Ascentis Blog

Information to help HR and payroll managers, recruiters, and compliance officers become more effective.

By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

Beating the H1-b Visa Cap – Winning Strategies for U.S. Employers

Although it is probably the most popular work visa, U.S. Immigration regulations only allocate only 65,000 H-1b visas, with an additional 20,000 to advanced degree professionals who graduate from U.S. colleges each year. The visas are doled out on the first of the fiscal year, which is October 1st. The earliest you can apply for a visa is six months before its start date.


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The H-1b is for professionals. It is the visa for jobs that require college degrees. It comprises of techies, lawyers, doctors, accountants and most management level positions. The positions must pay the prevailing wage.


The process for submitting  an H1-b application can be very daunting to employers. To make this process easier, you can take Ascentis’ free (submitted for RCH credit) 60-minute webinar titled Beating the H1-b Visa Cap – Winning Strategies for U.S. Employers.  This live presentation will take place on March 6, 2014 at 10am PST, and will be given by expert immigration attorney, Jon Velie. This free webinar has been submitted to HRCI and the APA for one (1.0) general RCH credit. This class will be recorded and available on-demand starting March 7, 2014.


Jon Velie is an attorney who practices immigration and corporate law and is President of the Velie Law Firm. Jon is licensed in six federal jurisdictions including the US Supreme Court as well as seven other jurisdictions in the United States. Velie Law Firm has been honored by the American Bar Association and labeled as an innovator in the legal industry. Velie Law Firm has assisted individuals and companies from around the world obtain visas in virtually every state in the USA. 

Make HR Less about Paper and More about People

Are you spending more time with paper than you do with your biggest asset – your people?


During tax time many employees come to payroll and HR asking for copies of previous years tax documents, payroll stubs, and many more types of documentation. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if your company had a secure online portal where employees could access their personal data and documents, even from home, whenever they wanted to?


Ascentis can help you give them that.


Employee Self-Service (ESS) automates traditional processes like direct deposit changes and open enrollment by placing the data maintenance burden on employees. This results in more time for HR staff to focus on the strategic needs of your company like recruiting, training, and retaining the best employees.


Ascentis mobile delivery makes it easier for companies to increase HR technology adoption rates in their workforce and utilize powerful functionality no matter where they are. Ascentis’ touch-optimized mobile Web environment allows employees to manage and request time-off, access their company directory, and take action on workflow tasks through their mobile devices.


Get your own personalized demo of how Ascentis can help you boost productivity, cut costs, make employee communication and data retrieval incredibly easy and convenient, and access insightful analytics. All in one place.

PPACA: Final Regulations Issued for Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage


On February 12, 2014, the Treasury Department issued a “Fact Sheet and Final Regulations” that clarified the compliance landscape of the Affordable Care Act. 

Highlights of this fact sheet and final regulations include:


  • The employer mandate, previously postponed for one year (from 1/1/2014 to 1/1/2015) has now been further modified.  For employers of 50-99 employees, the compliance mandate has been postponed from 1/1/2015 to 1/1/2016.  For employers of 100 or more employees, the compliance date remains 1/1/2015, but in a further twist, is now modified to the first of the plan year beginning on or after 1/1/2015, rewarding all those employers who guessed this would happen and modified their plans late last year to a December 1 anniversary date.
  • The time period employers may use during 2014 for averaging their full-time employee counts to determine which category they fall in (<50, 50-99, or 100>) has been liberalized significantly as well.  While previously an employer had to consider all 12 months in this averaging calculation, now they may use any consecutive 6 month period of their choosing between 1/1/14 and 12/31/14.  This may become an “escape hatch” to qualify for the one-year additional delay for some organizations with highly seasonal or variable workforces.
  • For employers of 100 employees or more, the requirement to offer coverage to at least 95% of eligibles is reduced for the initial compliance plan year (beginning first of the plan year on or after 1/1/2015) to at least 70% of eligibles.


Download the fact sheet below and read the final rule here.


For more information on determining whether an employer is subject to the employer shared responsibility regulations, click here.

Did you know that many areas of the PPACA can be managed through HR and payroll process automation and reporting? Find out how! Join us for our master class series on health care reform.