Employers and HR FAQs

Covid Coronavirus Question from Employers about Payroll for H-1B and others L-1, E, etc. employees

Authored on: Thu, 04/30/2020 - 01:39

Question

We are looking at various measures of safety and expense control. First and foremost everyone is working from home for their on safety and wellness. For expense control one idea that we were discussing was a potential pay rate reduction for a short period of time.

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Covid Coronavirus Question from

 Employers about Payroll for H-1B and others L-1, E, etc. employees


Video Transcript

If you look at the Department of Labor regulations they say that the employer cannot stop paying a salary or the right amount of salary for anything that the employer does. So if you don’t have a project that's your problem. If by law or by local order you cannot open offices and you cannot work, would you as an employer be allowed to pay a lesser salary and that might be something to look at because rather than laying off all the people that your concerned about I would have you to think about other alternatives. FAQ in detail...


Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Is New H-1B Visa Stamping Needed if you Change Employers?

Authored on: Fri, 09/01/2017 - 01:29

Question

I have a question on H1B stamping. I am currently working with employer A. I have visa stamping till Nov 2018 and it shows the name of my previous employer, employer B. I am planning to visit India in the coming month of November 2017. Should I go to visa stamping and get a new visa showing a new employer, employer A? In the past, I have encountered a similar situation and I came back successfully with out getting a new stamp. I am not aware of current immigration law. Have there been any changes in this aspect?

Answer

Watch the Video on this FAQ: Is new H-1B visa stamping needed if you change employers?

Video Transcript

I don't think you need to. Once again, I caution you that if you ask the consulate they might give you a different answer, but in the Foreign Affairs Manual in their standard operating procedures, I remember seeing there was no such requirement so you could travel on the old visa and the new approval. More...

 

Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the referenced audio/video media delivered as oral communication, and, therefore, may not conform to written grammatical or syntactical form.

Processing Times Involved in NIW

Authored on: Tue, 01/03/2017 - 10:43

Question

If I may verify the processing times involved in NIW. Since it falls under EB2 category, I am assuming it may be a long time before I can get my EAD card and be able to change employers. Also, I want to confirm if there could be issues if I change employers during the process - If so, I'd prefer to change my current employer before starting with it.

Answer

You can change employers any time if you are a self-applicant and will continue to work in your stated area of national interest.  But NIW priority date will take the same time as a normal EB-2 application does.  See: http://www.immigration.com/visa-bulletin under employment-based category 2.

No loss of priority date if employer revokes I-140; Green card through future employer

Authored on: Thu, 12/10/2015 - 14:57

Question

I have my perm labor and I-140 approved through EMPLOYER A (Consulting Firm). Priority Date June 2013. If I am going to change Employer, EMPLOYER A is going to REVOKE MY I-140. I heard from your last conference call that i will be loosing my priority if I-140 is revoked by employer.I am close to 5th year of H-1. so cant take chances. If I move to FT position in the next 6 months and say my current employer revokes I-140. I will not be able to get extension for H-1 beyond 6 years.

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.   

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=688

FAQ Transcript:

This is a very tricky issue that has come up time and time again and one month we have one answer and after six months we have another answer. There are two sets of questions here, one is priority date, if the employer revokes I-140 does it get lost and the other one is some issues about Green Card through a future employer.

So let's discuss two sets of issues, as of November 12th, 2015 the answer is, USCIS will not take away your priority date if the old employer revokes the I-140. However, you will not have any right to extend your H-1 based upon I-140 that is already gone. In addition, if the I-140 is revoked for fraud, misrepresentation or mistakenly having been approved by USCIS, you will not have the priority date then.

USCIS has reversed itself like three or four times. They started of a few years ago saying you will lose your priority date, if the employer revokes the I-140, then the sudden No, you will not. Few months ago they said Yes you will lose the priority date and couple of weeks ago again they said No you will not. So they have gone up and down on this issue all the time.

Another question often asked by a community member who says there are cases were very accurately people reported that their priority date was lost between May 2015 and September 2015 and the answer is yes. I know that because I did lot of consultations in between and there were lot of cases that were denied. Now these cases should try to file a motion to reopen or reconsider and try to get their priority dates.

The other question he put forth was, can we get to see a copy of this teleconference document?

Unfortunately, there is no copy. It is comments from one of the committee members, we have all the volunteer committees as American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where members go on behalf of AILA and meet the USCIS, in one of those there is a comment from American Immigration Lawyers Association committee member that says; the government has categorically stated in that meeting that they will not take away priority date.

The other question is:  Does withdrawal of I-140 by an employer same as revocation by employer or withdrawal and revocation are two different things?

