Attorney Gary Ilagan from Fong • Ilagan continues to find high-caliber speakers on trending business-related topics for the monthly Speaker Series hosted by the Greater Houston Region of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) Texas.

Attorney Gary Ilagan from Fong • Ilagan runs the monthly Speaker Series for the Greater Houston Region of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) Texas. There was a remarkable, record-setting number of attendees at the Hampton Inn & Suites Houston-Westchase for the most recent installment of PACC Texas’ monthly Speaker Series on March 21, 2019, titled “2018 Tax Reform Impact: Top 5 Tax Reform Changes You Should Know for Businesses and Individuals.” The discussion featured members of the Filipino-American Accountants of Texas (FAATX). The following speakers represented FAATX at the last Speaker Series:
Continue reading Attorney Gary Ilagan from Fong • Ilagan continues to find high-caliber speakers on trending business-related topics for the monthly Speaker Series hosted by the Greater Houston Region of the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACC) Texas.

H-1B Visa Petitions Experience a Significant Decline in Approvals

Not only has the Trump administration made significant efforts to reduce illegal immigration, but it has also created numerous obstacles in legal immigration matters.

When it comes to obtaining H-1B visas for high-skilled foreign workers, the U.S. government has now been denying more petitions than recent years. According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—which runs the visa program—has increased the number of requests for evidence from H-1B visa applicants, resulting in more delays and denials.
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In the final quarter of 2018, approximately 60 percent of employers who filed a petition on behalf of foreign workers—either prospective new hires or current employees—received requests for additional information, in comparison to around 46 percent of applicants who received similar demands the last quarter of 2017 and 28 percent the previous year. The approval rate dropped to 75 percent in the final quarter of last year, from 83 percent in 2018 and 92 percent in 2016.

When current USCIS director L. Francis Cissna took the position in October 2017, he promised to administer a stricter vetting process and several policies which look out for the best interests of the American employee. The agency now asks employers to prove if the sponsored job was considered a “specialty occupation” and if they had authentic relationships with the applicants.

IT services companies experienced the most rejections for new applications compared to past years. The trend is based on a combination of increased denials, slower immigration process, and changing market demands.

However, companies such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Amazon.com Services, and Microsoft Corp. had an approval rating of 99 percent. The applications for H-1B visas largely come from 30 companies, mainly those from the tech and banking industry.

In the business world, U.S. companies are trying to gain a technological advantage over their domestic and international competitors by building digital platforms, which is why IT services are so crucial. Since the U.S. has a shortage of digital and IT skills, in order to create and maintaining these platforms, these companies rely on foreign workers—mainly from India—to succeed. However, the immigration crackdown by the current administration has affected these companies’ ability to develop digital platforms, which also has a negative impact on their competitiveness.

For more information about the H-1B visa program and our legal services, contact our Houston immigration lawyers at Fong • Ilagan today.

Attorney Gary Ilagan Featured as Speaker for Texas Bar CLE 17th Annual Conference

The Texas Bar held its Continuing Legal Education (CLE) 17th Annual Conference: Advanced Immigration Law. Gary Ilagan of Fong • Ilagan in Houston was invited to be a keynote speaker during this important event.

Attorney Gary Ilagan co-presented an hour-long seminar titled “What’s Hot in Employment-Based Immigration Law” with Rebecca Massiatte of JMA Firm in Dallas. The seminar covered a variety of issues that immigration lawyers need to know about right now in order to be the most helpful to their clients.
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Attorney Fong Presents at the TNLA Winter Workshop

As Houston immigration lawyers, we’re always looking for opportunities to help out our community – particularly when it comes to the subject of complex immigration law matters. That’s why our managing partner William D. Fong recently presented at the 2019 Winter Workshop for the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA), hosted at Houston Community College on Friday, January 25th.
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