E-2 Visa approved for a Singaporean national during COVID-19

New Policy Guidance on Employer’s Ability to Pay in I-140 Filings

On March 15, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a policy guidance addressing the analysis of an employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage for certain employment-based immigrant petitions. This guidance, contained in Volume 6 of the Policy Manual, is effective immediately and applies to I-140 petitions filed on or after March 15, 2023. The updated guidance discusses in more detail various types of evidence and explains how USCIS reviews all evidence relevant to the employer’s financial strength and the significance of its business activities.

US employers seeking to sponsor employees under EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 employment-based immigrant classifications that require a job offer must demonstrate their continuing ability to pay the proffered wage to the employee as of the priority date of the immigrant petition. The employer’s/petitioner’s ability to pay the proffered wage stated on Form I-140 is one of the essential elements that USCIS considers in evaluating whether the job offer is realistic.

Regulations require an employer to submit annual reports, federal tax returns, or audited financial statements for each available year from the priority date. An employer can alternatively submit a financial officer statement attesting to its ability to pay the proffered wage if it has 100 or more workers. Additional evidence such as profit and loss statements, bank account records, or personnel records may also be submitted. Many employers satisfy the ability to pay requirement by also submitting payroll records demonstrating that, during the relevant time period, they have been paying the employee at least the proffered wage indicated on the Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers (Form I-140).

Here’s what the updated USCIS guidance provides:

  • USCIS reviews all evidence relevant to the employer’s financial strength and the significance of its business activities.
  • Employer must submit one of the three forms of initial required evidence listed in the regulation but may also include other types of relevant evidence.
  • Discussion of each form of initial required evidence listed in the regulation and several other forms of additional evidence employers might submit to establish their ability to pay the proffered wage.
  • Explains how USCIS analyzes evidence and issues relevant to an employer’s ability to pay the proffered wage, such as the petitioner’s current employment of the beneficiary, prorating the proffered wage for the priority date year, multiple beneficiaries, successors-in-interest, and non-profit organizations.
  • Addition of information about types of business structures to help officers better understand the types of petitioning employers and the evidence they may submit to establish their ability to pay the proffered wage

Reference Links

Chapter 4 – Ability to Pay | USCIS

20230315-AbilityToPay.pdf (uscis.gov)

EB1c Visa | EB1c US Lawyer | Davies & Associates (usimmigrationadvisor.com)

Merit Based EB-1A Visa | National Interest Waiver (usimmigrationadvisor.com)

EB3 Visa | Permanent Residency for Skilled Workers | Davies & Associates LLC (usimmigrationadvisor.com)

This article has been written by Zeenat Phophalia, Esq. Of Counsel, Davies & Associates, India Office.

Zeenat Phophalia is qualified to practice law in New York, United Kingdom and India. She practices in the area of U.S. immigration law with a focus on business immigration, and has represented corporate clients including large and medium sized companies and startups across sectors such as IT, consulting, consumer goods, manufacturing and telecommunications.

Looking for an US immigration lawyer? Request free consultation at Davies & Associates or find our closest location around the world.

Client Q & A on Eb-2 Visa

Client Q&A: The EB-2 Visa – Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability

We assisted our Chilean client working in the field of astronomy with obtaining an EB-2 Visa. Learn about the process from his perspective.

1. Why did you want to move to America?

This idea to execute a major life change started early in my career when I came to the USA under a Work and Travel program when finishing my studies for electronic engineering. There I learned the American culture embraces people from overseas without any distinction (at least I felt it that way). The society in the U.S. has such a strong basis that allows people to care for themselves and to cooperate with their peers, also, it encourages us to bring the best of ourselves. That simple aspect is something I don’t see quite often in my home country. In terms of career opportunities, America is home for cutting-edge research and development, things that are encouraged in college but later really hard to follow when doing normal jobs in my home country. On the other hand, the main activities in the USA are focused on adding value by creating new products and ideas and not just maintain things working without creating any new value at all. In conclusion, I will be able to fully develop my career in a country where I feel welcomed, cherished, and inspired while enhancing my family’s possibilities.

