Scholar Services Communiqué
5, Number 4
is an on-going series of messages to departments who sponsor international
scholars at Boston University. With the Communiqué, we offer
information that helps in the processing of scholar immigration-related
documents and petitions. We hope you find the Communiqué
a useful tool in working with the ISSO and in successfully hiring
and sponsoring scholars from around the world. Past Communiqués
are archived on our web site. Click here
to go to the archive page.
in H-1B Processing Expected
preparing H-1B petitions should be aware that ISSO expects significant
delays in H-1B processing effective immediately and into the summer
due to a number of recent/upcoming changes in H-1B processing.
- H-1B petitions are currently being processed by the ISSO with
delays due to the implementation of new USCIS forms in
late March and delays in obtaining prevailing wage requests.
- The Department of Labor has announced changes to the
Labor Certification process effecting H-1B petitions,
which will become mandatory effective on May 15, 2009.
- New legislation being introduced in congress
this month may impose cumbersome new eligibility and posting requirements
for H-1B sponsors in an effort to protect jobs for U.S, workers.
The change s announced to
the Labor Certification progress has already been rolled out is
expected to become mandatory for all H-1B employers effective May
How does the new
Labor Certification process affect my H-1B cases?
H-1B “Temporary Worker in
a Specialty Occupation” category requires processing steps with
both the US Department of Labor ( DOL ) as well as the U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Service (USCIS – part of the US Department of Homeland
Security). The DOL processing steps involved in securing H-1B sponsorship
for a BU employee include:
(1) Obtaining a Prevailing
Wage Determination from the State Workforce Agency
(2) Posting a Labor Conditional
Application notice in two conspicuous places at the location(s)
(3) Forwarding the Labor
Condition Application to DOL for certification
The Labor Conditional Application
(LCA) which the sponsoring employer must file with the DOL includes
a summary of employment conditions under which the H-1B employee
will be hired. These job conditions include the employer name, job
title, actual wage offered, prevailing wage determination obtained,
weekly hours of employment and dates of requested sponsorship. The
LCA also includes a number of labor attestations to which the employer
must commit in hiring a foreign national in H-1B classifications.
At the current time, the
LCA certification process is an automatic process which can be done
within a day.
Beginning in May, however,
the DOL has indicated that it will begin to monitor this processing
step much more closely and that it will now take up to one
week for the DOL to certify an LCA. Early reports from
institutions using this new system indicate that delays beyond one
week and denials of certifications are also possible.
In light of the added processing
time it will take to complete DOL processing, the ISSO encourages
departments to submit any requests for new or continuing H-1B employees
well in advance. While our estimate for ISSO processing time has
been 4 weeks, we are now estimating that it may take 6 weeks or
longer for the ISSO to complete initial processing steps prior to
mailing the petition to the USCIS.
In light of this, we would
advise that any new H-1B petitions which departments are preparing
for summer or fall of 2009 should be submitted immediately, if possible,
to minimize delays the new system might bring.
Please bear in mind that
in addition to DOL processing steps, the ISSO then prepares the
H-1B petition for final adjudication by the USCIS. Since standard
USCIS processing for H-1B petitions is currently taking 3-6 months,
departments are advised to submit petitions for H-1B sponsorship
to the ISSO up to six months prior to the start date (or extension
start date) requested.
Process or case-specific
questions about H-1B sponsorship can be addressed to Andrea Popa
Jeanne E. Kelley
Assistant Director for Scholar Services
Peter F. O'Meara
International Scholar Advisor
Students & Scholars Office
19 Deerfield Street, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215
Tel: (617) 353-3565
Fax: (617) 358-1170
you a new BU department contact or new host to an international
scholar? Are you a BU affiliate who wants to receive the ISSO Communiqué?
To update your department's contact information or to sign up for
the ISSO Communiqué, please complete a Department Contact/Host
Update Form on-line at: http://www.bu.edu/isso/administrators/contacts/index.html