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Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 2)

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Jan 13, 2014 Enterprise Immigration, Immigration News, Immigration Stories comments: Comments Off on Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 2)
by Anuj Sarin Hope my earlier blog helped you in the process of preparing yourself and your organization to file for the H-1B’s. In this blog I shall focus on activities that involve compliance but are intrinsic to the H-1B process.
  1. Ensure identified resources are eligible for the H-1B based on specialty occupation requirements, 16 years of equivalent US education, and / or any other internal criteria and provide the Units with the list.
  2.  Determine the wages to be paid; you need to consider the following before determining the wage to be paid
    • Union (Collective Bargaining) Agreement (if any)
    • Wage Survey
    • Wage paid to similarly employed workers in the geographic area
  3. Ensure that the Wage survey, used is the latest.
  4. Let your Compensation team know of the wages that need to be paid to these H-1B employees.
  5. Once LCA requirements are identified (refer comments in my earlier blog) make sure to send out the Posting notices to the locations for which they are being procured.
  6. Start procuring the LCA’s. You may want to put a future start date on these LCA’s to maximize the time that you can get.
  7. If 3rd party placement of resources is involved, work with the Sales or Client Engagement or concerned teams to have valid and updated Client letters, SoW’s or Contracts.
  8. Follow up on LCA postings and once posting period is completed ensure that you receive the posting notices back.
  9. Update the Public access files with the posting notices and the LCA’s once certified by the DOL.
  10. Check your Public Access files to ensure that they contain the updated documents such as benefits, compensation structure, relevant policies and process documents, etc.
  11. Ensure that the form versions you have are the latest.
By when should all the activities be started and/or completed? This would depend upon the volume of H-1B’s that you need to file. You could look calculating these dates keeping in mind the filing window of 1st 5 working days in April 2014 and back working based on your volume and processing capability. The time to process has begun folks, forget about the holiday season, roll up your sleeves and get to work. The rewards for the effort that you are going to be putting in, will be visible in the smiles and thank you notes you would get from employees on intimating them about the approval of their H-1B’s probably starting June 2014 or earlier if the case is filed under premium processing.
 

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.
date:  Jan 13, 2014 comments:  Comments Off on Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 2)
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Enterprise Immigration, Immigration News, Immigration Stories Read More

Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 1)

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Jan 07, 2014 Enterprise Immigration, Immigration News, Immigration Stories comments: Comments Off on Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 1)
By Anuj Sarin As everyone welcome’s the New Year Immigration professionals working on US immigration have to brace themselves for the onslaught of the H-1B cap filing that opens on April 01, 2014. With only 65,000 H-1B’s available, of which 5800 are reserved for Nationals of Singapore and Chile and an additional 20,000 for people with Masters degree from a US university all that can be done is to file the application with the USCIS within 5 working days of the H-1B quota opening. Selection of the applications through the lottery is something that we can’t do anything about. We can however, plan for the oncoming H-1B filing to ensure the Organization’s resource requirements are met. Planning for the H-1B filing cycle can be complex and arduous. Given the different stakeholders that need to be involved in the process, to decrease the complexity we can look at a two-prong approach. The first being what we need to do internally within the organization and the 2nd being activities where compliance is involved. In this blog I shall focus on the activities to be done internally and follow it up with the 2nd blog on steps / aspects that involve compliance.
  1. Work with different Business units / departments (Units) to assess their H-1B requirements. Provide them with information such as availability of US work authorized personnel, expiration of work authorizations through October 2015, attrition figures, offshore resources with US work authorizations.
  2. Identify resources for who H-1B’s can be filed include employees working in the US on EAD’s pursuant to a student visa also.
  3. Go through existing templates such as Support letters and or documents to ensure that they are updated and the latest.
  4. Gear up to start procuring LCA’s. Historic data can help to a great extend in assessing / identifying your LCA requirements. Work with the Units to identify the work locations and number of employees per location, to see how many LCA slots you would require.
  5. Get the final list of employees from the Units for whom H-1’s are to be filed.
  6. Send the necessary information to the identified employees on processing of their H-1B’s along with the document list, questionnaires to collect information etc.
  7. Work along with your Facilities Management team / Admin Team / Procurement team for
    • Additional Work Space
    •  Additional IT equipment (PC’s, Printers, Scanners, Photocopiers etc.)
    •  Stationary (Paper, binder clips, correction tapes / fluid, Letterheads, toner for printers etc.)
    •  Additional storage space
    •  Food and transportation if working late into the night.
  8. Hire any temp staff that you may need to process the load and ensure that they are appropriately and adequately trained.
  9. Work with your Education Evaluators to establish a process to support you with your Evaluation requirements.
  10.  Work out logistics if any with your Courier vendor so that they can plan for the shipping of such large volume of documents and make sure that they are delivered on time.
  11. Start following up with employees for the information and documentation that they need to give.
  12. Publish a metrics of information / documentation received / not received from employees and publish the same to Business Units / Departments
  13. Create a method / process to allocate cases to your team.
  14. Set processing targets for your team and make them aware about the same.
  15. Create and publish metrics on the processing of the cases by your Team. If need be update this on an hourly basis.
Completing the above would take you one notch forward on preparedness for filing the H-1B’s.