2. What were the reasons for choosing the EB-2 visa?

The employment-based visa on the second category is the best suited to my credentials since it is focused on bringing to the U.S. highly skilled professional holding advanced degrees (or a combination of degree plus experience). I saw this visa class years ago when I ended college and realize that I would need to demonstrate great qualifications if I would like to be considered for permanent residency in the future. Now 11 years later I recalled this possibility and got the chance to present all my developments through the jobs I performed, and fortunately, they were good enough to be entitled to a U.S. visa.

3. Describe the process for obtaining the EB-2 Visa

First, we started discussing with D&A if my credentials were worthy of being defended by them before the USCIS. The firm studied the content I provided and accepted to represent my case to the USCIS. We then started a process where the firm produced a comprehensive document package that included a detailed introduction to the job field, recommendation letters, government forms, and personal documentation to name the main delivered papers, in short, about a 500-pages long presentation. The document package was reviewed by the USCIS and in about a year they sent their approval notice, allowing us to move forward with the NVC to verify the civil information for each people traveling is in proper shape to produce the visas. Finally, the process culminates with a medical examination and an interview at the consulate where the final checks are performed before proceed stamping the visas on each passport. The whole process from the signature accepting D&A terms until receiving my visa took two years and a half.

4. What obstacles did we encounter along the way and how we overcome these obstacles?

The process in general went smoothly. However, when producing the presentation to the USCIS, we had difficulties documenting my accomplishments of electronic engineering in the field of astronomy since it was way out of the ordinary cases. For this, D&A struggled to bring down to earth all the specifics of showing the things done in the astronomy field. In the end, this extra effort paid off as no request for evidence was issued by the USCIS, saving us a good amount of months preparing additional documents.

5. How did the Covid-19 pandemic impact your application?

Last year, the former U.S. president created several presidential proclamations tackling immigration. One of them specifically targeting employment-based immigration such as my case. The presidential proclamation was lifted at the end of February and my application to the NVC was ready a month before. So I can say COVID-19 delayed my application by one month. Regarding the USCIS, I know they were working with less staff than before, but my immigrant petition processing took more or less than the expected time, which is about a year.

6. Why did you choose D&A?

I did find D&A after searching for immigration attorneys that had a presence in my country, so I could start discussing my possibilities with a local attorney first. I could see through the D&A webpage that this firm has solid expertise in a wide variety of visas, with tailor-made solutions to specific types of applicants according to their nationality. I would say the great experience in obtaining successful cases made me gain enough confidence to seek my chances of obtaining a visa with them.

7. Would you recommend D&A to a friend or colleague?

From my experience in this process, I would undoubtedly recommend my contacts to work with D&A. I was quite impressed to see how deep the firm makes their research to provide a strong background of every project I was involved in, their produce highly appealing recommendation letters based on the experience of each recommender highlighting the professional traits they see in me. Besides, the firm provides further guidance to the entire immigration process, maintaining fluid communication in each step, resolving any inquiries I might have.

8. Is there anything else that you think would be of use to other people considering a similar move to the US.

If you feel your family and professional prospects can be benefited by coming to the U.S, I encourage you to assess your options and contact D&A for assistance in determining what are your best chances to get permanent residency in the U.S. The assessment provided by D&A will be very handy in confirming your visa choice is the best one or if there is a better way to get the desired residency. I can assure you won’t regret working along with D&A.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.

Vietnam clients of Davies & Associates

Thị thực EB-2 – Thường trú nhân thông qua Miễn trừ Lợi ích Quốc gia (NIW).

