The LaborLess Blog
July 24, 2019
From the very beginning of my immigration tech startup journey, I’ve been trying to get in touch with the federal government. Specifically the US Department of Labor (DOL). Not investors. Not prospective clients. Not even former immigration law colleagues to hear my crazy idea. Instead, from day one, I wanted to go straight to the source.
You see, the startup I’ve built, LaborLess, automates the Labor Condition Application (LCA) compliance process for companies who hire H-1B workers, and the DOL is the department that wrote the rules on this compliance process. So if I could just get in front of them and tell them about my idea, I thought, maybe then I’d quit my full-time job and start working on it.
Eventually this is exactly what I did, though now quite how I had planned. Here’s how it happened....read more
July 15, 2019
The 2019 AILA Annual Conference, which took place in Orlando, Florida this year, was a whirlwind of all things immigration. From informative panels on immigration law and policy to dozens of technology vendors focused on case management, compliance and analytics, there was something new and interesting around every corner.
And while the legal sessions were truly for everyone, I noticed that most of the practice management sessions were somewhat geared toward immigration attorneys at law firms.
I didn’t question this at first. That is, until I went to one session that took me completely by surprise...read more
July 9, 2019
Thousands of immigration lawyers and professionals come to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual conference each year. Some are new attorneys sent by their law firms to learn about various visa types. Others are seasoned attorneys coming to see their fellow colleagues and maybe even sit on a panel. Still others are there as vendors to present their latest immigration tech, translation service, EB-5 regional center business or some other immigration-related services.
Not me...read more
July 2, 2019
Each year, for just a few days, one lucky city becomes the largest gathering of immigration lawyers in the world. This year, that city was Orlando, Florida, and the gathering - the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) annual conference.
The AILA conference took place at the Gaylord Palms — a beautiful resort and convention center with great restaurants, impressive amenities, and a massive glass dome right in its center. Walking through this enclosed atrium reminded me of The Truman Show... read more
June 6, 2019
Early this week I was having one of those exciting, inspiring conversations about immigration technology with a colleague from SHRM. We spoke about current events, recent VC funding rounds for immigration tech startups, what the future has in store and more.
At some point during the conversation, though, he mentioned the word “flag.” “As in the American flag?” I asked. No, he replied, not that kind of flag. F-L-A-G, all caps. It’s a new system the DOL is currently rolling out....read more
May 22, 2019
I came across a Harvard Business Review article the other day that struck me. It said, in a nutshell, that in order to successfully sell a truly innovative product, you have to do more than present data points and articulate a clear value proposition. You have to sell an entirely new idea.
To illustrate the point, the article’s author explained the concept with an analogy....read more
May 10, 2019
The title sounds like the beginning of a mediocre joke an old-timey lawyer might tell at a firm happy hour. But in fact, this is basically what happened for the first time ever yesterday in Washington DC. And it wasn’t just any bar. It was the bar - the immigration bar, otherwise known as the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).
Yesterday, on May 9, 2019, AILA held its first-ever Immigration Technology Summit. Born out of a 2016 report on the future of immigration law practice, this would be the first time that AILA...read more
April 30, 2019
I was recently at an immigration law conference in Chicago. The conference was hosted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, AILA for short and more commonly known as the “immigration bar.” It’s essentially an organization of nearly every immigration lawyer and professor in the US among other immigration professionals, with specialties ranging from family and business visas to refugee and litigation matters. That’s more than 15,000 people.
This particular conference was AILA’s Midwest Regional conference, so while not all 15,000 members were there, the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel in downtown Chicago was buzzing with hundreds of immigration lawyers, mingling with each other, greeting old colleagues and picking at the breakfast buffet before the long day of CLEs was to begin...read more
March 20, 2019
On Friday, March 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor published a memo about Labor Condition Application (LCA) posting. The memo isn’t very long, but for employers who hire H-1B visa workers (and for the immigration lawyers who support them), it clarifies a regulation that has, until now, been a source of speculation and guesswork.
Most importantly, this memo finally addresses electronic LCA posting head on, turning what was largely considered a gray area into something that’s much more black-and-white. And as the CEO of LaborLess, an ImmiTech startup that’s laser focused on electronic LCA posting, this was an absolute game changer.