Withdrawal implies of something little different. Withdrawal implies that I-140 was not approved at least to my mind, even when it was pending it was withdrawn. Because once it is approved only can be revoked, I don't think it can be withdrawn.  Something is not approved and its withdrawn then we are out of luck there is no priority date. Priority date only can be conferred by approved petition. Once it is approved then it is revoked by employer under the current thinking of the government that we all know, they will not revoke or take away your priority date.

I am little hesitant to say that you can depend upon the word of the government, because I have looked at the regulations and I have looked at the way these folks have been flip flopping on the situation makes me very nervous to be in the situation, prepare for the worst, hope for the best that's all I can tell you.

Question: Has USCIS listed their final official position on this issue as like a document anywhere on their website?

Not yet, I have not seen anything in writing from the government.  So I won't be able to give you much there but as soon as I get something official from the government, I would be certain to post it. 

Question: Now Green card through future employer, what if another employer starts my Green card processing, can I continue working for Employer A , while Employer B initiates new GC process for me?

And the answer is yes. You can have 20 new employers to start Green card process. As long as you have good faith, intention to join whichever comes first or whichever is more suitable for you. I don't see any reason that you cannot have multiple Green cards filed.

Question:  Is it possible for me to clear the PERM and I-140 Stage of GC process of Employer B while still working for EMPLOYER A?

It is actually possible to process entire Green card with employer B, even though I-485 gets approved while you still working for employer A.

Question: I may or may not join EMPLOYER B. As I am in the process of looking for FTE (full time) position ) Say I moved to EMPLOYER C (FTE) and I have never worked with Employer B and have I-140 approved with EMPLOYER B .

There is actually Yates memorandum of May 2005 that talks about this. As long as you had good faith intention all the way to join, let’s say your I-140 was approved, PERM of course approved, I-140 was approved through employer B. You are working for employer A, I-140 approved through employer B, priority dates become current you still working for employer A, priority date becomes current after 180 days actually you do not ever have to join the sponsoring employer. You can join any employer who gives you same or similar job whether it is employer A, C, D or E.

There are some issues about coming back to employers after leaving them during the Green card process. I would want you to have one on one consultation with your lawyers, not an easy issue to discuss in a few minutes but it can be a problem if you leave an employer in the middle of the process and come back. Lot of people did not have any problems, one or two cases occasionally do get the problems. The government asks questions like why did you leave if this was the permanent job, if you left who was doing that permanent job, things like that could come up and there are whole set of issues that need to be discussed with your lawyers basically.

Question: I also heard about rejections in PERM. Can EMPLOYER B start two different GC process for me and file two PERMS at the same time?

No. Technically they can file two Green card process against two jobs, I would highly recommend against it. It can be for two different positions only, you can't file a PERM for the same employer, same employee, same job twice No.

Question: Does it cost anything for the Employer to hold an approved I-140? 

It does not, except sometimes the government can question their ability to pay wages and they look at all outstanding Green cards and indirectly it can become an issue for the employers. It does not cost them anything out of ordinary. Let me rephrase it, nothing out of pocket but if the RFE comes and if any of the cases about ability to pay wages I guess at that point they can revoke the I-140 if they want.

New company filing H-1

Authored on: Wed, 12/09/2015 - 06:36

Question

We have started a company recently and wanted to sponsor H-1B for experienced employees and place them with our clients. What is the criteria and can a new company sponsor H-1B?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/H_VV9kV_lOg?t=530 

FAQ Transcript:

Answer is of course. I am yet to see a major negative effect just because the company is small. What is more important is that you have specific projects that are clearly defined and you can define how long the project is, what the project description is, what the relationship of the employee being placed is with their employer, which is the new company and usually that is done through a letter from the end client or very comprehensive work order or job order kind of thing. 

So if you can prove those things, duration of the projects etc. then filing an H-1 is not an issue but if you do not yet have a clear project in mind I would strongly advice you not to file H-1’s, because there is a trend in criminal indictment these days when companies get criminally indicted, two things government is bringing up time and again. The government is bringing up the fact that company applied for H-1’s without the specific projects and two if they kept employees on the bench. 

H-1 employer not paying

Authored on: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 06:32

Question

My employer did not run my payroll. He told me that we are going to get the project money after 2 months from client. Can I do something for that? If they do not run payroll can it create any problem?