Davies & Associates đã nhận được sự chấp thuận của Chương trình Miễn trừ Lợi ích/Quyền lợi Quốc gia EB2 (NIW) cho một Nhà Tâm lý học Tổ chức/Công nghiệp từ Nam Phi. Ban đầu, khách hàng có một số lựa chọn thị thực khác, nhưng các luật sư nhập cư của chúng tôi đã đề xuất NIW là con đường tốt hơn và chi phí hơn.
Khách hàng của chúng tôi là một nhà Tâm lý Tổ chức/Công nghiệp có nhiều kinh nghiệm và vốn có tài năng với bằng cấp cao về Tâm lý học Tổ chức và Công nghiệp và có nhiều kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực của cô ấy.
By Verdie Atienza
Tâm lý học Công nghiệp & Tổ chức (I / O)
Tâm lý học công nghiệp và tổ chức (“Tâm lý học I / O”), còn được gọi là tâm lý học nghề nghiệp, là một thực hành ứng dụng trong lĩnh vực tâm lý học đa ngành và bí truyền. Nó là khoa học về hành vi của con người liên quan đến công việc và áp dụng các lý thuyết và nguyên tắc tâm lý cho các tổ chức và cá nhân tại nơi làm việc cũng như cuộc sống làm việc của cá nhân một cách tổng quát hơn. Các nhà tâm lý học I / O được đào tạo theo mô hình khoa học-thực hành. Họ đóng góp vào thành công của tổ chức bằng cách cải thiện hiệu suất, động lực, sự hài lòng trong công việc, an toàn và sức khỏe nghề nghiệp cũng như sức khỏe tổng thể cũng như chỉ số hạnh phúc của nhân viên.
Một nhà tâm lý học I / O thực hiện nghiên cứu về hành vi và thái độ của nhân viên cũng như cách họ có thể được cải thiện thông qua các phương pháp tuyển dụng, chương trình đào tạo, phản hồi và hệ thống quản lý.

Làm thế nào chúng tôi có được NIW?
D&A đã trình bày thành công nhóm công việc xuất sắc của khách hàng trong lĩnh vực này và chứng minh cách cô ấy đáp ứng các tiêu chí nghiêm ngặt cho phân loại NIW. Mặc dù các công việc đủ điều kiện để được Miễn trừ lợi ích quốc gia không được quy định theo luật, nhưng việc miễn trừ lợi ích quốc gia thường được cấp cho những người có khả năng đặc biệt và làm việc ở Hoa Kỳ sẽ mang lại nhiều lợi ích cho quốc gia.
Những người tìm kiếm miễn trừ cho quyền lợi quốc gia có thể tự nộp đơn (họ không cần chủ lao động bảo lãnh) và có thể nộp trực tiếp giấy chứng nhận lao động của họ với USCIS cùng với Mẫu đơn I-140, Đơn xin việc làm cho người nước ngoài.

Miễn trừ Lợi ích Quốc gia (NIW) là gì?
NIW (National Interest Waiver) là danh mục phụ thứ ba của loại thị thực dựa trên việc làm ưu tiên thứ hai (thị thực EB2). Thị thực dựa trên việc làm – bất kỳ thứ gì có tiền tố “EB” – là thị thực nhập cư cung cấp thường trú nhân / Thẻ xanh cho người nộp đơn.
Trong danh mục NIW, người nộp đơn có thể yêu cầu miễn chứng nhận lao động vì làm như vậy là vì lợi ích quốc gia của Hoa Kỳ (các danh mục EB-2 khác yêu cầu chứng nhận lao động). Những người làm việc trong bất kỳ ngành nào đều có thể nộp đơn xin NIW, nhưng người nộp đơn phải chứng minh được vai trò của họ là vì lợi ích quốc gia. Điều này làm cho nó đặc biệt phổ biến đối với những người trong ngành khoa học và chăm sóc sức khỏe.
Các danh mục phụ Visa EB2 khác
Hai danh mục phụ khác cho EB-2 là “Bằng cấp cao” – bất kỳ ai có bằng cấp cao cộng với ít nhất năm năm kinh nghiệm làm việc đáng tin cậy – và “Khả năng đặc biệt”. Điều này dành cho những người có khả năng đặc biệt trong nghệ thuật, khoa học hoặc kinh doanh. Về mặt này, nó tương tự như loại EB-1A dành cho những người có năng lực phi thường và loại EB-1C dành cho các nhà quản lý và điều hành quốc tế. Không giống như danh mục phụ NIW, hai danh mục phụ này yêu cầu chứng nhận lao động.
Ban đầu, khách hàng đã tiếp cận Davies & Associates với một lựa chọn loại thị thực khác và nhóm của chúng tôi đã đề xuất lộ trình EB-2 thay thế. Điều này nhấn mạnh tầm quan trọng của việc tham vấn với luật sư nhập cư sớm trong quá trình này. Nhóm của chúng tôi hỗ trợ các tư vấn miễn phí ban đầu cho các khách hàng tiềm năng như một phần của quá trình đánh giá hồ sơ của khách hàng.
Contact us for your application review
Bài viết này được xuất bản cho khách hàng, bạn bè và những người quan tâm khác chỉ nhằm mục đích cung cấp thông tin. Nội dung của bài viết không phải là lời khuyên pháp lý và không nhất thiết phản ánh ý kiến của Davies & Associates hoặc bất kỳ luật sư, nhân viên hoặc khách hàng nào của Davies & Associates. Các liên kết bên ngoài không phải là sự chứng thực của nội dung.

