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March 27, 2007

Getting Ready for the H-1B Tide: FedEx in Vermont, Bonded Couriers in California, Saturday Delivery, Signatures and LCAs

From AILA;

The USCIS has reiterated its statement that there is no advantage to submitting your cap-subject H-1B petition to either the Vermont Service Center or the California Service Center for Saturday delivery. In the "Helpful Hints" from the USCIS posted March 26, 2007, to InfoNet (part of AILA Document 07032666), the USCIS advises that "…the VSC and the CSC will not take possession of mail scheduled for delivery on Saturday (March 31) or Sunday (April 1) until Monday, the first business day of the FY '08 H-1B cap filing period."

An AILA member reports the following information learned from a visit to the FedEx office in Burlington, VT.: "They confirmed to me that everything would be delivered (or picked up by VSC) on Monday the 2nd. They also said that while the VSC generally makes pickups on Saturday, it will not be doing so on March 31. They were told to hold everything until Monday." SCOPS liaison and CSC liaison have both also confirmed that CSC will not be accepting deliveries on Saturday, March 31, 2007.

The CSC receives a large number of applications and petitions delivered by smaller courier services other than the major "name brand" ones like FedEx, UPS and DHL. For security reasons, it requires these courier services to be bonded. The CSC Liaison Committee has obtained a current list of bonded couriers from which the CSC will accept deliveries.

There is some confusion in the "Helpful Hints" about whether to file an LCA bearing the petitioner's original signature with the H-1B petition. Section 31.3(b) of the Adjudicator's Field Manual expressly permits the filing of a copy of the signed LCA: "The LCA, which may be a photocopy of the original, must be valid for the period of time requested for the petition." Moreover, DOL regulations governing the LCA at 20 CFR § 655.760(a)(1) direct that an employer using an electronic LCA sign and retain the LCA with the original signature as part of the public access file. AILA has pointed out this discrepancy to USCIS, which is reviewing the matter.

Posted by VisaLawyer at March 27, 2007 08:08 AM

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