(This section is still under construction. it will feature selected provisions on the Family Code of the Philippines, the Corporation Code of the Philippines, Philippine Adoption Laws, and decisions of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, including articles and news on U.S. Immigration Laws. This section is intended to be a significant source or library of Philippine laws online for the layman. Thus, it will contain carefully selected and edited provisions of Philippine laws and excerpts or digests of Philippine cases or jurisprudence. As its initial feature, following is an article from Atty. Susan V. Perez-De Borja and a list of important legislations on Family Law in the Philippines.)
U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW by Susan V. Perez, Esq.
Cap Count for H1B Workers for FY2009
Filipinos who have dreams of working in the United States, but do not have qualifying relatives to file petitions for them or could not wait for their family petitions should be aware of the H1-B visa program. This program allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers to perform services in a specialty occupation. The statute defines specialty occupation as one that requires “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in fields of human endeavor…and which requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.” Typical H-1B or specialty occupations include architects, engineers, computer programmers, accountants, doctors and college professors.
The H-1B nonimmigrant visa category is popular because its basic feature, qualification in an occupation that usually requires a college degree, can be met by a large number of Filipinos. A degree from an accredited college or university in the Philippines will qualify if determined to be equivalent to a U.S. degree. To get the U.S. degree equivalency, you need your academic credentials and work/professional experience evaluated by an accredited evaluation services in the U.S. My recent client received a U.S. Master’s degree equivalency in accounting. She graduated from Ateneo de Naga and worked as bookkeeper/financial analyst/auditor with Land Bank for several years. I’ve found a couple of U.S. employers who are willing to sponsor her. It normally cost $250 to get credential evaluation service. There has to be a specific offer of employment from a U.S. employer. Finding one these days is the hard part considering the current economic condition.
The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. This is the number of workers that can be issued an H-1B visa this year. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. H-1B nonimmigrants who will be employed by institutions of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, as well as those employed, by a nonprofit research organization or a government research organization are exempt from the cap. Also, foreign workers with a Master’s degree or higher from a U.S. academic institution are exempt from the cap. The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 makes available 20,000 new H-1B visas for them. The timelines permit a cap-subject H-1B filing no earlier than April 1, 2009, with a requested start date for the H1-B petition no earlier than October 1, 2009.
We welcome your feedback. If you have any immigration questions, please feel welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 001 619 819 -8648 to arrange for a telephone consultation.
*Susan V. Perez, Esq. is a licensed attorney in California and Philippines. Additional details and information can be obtained from her immigration website at http://www.law-usimmigration.com.
[i] 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(ii)
RECENT LEGISLATIONS ON FAMILY LAW:
Since its official effectivity on August 3, 1988, the Family Code of the Philippines has undergone several changes and amendments, as follows:
1. Republic Act No. 9048- amending Articles 376 adn 412 of the Civil Code authorizing the administrative correction of typographical and/or clerical errors in the Civil Register or change of name or nickname.
2. Republic Act No. 8972-otherwise known as the Solo Parents Act of 2000, giving certain recognized rights and privilleges to solo parents and their children, such as flexible working hours, parental leave, educational benefits, and medical assistance.
3. Republic Act 8552-otherwise known as the Domestic Adoption Law, is the most comprehensive revision to date of the adoption laws of the Philippines, which delienates the substantive requisites for adoption, extending its coverage, and refining the procedure to obtain an adoption.
4. Republic Act No. 8043-otherwise known as the Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995, provides for the procedure to adopt children in the Philippines.
5. Republic Act No. 8369-recognizing the growing clamor for the more expedient resolution of family law cases, it provides for the creation of Family Courts throughout the country.
6. Republic Act No. 8171–providing for the repatriation of Filipinas who have lost Philippine citizenship by virtue of marriage to foreign nationals.
7. Republic Act No. 8533–extending the right to seek the nullity of void marriages on the ground of psychological incapacity under Art. 39 of the Family Code of the Philippines even beyond the original ten year prescriptive period under the original provisions of the Family Code.
8. Republic Act No. 7192–otherwise known as the Women in Development and Nation Building Act–givng equal rights to women in all contractual situations, admission to military schools and other kindred rights and privilleges.One notable feature is the recognition by the statute of the right of home builders or those who devote full time to the management of the household to voluntary social welfare privilleges deductible from the salary of the working spouse.
9. Republic Act No. 9255-allowing illegitimate children to use the surname of their father.
10. Republic Act No. 9262–otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004, providing relief for victims of physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse.
11. Republic Act No. 9344-raising the age of criminal liability of minors, specifically providing for exemption to criminal liability to minors below 15 years of age, and conditional criminal liability to minor offenders between 15 and years of age, only when acting with discernment.