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H-1B season is fast approaching – Are you ready?

posted by: INSZoom date: Feb 03, 2015 Compliance, Human Resources, Immigration case management comments: Comments Off on H-1B season is fast approaching – Are you ready?
Immigration professionals need to mark their calendars: H-1B visa applications are due April 1.

In less than eight weeks, this year's H-1B visa filing season begins. While many immigration attorneys and human resources professionals have already begun their application prep, others many need to utilize their immigration case management software to catch up.

What to expect this year
Fragomen predicts demand for the 85,000 available H-1B visas will be greater this year than it was last year, which is impressive considering U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received 172,500 petitions last year.

The 172,500 applications submitted in 2014 were all received in a one-week period, and USCIS used two separate lotteries to decide which petitions to process. Of those who applied, 20,000 filled the cap for workers with U.S. advanced degrees. This left 152,500 people to be selected for the 65,000 bachelor degree-level spots.

"HR departments and attorneys need to have their H-1B petitions in on April 1, 2015."

What you need to do
Considering the intense demand for H-1B visas, HR departments and attorneys need to have their petitions in on April 1, 2015. Petitions submitted to USCIS after the 85,000 cap has been reached will automatically be rejected and not part of the lottery. The longer you wait to submit an H-1B petition, the more likely you are to miss the cut off, which is a moving target.

Last year, the chance of receiving a H-1B visa was 42 percent, down from 62.5 percent in 2013, Fragomen reported. If demand for these visas is even greater this year, the likelihood of getting your visa processed could be less than half.

Immigration professionals should take advantage of their CMS to get their H-1B visas in on time.Immigration professionals should take advantage of their CMS to get their H-1B visas in on time.

It isn't all doom and gloom
While the need for H-1B visas may make you slightly pessimistic about you clients' chances of receiving a visa, there's no need to believe you can't get your petition in immediately on April 1 and have a stronger chance of getting approved. There's an element of chance with the lottery, but not in the preparation.

The many benefits of your immigration-focused CMS can prepare you to file your clients' petitions right away.

The H-1B workflow within the case management platform ensures you don't miss any critical steps of the process leading up to April. This will keep you on track while you gather wage information, which can include union and government data, and submit Labor Condition Applications with the U.S. Department of Labor. You can also set calendar reminders when you need to move to the next step.

Through the secure client portal, you can collect the information and official documents you need from your clients to prove they meet the education and specialty occupation requirements for the H-1B visas. 

date:  Feb 03, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on H-1B season is fast approaching – Are you ready?
by:  INSZoom category:  Compliance, Human Resources, Immigration case management Read More

Immigration case management software takes the pain out of applying for grants

posted by: INSZoom date: Dec 19, 2014 Compliance, Immigration case management comments: Comments Off on Immigration case management software takes the pain out of applying for grants
Organizations and nonprofits should invest in an immigration case management program to ease the burden of grant reporting requirements.

Many organizations and nonprofits rely on immigration-related grants to provide necessary services to their clients. Without these grants, many organizations wouldn't be able to pay their attorneys and staff or even keep the lights on. However, winning these funds is a complex process and there's stiff competition, whether the money is awarded by a federal, state or local government, or even a private entity.

In most cases, the organizations need to report detailed information regarding their processes and clients, unfortunately, this information can be spread not only across different computers within one office, but through many offices around the globe. Gathering all of this data can be a tedious and painful process if the organization doesn't have an efficient system in place.  

Technology is here to help

"Immigration services organizations and nonprofits can utilize state-of-the-art technology to ensure every piece of datum is at their fingertips whenever they need it."

Luckily, immigration services organizations and nonprofits can utilize state-of-the-art technology to ensure every piece of datum is at their fingertips whenever they need it. By investing in an immigration case management program, the organization can retain all of its client files and business information in one place – the cloud.

No waiting
Through cloud technology, the case management system is available to everyone in the organization at once, so there's no need for information to be put in another system first or wait to be uploaded. All relevant information gets added to the program in real time, whether the staff member is in the U.S., India or anywhere else they can find an Internet connection.

Full integration
A strong immigration case management system fully integrates with the organization's website, email, calendar and if necessary, billing system. This makes it even easier to ensure all information makes it into the cloud. Information added to the calendar can quickly be synced over to the cloud and vice versa. Additionally, important dates and alerts can be sent to staff members through their email, ensuring they get the message whether or not they're signed into the program.

Immigration case management systems provide the reporting capabilities organizations need to meet grant application requirements.

Full reporting capabilities
While cloud-based case management software provides numerous benefits to any institution, immigration services organizations and nonprofits get the most advantage from the reporting options within the platform. Not only does the system provide ready-made built-in reports, but it also has customizable options so an organization can meet every specific reporting requirement created by the grant-awarding body.

Many community and nonprofit institutions have to watch their budget – running out of money isn't an option if they want to help as many people as possible. A comprehensive immigration case management system may appear to be a significant upfront investment, but in the long run, will save any organization money by improving efficiency and reducing the man hours needed to gather information for grant reporting. 

date:  Dec 19, 2014 comments:  Comments Off on Immigration case management software takes the pain out of applying for grants
by:  INSZoom category:  Compliance, Immigration case management Read More

Counsel your clients on their tax obligations [VIDEO]

posted by: INSZoom date: Dec 08, 2014 Compliance comments: Comments Off on Counsel your clients on their tax obligations [VIDEO]
It's important for clients to understand their tax obligations while their cases are pending.

Transcript

Some of your clients may not understand their tax reporting obligations. You should inform them that they need to file a tax return each year, even if they believe they won’t owe any taxes.

Failing to file taxes or withholding income information can affect their immigration cases. For instance, permanent residents seeking U.S. citizenship will be required to show proof of their tax filings.

What they need to report, according to the IRS, is any income effectively connected to a trade or business in the U.S. or income derived from a U.S. source.

When informing your clients of their tax obligations, it may be best go further and recommend them to a local tax professional experienced in working with non-citizens.

Additionally, if any of your clients are leaving the U.S. and don’t fit into one of the exceptions, they must complete a sailing or departure permit, which certifies they’ve complied with the country’s tax laws.

Check back for more information on how INSZoom can help you manage your immigration cases.

date:  Dec 08, 2014 comments:  Comments Off on Counsel your clients on their tax obligations [VIDEO]
by:  INSZoom category:  Compliance Read More

Form AR-11 & the importance of tracking your clients' addresses [VIDEO]

posted by: INSZoom date: Dec 03, 2014 Compliance comments: Comments Off on Form AR-11 & the importance of tracking your clients' addresses [VIDEO]
It's crucial your clients' addresses are up to date with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Transcript

Your client’s case can be harmed if they don’t keep their address up to date with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Not only must their address be accurate at all times, but your clients only have 10 days from the date they move to inform the government of the change.

Counsel your clients to tell you their new addresses prior to their move so you can ensure Form AR-11 is properly filled out and ready to be submitted within the proper time frame.

You can save yourself time and energy by using an immigration case management system with an address tracking system. Once your clients input their new addresses into the system, you’ll be notified  of the need for an AR-11.

A strong case management program will also offer digital documents, so you can fill out and send the form to immigration services electronically.

Check back for more information on how INSZoom can help you manage your immigration cases.

date:  Dec 03, 2014 comments:  Comments Off on Form AR-11 & the importance of tracking your clients' addresses [VIDEO]
by:  INSZoom category:  Compliance Read More
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