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H1B With Cap Exempt and Off Site Employment Issues Approved for Pharmacist Korean Beneficiary and Healthcare Staffing Firm Petitioner in Cleveland Ohio

by JP Sarmiento on June 24, 2013

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CASE: H-1B Visa Petition
PETITIONER: Healthcare staffing firm
ISSUES: Cap-Exempt, Research Organization, Off-Site Employment

Our client is one of the leading healthcare staffing firms in Northeast Ohio, serving the general staffing needs of regional hospitals and clinics. They contacted our office in early April to seek legal assistance from our office for their foreign employee.

The beneficiary is a licensed pharmacist who obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in the United States. The proffered position for the Beneficiary is a Pharmacist. We showed that this is a “specialty occupation” because the minimum requirement for this position is a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree with a registered Pharmacist license.

When our client contacted us, the numerical cap for H-1B visas for fiscal year 2014 was about to be reached. We could not process this case under the regular cap time frame given the short amount of time we had to prepare for the application. Our client was very disappointed and thought they would have to wait until April 1, 2014. Also, since the Petitioner is a staffing firm, their foreign employee will be placed at different hospitals (off-site employment issue). At that point our client thought it was impossible to file.

We told our client that we can argue that they are qualified for some of the exemption provisions of the H-1B cap. We explained that we can argue the nonprofit exemption, as well as cite some CIS memorandums regarding their eligibility despite off-site employment.

We showed that the main reason for cap-exemption is that the foreign employee will be placed at two hospitals which are non-profit research organizations as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214.2(h)(19)(iii)(C).

Our office argued that this H-1B petition is exempted from the H-1B numerical limitations (cap-exempt) because the Petitioner will employ the beneficiary to perform job duties at non-profit research organizations (two hospitals) as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214(h)(19)(iii)(C) that directly and predominately furthers the normal, primary, or essential purpose, mission, objectives, or function of the qualifying institution (nonprofit research).

We also argued that these two hospitals are clearly qualified as non-profit research organizations as defined in 8 C.F.R. 214(h)(19)(iii)(C). These two organizations are primarily engaged in basic research and/or applied research. Moreover, the beneficiary’s job duties, which will be performed on-site at qualifying non-profit research organizations, will be similar to those performed by actual employees (Pharmacists) of the two hospitals in the furtherance of the qualifying entities’ mission.

Furthermore, we explained that the Petitioner will comply with the statutory and regulatory requirements of the H-1B non-immigrant classification for the placement of the beneficiary at the two hospitals during the period of employment.  We mentioned that the beneficiary will be paid higher than the prevailing wage for the pharmacist position by the Petitioner, and Petitioner-Employer will maintain an employer-employee relationship with the beneficiary. The Petitioner has the right to control the work of the beneficiary on a day-to-day basis as well. We explained that the Petitioner has a sole right to hire, pay, and has the ability to fire the beneficiary as well.

Once retained, our office filed the H-1B visa petition with various supporting documents on April 19, 2013 via premium processing.

However, the USCIS California Service Center issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) on May 2, 2013 and requested Petitioner to demonstrate that the prospective places of employment for Beneficiary are truly non-profit organizations under the interpretation of the immigration laws for cap-exempt organizations. After we received the RFE request, our office prepared the response and argued that the prospective places of employment for Beneficiary are non-profit medical research organization and Beneficiary’s work will be similar to Pharmacists of those hospitals.  We submitted the name, address, and contact information of supervisors of each Pharmacy where Beneficiary will be placed.  We filed this Response to the RFE on June 14, 2013.

After our Response to RFE was received by the USCIS, our client’s H-1B application was approved on June 21, 2013.  She can now work for her employer for three years on an H-1B starting June 21, 2013.


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