H-1B Season is Here


January 26, 2017


Dear Clients and Friends:


Please be advised that now is the time to prepare necessary H-1B petitions. The H-1B is one of the most common work visas for professionals in the United States. It is used for engineers, scientists, physicians, accountants, architects and many others.


Unfortunately, each year we are faced with a shortage of H-1B visas. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services can approve no more than 65,000 H-1B’s, with an additional allotment of 20,000 to those with Master’s Degrees from US universities. Please note that there are exceptions to these quotas, but they are very limited.


All H-1B petitions subject to the quotas should be filed on April 1, 2017. It is expected that the entire year’s H-1B quota will be reached within the first week of filing.


Prior to filing an H-1B petition, there are several preliminary steps which must be made, including ascertaining a prevailing wage, filing a Labor Condition Application with the US Department of Labor, and preparing numerous immigration forms. The employee may also need documents translated, or foreign degrees evaluated.


In order to accommodate these preliminary steps, we strongly recommend that companies begin contacting our office at the earliest possible date as soon as you have a candidate that may need an H-1B. We can begin these petitions now.


The professionals at Law Office of Adrienne J. Vaughan would be happy to speak to you about any potential employees you may be considering an H-1B visa. We have more than 15 years of experience in processing a large number of H-1B petitions of all types in all industries. With limited H-1B availability predicted again this year, it is critical that submissions be made as thoroughly and professionally as possible. Don’t risk a rejection during this critical window of H-1B opportunity. Our firm would be happy to guide you through the process. We invite you to email Adrienne directly at adriennejv@ajvimmigrationlaw.com or call to 617-840-8515.



Reminder to Employers on Form I-9

Beginning Jan. 22, 2017, employers must use the 11/14/2016 N version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired after Nov. 6,  1986, or for the re-verification of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if applicable).

The date on the form is found on the lower left hand corner of the form. Prior versions of the form will no longer be valid for use. Employers who fail to use Form I-9 11/14/2016 N on or after Jan. 22, 2017 may be subject to  all applicable penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as  enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for each previously completed  Form I-9.

USCIS has a good resource called “I-9 Central” at USCIS.GOV  for more information.

New Head of DHS (and USCIS)

Last Friday, January 20, 2017, John F. Kelly was sworn in as the new Secretary of Homeland Security.  The Department of Homeland Security is the third largest federal department in the US that includes FEMA, TSA, The Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP),  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) , and the US Immigration (USCIS).

Prior to this post, Secretary Kelly served in the US Marine Corps for 45 years.


Happy New Year!

With the start of 2017, I want to officially wish all my readers a very happy New Year.  The new year is always a time for reflection and resolutions. And January, with its grey skies and cold weather always present particular challenges for everyone to stay healthy and optimistic for the coming year.  These last few months  we have seen a tumultuous election cycle which has shown great fissures in our politics. As I watched the inauguration last Friday, the worldwide protests on Saturday and the ensuing debates, I have, like many of my fellow Americans, felt every emotion possible in quick succession.  It’s been a whirlwind of change in our country.

As an immigration attorney, and hence advocate for my clients, I have watched the last political cycle with particular attention. And, as always, I monitor and  analyze to ensure that my clients have the best information on timely events to make the best decisions.  My new year’s resolution this 2017 is that I will also endeavor to better communicate this via my blog and twitter. I predict that 2017 will be a year of great changes, and thus I look forward to once again being active on these channels. Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or comments.