Answer

See clip from Attorney Rajiv S. Khanna's conference call video that addresses this question.  

https://youtu.be/PreNUXXW9KU?t=696

FAQ Transcript 

The employer will be in a lot of trouble. The law is employers cannot bench or reduce the salaries of the employees just because they are in between projects. They are required to pay the full salary. If they don’t you can file a complaint with the Wage and Hour Division (United States Department of Labor) within a year when the wages were not paid. The form is WH-4. Once you file the complaint, Department of Labor investigates it. You have to do nothing. It does not involve any expense at your part for H-1 holders.  Department of Labor will recover the money and will get the cheques that are due. Secondly if the employer has the practice of doing this in a routine basis then the company can be in a lot of trouble. Please do not get involved in a situation where the employer runs the payroll and you return the cash to them. If that is the situation anybody invites you to that is a party to a fraud. Fraud and misrepresentation can result in criminal prosecution and also can result in a permanent bar from entering the United States.

USCIS Updated Questions &Answers on the H-1B Employer-Employee Relationship

Authored on: Mon, 04/14/2014 - 06:03

Question

Does this memorandum change any of the requirements to establish eligibility for an H-1B petition?

Answer

No. This memorandum does not change any of the requirements for an H-1B petition. The H-1B regulations currently require that a United States employer establish that it has an employer-employee relationship with respect to the beneficiary, as indicated by the fact that it may hire, pay, fire, supervise or otherwise control the work of any such employee. In addition to demonstrating that a valid employer-employee relationship will exist between the petitioner and the beneficiary, the petitioner must continue to comply with all of the requirements for an H-1B petition including:

  • establishing that the beneficiary is coming to the United States temporarily to work in a specialty occupation;
  • demonstrating that the beneficiary is qualified to perform services in the specialty occupation; and
  • filing of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) specific to each location where the beneficiary will perform services.

See more at: http://www.immigration.com/news/h-1-visa/uscis-updated-questions-answer…



I-140 Withdrawal vs NOIR in AC21 Context

Authored on: Tue, 12/10/2013 - 04:22

Question

A couple of questions I have in extension to the I-140 withdrawal by employer are below. If I have I-1485 pending for more than a year via company A and I join company B using my EAD/AC21:
a. what will be the impact if Company-A decides to withdraw/cancel/dissolve the I-140?
b. Is there a possibility for a NOIR to occur on the I140 which had been approved in 2011? If yes what is the impact in either cases?

What are the measures I need to take in either case?

Answer

a. No effect on your AC21 right, but you cannot extend future H-1 (if you need them).

b. Oh yes.

You can just make sure the employer vigorously responds to an NOIR, if needed.

Government Shutdown – Impact on Immigration Matters

Authored on: Fri, 10/04/2013 - 02:43

Question

1. Our employees are deployed at government sites. Are we still obliged to pay the H-1 wage?

2. Can we ask such employees to use their paid leave?

Answer

A1. Yes. In my view, that obligation continues unabated.

A2. No. If the employees voluntarily wish to do so for their convenience, I feel that would be legal. But the employer may not force employees to do so.

Ability to Pay

Authored on: Thu, 09/05/2013 - 01:05

Question

1. Is submitting consolidated returns and audited financial statements for a parent company and its wholly owned subsidiaries sufficient to meet the burden of proof for establishing the company’s ability to pay by a preponderance of the evidence?

2. Where an employee who is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 and is eligible for AC-21 portability ports to a new employer in the same or similar occupation, must the new employer demonstrate the ability to pay the proffered wage from the date of portability?

3. When adjudicating I-485 applications for portability-eligible individuals where the petitioning employer is no longer in business, does USCIS require the subsequent employer to satisfy both the ability-to-pay requirement and the bona fide offer of employment requirement from the date of the employee’s subsequent hire through the approval of adjustment of status?

4. Why are prorated net assets not sufficient evidence to support ability to pay?

5. Why is the Yates Memo not applied if a beneficiary’s W-2 indicates that the actual wage paid to him/her is at least as much as the beneficiary’s proffered wage for the prorated period?

Answer

1. USCIS says that it evaluates each consolidated financial statement on a caseby-case basis under the preponderance of evidence standard to determine whether the petitioner has the ability to pay the proffered wage.

2. USCIS says that, in this situation, the new employer is not obligated to demonstrate the ability to pay from the date of portability.

3. USCIS says that, in this situation, the new employer does not have to demonstrate the ability to pay during the entire period.  Once the Form I-485 has been pending for 180 days, the applicant may port and present evidence.  If AC-21 portability requirements are met, the dissolution or withdrawal of the I-140 petition (after the 180-day point) by the former employer does not affect portability.

4. USCIS does not specifically address why it will not accept prorated net assets as sufficient evidence to support ability to pay.  Prorating is not provided for in any policy, regulation, or statute.  Therefore, only current assets should be included in the calculation.

5. According to USCIS, the Yates Memo will apply only in respect of ability to pay. The adjudicating officer will look at the rate paid and not the total amount paid.  It is the petitioner’s burden to demonstrate that the rate that is being paid is an appropriate increment to the proffered wage.