US Immigration Lawyer

EB-2 Visas – Permanent Residency through National Interest Waiver (NIW). A Case Study

Davies & Associates obtained an EB2 National Interest Waiver (NIW) approval for an Organizational/Industrial Psychologist from South Africa. The client had initially wanted another visa, but our immigration attorneys proposed NIW as the better route.

Our client is a highly experienced and inherently talented Organizational/Industrial Psychologist with an advanced degree in Organizational/Industrial Psychology and extensive experience in her field.

Industrial & Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychology (“I/O psychology”), which is also known as occupational psychology, is an applied practice within the multi-discipline and esoteric field of psychology.  It is the science of human behavior relating to work and applies psychological theories and principles to organizations and individuals in their place of work as well as the individual’s work life in a more general manner. I/O psychologists are trained in the science-practitioner model.  They contribute to an organization’s success by improving the performance, motivation, job satisfaction, and occupational safety and health as well as to the overall health and well-being of its employees.  An I/O psychologist conducts research on employees’ behaviors and attitudes, and how they can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, feedback, and management systems.

How did we obtain the NIW?

D&A successfully presented the client’s outstanding body of work in the field and demonstrated how she meets the rigorous criteria for NIW classification. Although the jobs that qualify for a National Interest Waiver are not defined by statute, national interest waivers are usually granted to those who have exceptional ability and whose employment in the United States would greatly benefit the nation.

Those seeking a national interest waiver may self-petition (they do not need an employer to sponsor them) and may file their labor certification directly with USCIS along with their Form I-140, Petition for Alien Work.

What is the National Interest Waiver (NIW)?

The NIW (National Interest Waiver) is the third subcategory of the second-preference employment-based visa category (EB2 visa). Employment-based visas – anything with the prefix “EB” – are immigrant visas in that they offer permanent residency / Green Card.

In the NIW category, an applicant can request that labor certification be waived because it is in the US national interest to do so (the other EB-2 categories require labor certification). People working in any industry could apply for NIW, but the applicant should be able to demonstrate their role is in the national interest. This makes it especially popular for people in science and healthcare.

Other EB2 Visa Subcategories

The two other subcategories for EB-2 are “Advanced Degree” – anyone with an advanced degree plus at least five years of credible work experience – and “Exceptional Ability”. This is for people who have exceptional ability in the arts, sciences, or business. In this regard it is similar to the EB-1A category for people with extraordinary ability and the EB-1C category for international managers and executives. Unlike the NIW subcategory, these two subcategories do require labor certification. 

The client initially approached Davies & Associates with another visa category in mind and our team was able to recommend the EB-2 route instead. This highlights the importance of engaging with an immigration attorney early in the process. Our team offers an initial free consultation to prospective clients as part of this determination process.

Contact us to request your appointment.

This article is published for clients, friends and other interested visitors for information purposes only. The contents of the article do not constitute legal advice and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Davies & Associates or any of its attorneys, staff or clients. External links are not an endorsement of the content.