Anuj Sarin

With nearly fifteen years of experience in immigration, operations and human resources management, Anuj Sarin directs INSZoom’s Product Management division. As the Director of Product Management, he ensures that the company increases its revenue and market share and maintains its focus on delivering exceptional services and products that increase clients’ efficiency, effectiveness and compliance.
date:  Jan 07, 2014 comments:  Comments Off on Holiday Season to H1B Cap Season of 2014 (Part 1)
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Enterprise Immigration, Immigration News, Immigration Stories Read More

INSZoom Immigration Case Management Software Fully Compatible with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Jan 07, 2014 Announcement, In the Press, Innovation@INSZoom, News comments: Comments Off on INSZoom Immigration Case Management Software Fully Compatible with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11
The leading immigration case management company announces that its cloud-based compliance technology is fully compatible with the latest Windows operating system and Internet browser. San Ramon, CA – January 7, 2014 – INSZoom.com, Inc., the world’s leading immigration case management and compliance company, announced today that its cloud-based immigration case management software is fully compatible with the latest Microsoft operating system, Windows 8.1, and Internet Explorer version 11. INSZoom has conducted extensive compatibility tests of its leading immigration compliance software on Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11 to ensure its clients get full and seamless access to the tools they depend upon to manage digital immigration regardless of their operating system. “Our clients are a multi-varied group. Some will choose to upgrade to Windows 8.1 right away, while others will wait until it becomes the new standard,” said Umesh Vaidyamath, CEO, INSZoom. “As a leader in immigration technology software, INSZoom has ensured that our solutions are fully compatible now so that our clients can rest assured when they do choose to upgrade to the new operating system.” Windows 8.1 was first made available to the general public on October 17, 2013. Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 8.1 was released on that same day; the Internet browser was released for Windows 7 on November 7, 2013. Adoption of these new updates is starting to pick up steam, with early adopters upgrading their systems at a steady pace. INSZoom’s immigration compliance program’s full compatibility with these systems ensures that its early adopter clients have everything they need to upgrade to the latest operating system. As the leader in immigration technology software, INSZoom dedicates expansive resources to ensure its software solutions are always updated and upgraded. In late October 2013, INSZoom introduced a series of new features to help its clients manage immigration just after the government shutdown ended. In May 2013, it introduced new 2D barcode technology into its case management system. The company was the first to offer a cloud-based immigration case management system and continues to lead the industry in innovation and responsiveness.  
About INSZoom: INSZoom Inc., is the world’s largest immigration software company, with offices in San Ramon, CA, US; London, UK; and Bangalore, India. Founded in 1999, the company helps corporations, enterprises, law firms, and consultants better manage case initiation, workflow, management, I-9 Compliance and E-Verify. As a Microsoft Certified partner, INSZoom provides clients with leading-edge technology, flexible platforms, and superior compliancy management tools. For more information, please contact press@inszoom.com.
date:  Jan 07, 2014 comments:  Comments Off on INSZoom Immigration Case Management Software Fully Compatible with Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Announcement, In the Press, Innovation@INSZoom, News Read More

Traveling Abroad? Don’t Forget Your Documents!

