Posted On: June 26, 2009

LATEST UPDATE - FY 2010 H-1B Cap Count

On June 24, 2009, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap. As of June 19, 2009, 44,500 H-1B cap subject nonimmigrant visa petitions have been filed. USCIS has advised that they will continue to accept petitions until the cap is reached. Additionally, USCIS reported that they received 20,000 advanced degree H-1B petitions. Although the limit on advanced degree petitions is 20,000, past experience has tended to show that not all petitions received are approvable.

Accordingly, qualifying applicants are still able to petition for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa either under the general cap, or as an applicant with an advanced degree. (i.e., U.S. Master’s degree)

If you have any questions surrounding the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program, please contact our office.

Posted On: June 25, 2009

USCIS will resume Premium Processing for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker beginning June 29, 2009

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that effective June 29, 2009, it will resume the premium processing service for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker.

The following categories are eligible for premium processing:
EB-1 Aliens with Extraordinary Ability
EB-1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers
EB-2 Member of Professions with Advanced Degrees or Exceptional Ability (not seeking National Interest Waiver)
EB-3 Professionals
EB-3 Skilled Workers
EB-3 Workers other than Skilled Workers or Professionals

By paying the required $1,000 for Premium Processing, petitioners will receive one of the following from the USCIS: an approval, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence, or a notice of the intent to investigate, within 15 calendar days of receipt.

If you have any questions, please contact our office.

Posted On: June 22, 2009

Updated Service Centers Processing Times

Processing Time reports for all of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Centers were released on June 15, 2009 with processing dates as of April 30, 2009.
If you filed a petition with one of the Service Centers, please review the links below to determine the applicable processing time associated with your particular case.

California Service Center
National Benefits Center
Nebraska Service Center
Texas Service Center
Vermont Service Center

If your petition is out-side of the normal range listed, contact USCIS. (1-800-375-5283)
If you would like our assistance, feel free to contact our office.

Posted On: June 16, 2009

USCIS ordered to accept concurrently-filed Religious Worker I-360 and I-485 applications

Last week, a Washington District Court ordered the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to begin accepting concurrently-filed I-360 and I-485 petitions. The District court ordered that the bar against concurrent filings on behalf of religious workers, as set forth in 8 C.F.R. § 245.2(a)(2)(i)(B), was an impermissible construction of 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a) and was therefore invalid and unenforceable.

The USCIS shall begin accepting concurrently-filed applications (I-360 and I-485) provided that the applicant meets all of the filing requirements.

Posted On: June 15, 2009

Legislation to Protect Orphans, Widows and Widowers Introduced by Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Gillibrand (D-NY), and Leahy (D-VT)

On Thursday, June 11, 2009, Senators Robert Menendez, Kirsten Gillibrand and Patrick Leahy introduced the Orphans, Widows and Widowers Protection Act (S. 1427). This legislation would provide essential immigration protections for those impacted by the death of a sponsoring relative. The legislation imposes specific requirements that must be followed for each type of immigration filing – including naturalization, family based immigration and derivative beneficiaries of employment based immigration.

Posted On: June 12, 2009

LATEST UPDATE - FY 2010 H-1B Cap Count

On June 11, 2009, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) updated the count of H-1B petitions received and counted towards the 65,000 cap. As of June 5, 2009, 44,400 H-1B cap subject nonimmigrant visa petitions have been filed. USCIS has advised that they will continue to accept petitions until the cap is reached. Additionally, USCIS reported that they received 20,000 advanced degree H-1B petitions. Although the limit on advanced degree petitions is 20,000, past experience has tended to show that not all petitions received are approvable.

Accordingly, qualifying applicants are still able to petition for an H-1B nonimmigrant visa either under the general cap, or as an applicant with an advanced degree. (i.e., U.S. Master’s degree)

If you have any questions surrounding the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program, please contact our office.

Posted On: June 11, 2009

July 2009 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State has released its latest Visa Bulletin. The July 2009 visa bulletin still shows employment based third preference (EB-3) visas as oversubscribed while the employment based second preference (EB-2) is current for all areas of chargeability except for China and India.

Click here to view the July 2009 Visa Bulletin

Posted On: June 3, 2009

USCIS Experiencing Production Delays

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has announced that they are experiencing delays in the production of permanent residence cards.The Service is in the process of updating its card production equipment. As of May 29, 2009, the Service announced that recipients may experience up to an eight (8) week delay before receiving their permanent residence card.

While waiting for delivery of the permanent residence card, approved recipients will be given temporary evidence of permanent residence at the time of their interview. Therefore, applicants will need to take their passports to their interview, so that the USCIS may place an I-551 stamp within the passport. This stamp will serve as temporary evidence of permanent residence until the recipient receives the actual permanent residence card. If approved applicants do not have a passport, they are required to bring a passport style photo and government issued photo identification to the interview to receive the stamp.

For applicants whose application is approved after the interview, they must schedule an INFOPASS appointment and bring the requested documents above to that appointment to obtain the I-551 stamp.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact the MVP Law Group.

Posted On: June 2, 2009

Legislation to Reform America’s Family Based Immigration System Introduced by Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Gillibrand (D-NY), Kennedy (D-MA), and Schumer (D-NY)

On Wednesday, May 20, 2009, Senators Edward Kennedy, Robert Menendez, Charles Schumer, and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Reuniting Families Act (S. 1085). This legislation would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act/Family Based Immigration System by promoting family unity among other important purposes.
The legislation is intended to help families unite by promoting family stability and by fostering economic growth.

Posted On: June 1, 2009

BALCA upholds denial of Labor application – Employer failed to comply with Notice of Filing requirements

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently upheld the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of Slitting Supervisor.

The labor certification application was accepted by the CO in October of 2005. A few months later, the CO issued an Audit Notification to the Employer. Among other items, the Audit requested a copy of the Notice of Filing used for the alien worker’s labor application. The Employer responded by complying with the request and sending the Notice of Filing. In October of 2006, the CO issued a denial letter on the grounds that the Notice of Filing failed to contain the appropriate CO’s contact information including the physical address. Thereafter the Employer submitted a request for reconsideration, and only included a notice of entry of appearance of a new attorney; no argument or other information concerning the grounds for denial were provided. In September of 2008, the CO issued a letter of reconsideration finding that the denial of labor certification was valid. The CO noted that the Employer failed to provide any information relating to the missing information on the Notice of Filing. The CO then forwarded the case to the Board. New counsel for the Employer filed a brief arguing that the failure to provide the address of the CO was harmless error and therefore denial based upon a typographical error was a denial of due process. Counsel also stated that when the Employer was made aware of the omission, he agreed to repost the Notice of Filing. The CO appropriately filed an appellate brief stating that the Board had ruled on the issue of failure to include the address of the appropriate CO on the Notice of Filing in a 2007 case.

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