So here’s why the DOL memo is so important...read more
March 7, 2019
I was speaking with a sales manager at another immigration tech startup recently, sharing some of my sales theories and tactics. I went into detail around a simple yet paradoxical realization I had that has shaped the way I approach sales prospects, and the person I was speaking to, while nodding his head, quickly grabbed a pen, scrambled for a notepad, and started jotting down notes. We were on video chat, so I could him doing it.
So here was the simple, but paradoxical realization I had that caused my ImmiTech peer to scramble for pen and paper...read more
January 28, 2019
In the past four years, there has been more growth, investment and exits in the immigration tech space than in the 20 before that. Yet there is very little coverage on immigration tech, or ImmiTech as I like to call it. So I decided to write about it myself.
I've been following the ImmiTech space since 2014, and...read more
December 30, 2018
On December 3, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a proposed rule that could change the way the H-1B cap lottery system will work.
The USCIS proposal creates an online system that will require employers to register their intent to hire a specific H-1B worker. It’ll be free to use, and employers will need to provide only basic, mostly biographic, information. Once USCIS receives enough registrations...read more
September 11, 2018
I knew selling immigration compliance software wouldn’t be easy. Even as an immigration lawyer with sales and tech experience I’d have to find my rhythm.
I do my homework when I pitch, too. I know how many LCAs each H-1B employer I talk to filed over the last 10 years. I know whether or not they get overwhelmed during H-1B cap season based on LCA volume from January through March. I’m ready for almost every question, and if I don’t have an answer, I always follow up with one.
And even when an employer decides that LaborLess isn’t right for them, I learn. I learn about how corporate timelines, department budgets and in-flight projects impact decisions.
But there’s one reason why H-1B employer resist automating their paper LCA posting...read more
August 14, 2018
It’s 2018. We’ve got on-demand taxis, drone delivery services and even an “Iron Man” suit that lets you fly.
And many of the companies that make these incredible products and services possible hire hundreds, if not thousands, of foreign born workers. For example, according to 2017 US Department of Labor data, Lyft submitted 121 Labor Condition Applications (LCAs), Uber Technologies submitted 732 LCAs, and Amazon, across its many subsidiaries, submitted a whopping 5,000+ LCAs for H-1B or E-3 workers.
Yet LCA compliance - posting LCA notices and creating and maintaining Public Access Files (PAFs) for H-1B and E-3 workers - is still done on paper...read more
July 26, 2018
On August 3, 2017, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed changes to Form ETA 9035, also known as the Labor Condition Application (LCA). The proposal came in response to President Trump’s April 18, 2017 executive order entitled “Buy American, Hire American.” The proposed changes are aimed at H-1B and E-3 employers, requirement them to provide even more detailed information regarding the placement and qualification of their H-1B and E-3 employees.
Here were the three major changes to the LCA proposed by the DOL...read more
April 26, 2018
"Cap season,” the H-1B visa equivalent of “tax season,” is anything but fun for immigration attorneys and in-house immigration specialists across the U.S. We do all we can to streamline the process: divide work based on service center, alphabetize FedEx packages, hire seasonal help, and so on.
But we often overlook all the LCAs and public access files that are very much part and parcel the H-1B process...read more
April 10, 2018
In 2010, 342,575 LCAs were submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL). In 2017, that number soared to 589,141, nearly doubling in size. During the same period of time, more and more employers started to post LCAs online pursuant to 20 CFR 655.734, which allows electronic posting in lieu of physical posting.
At LaborLess, we’re really excited about electronic LCA posting, so as we were diving deep into our research...read more
March 14, 2018
if you’ve ever hired an H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 worker, you’ve probably had to deal with the headache of posting a Labor Condition Application (LCA) at some point: print two copies of LCA, post it at the right work location, monitor the posting, take it down, document the posting dates. Sure it’s been the standard practice for many years, but it’s also time consuming, expensive and hard to track. Which begs the question - can it be done better?
We think it can and we’ll tell you how you can get started...read more