News & Articles

Update: H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa

Published on February 17, 2012

By Janet Cheetham and Joel Paget

Act Now: H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa

The H-1B visa is very popular with employers who are hiring foreign nationals with college degrees, or equivalent experience. Unfortunately, Congress has allotted only 65,000 H-1B visas, plus 20,000 for those holding a Master’s Degree, for each federal fiscal year. This year the numbers ran out in January. New applicants will have to wait until October 1, 2012 to begin work on an H-1B visa. The first day an employer can file for a visa is April 1, 2012, but it takes time to prepare the petition. Because of the time needed to prepare the petition, it is important to start considering filing for current employees on student employment status or potential new employees.

With the stronger economy there may be a large of number of petitions filed on April 1 or shortly thereafter. In years past, such large numbers meant there was a lottery conducted where only 40% of the early filings were accepted for processing by the USCIS. Do not wait until it is too late.

Nonresident Alien Tax Publication 515 Updated by IRS

Publication 515 concerns withholding agents and the related income and tax return obligations. The information may be useful to withholding agents who pay income to foreign persons, including nonresident aliens, foreign corporations, foreign partnerships, foreign trusts, foreign estates, foreign governments, and international organizations. Please click here for the 2012 version of IRS Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities, on the IRS website.

DOJ Releases Employer Best Practices During Worksite Enforcement Audits

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices recently published a short “Do’s and Don’ts” that we urge you to look at so you are prepared for an I-9 audit. Click here for the document.

Janet and Joel Named Best Lawyers

Janet Cheetham and Joel Paget were each listed among Washington’s “Best Lawyers 2012” in the January issue of Seattle Business Magazine. Selection to the Best Lawyers list is based on peer-review surveys in which thousands of the nation’s top lawyers confidentially evaluate their peers. The information for the 2012 list was pulled from more than 2.8 million evaluations of lawyers by other lawyers.

Janet Cheetham and Joel Paget are attorneys in Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC’s Immigration Group. Janet can be reached at 206.654.2235 or [email protected] Joel can be reached at 206.654.2215 or [email protected] This message has been sent to by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise you of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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