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Dec 26, 2013 Immigration Stories comments: Comments Off on Traveling Abroad? Don’t Forget Your Documents!
By Amber Easton Earlier this year I travelled to beautiful Costa Rica with six of my family members from Canada. While planning for the trip, I double checked the document requirements for entry into Costa Rica and confirmed all that was required was our Canadian Passports. We were all set to go! Excited and eagerly anticipating the warm Costa Rican sun, we rushed to the airport with passports in hand. After a week of amazing fun in the sun and quality time with family, we loaded into the cars and headed back to the airport for our journey home. All of my family members were returning to Canada and I was returning to the United States, where I have lived for the past 10 years. As I approached the counter to get my boarding pass, the airline employee politely asked for my passport and final destination. After learning I was a Canadian citizen landing in the U.S., she requested proof of my U.S. immigration status. Even before the words “immigration status” came out of her mouth…dread set in. I immediately realized I made a huge mistake and forgot my U.S. Permanent Resident Card (“Greencard”) at home. What followed was something our family will never forget. I was not allowed to board the plane and my entire family had to leave me behind in Costa Rica. In order to get back into the United States, I would be required to travel to the U.S. Consulate (6 hours away) and obtain necessary written documentation permitting me to re-enter the United States. The entire process took nearly a week to sort out. My experience in Costa Rica was a tough and expensive lesson. It was an important reminder of how critical is to always carry the right travel documentation – not only for entry into your destination country, but also for re-entry into the United States. Many foreign nationals will be traveling abroad this holiday season. In the hustle and bustle of it all, it can be easy to forget important details. As a reminder, non-U.S. citizens are encouraged to consult with their immigration attorney prior to international travel. We also encourage you to review the list of basic documents that are required for entry to the U.S. http://www.dhs.gov/crossing-us-borders. If you require a visa, appointment scheduling and visa issuance times can be checked online at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html. Don’t forget your documents! Happy Travels!
date:  Dec 26, 2013 comments:  Comments Off on Traveling Abroad? Don’t Forget Your Documents!
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  Immigration Stories Read More

IT Immigration: Senate & House

posted by: INSZoom INSZoom date: Dec 23, 2013 From Our CEO, Immigration News comments: Comments Off on IT Immigration: Senate & House
By Umesh Vaidyamath The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration bill in June 2013. Though the House has not passed a bill, several immigration bills were reported by the House Judiciary Committee to the House floor. There is a dramatic difference between the visions of the Senate and the House for IT immigration. The Senate is largely unfriendly to IT immigration as it exists today. It wants to destroy intermediaries for IT talent (“body shops”). If it has its way, the “H-1B dependent” employers will no longer exist. The Senate bill would compel large companies to hire IT personnel directly from India, instead of their current use of “body shops”. Smaller companies will be hit because they don’t have the ability to hire overseas. All this will cause turmoil in the current IT ecosystem, especially in Silicon Valley. The House on the other hand regards the current IT industry as one of America’s success stories. The various bills reported by the House Judiciary Committee will make possible a massive expansion of the IT industry by increasing quotas, and reducing wait times, ushering in a golden age of American IT immigration giving America access to the best IT talent throughout the world. The Senate and the House bills represent significantly different visions for IT immigration. It is difficult to tell which one will prevail—as in all politics, we can expect a combination of the visions to pass the Congress. What is common to both the Senate and the House visions is a massive increase in IT immigration—the difference will be in the structure of that expansion. But the costs will be high in terms of increased fees and increased regulations under either vision, the Senate’s or the House’s. Agencies like USCIS and DOS are not good at adjusting to change, and will struggle with handling the new law when it comes. The IT industry will also struggle as a result. Change in IT immigration is imminent even if there is no Comprehensive Immigration Reform since IT issues are so important that some IT legislation is to be expected regardless of how Comprehensive Immigration Reform fairs. Law firms that use digital case management will be at a major advantage, because productivity in immigration processing, which has been competitive advantage so far will now become a survival requirement. INSZoom stands ready to help any law firm who wants to achieve these productivity increases and prepare for the changes coming to IT immigration in 2014.
date:  Dec 23, 2013 comments:  Comments Off on IT Immigration: Senate & House
by:  INSZoom INSZoom category:  From Our CEO, Immigration News Read More
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