents to the California Service Center using courier services other than the U.S. Postal Service, make sure they are a bonded carrier appearing on the Service Center’s list of approved carriers. If the private carrier is not on the Service Center list, delivery of your petition will be turned away at the entrance to the Service Center.

Mistake #4: Incorrect Filing Fees
Petitions with Incorrect filing fees will result in a rejection. Generally, an employer must pay for the H-1B Form I-129 filing fee ($320), H-1B Training Fee of either $750 or $1500 depending on the size of your company, and a Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee ($500).

If a company currently employs 1-25 full-time equivalent employees, the H-1B Training Fee is $750. Companies who employ more than 25 full-time equivalent employees will need to pay $1500. The employer must pay the H-1B Training Fee upon the initial hire and the first H-1B extension of the same employee. The H-1B Training Fee is not required for second or subsequent petitions for H-1B extension. The Fraud Prevention and Detection fee needs to be paid when the employer initially hires the employee even if he or she is currently working as an H-1B with another employer.

A simple way to remember this is that every employer needs to pay for the H-1B Training Fee twice for each H-1B employee and the H-1B Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee needs to be paid once for each H-1B employee.

© Copyright 2007 Johnny Mei, All rights reserved

The purpose of this article is to provide general information about H-1B petitions and it is not intended to advertise our services, to solicit clients, or to provide legal advice. The information presented in this article does not contain legal advice, and neither our presenting such information nor your receipt of it will create an attorney-client relationship. Information provided in this article is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or noninfringement.
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About the Author:
John Mei is an immigration attorney and partner with the law firm of Danziger and Mei, LLP located in Woodland Hills, California. Mr. Mei provides clients with solutions in the area business and corporate immigration law. His practice areas include all nonimmigrant visas, labor certifications, schedule A workers, petitions for EB 1 to 3, National Interest Waivers, investor visas such as E-1 / E-2 and EB-5 investor petitions. Mr. Mei's law firm has represented U.S. companies, multi-national corporations, start-ups, publically traded corporations, hospitals, as well as public and private universities, and foreign investors. He is committed to providing legal services focused on professional ethics and giving clients results through creative legal solutions. Mr. Mei endeavors to build relationships with clients based on trust and communication. As such returning client phone calls and emails inquiries is a priority. Oh, he's also a nice guy. To contact John Mei, please visit his firm's website at: http://www.danzigermei.com/

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

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