is rapidly coming
to a close as evidenced
by the U.S. Congress
taking their annual
summer recess. There
have been lots of
happening this month
and many changes have
also taken place.
One of the biggest
changes that has created
a buzz all over the
news and blogosphere
is the $2000 fee hike
for certain H1B and
L1 petitions. The
United States Congress,
in a largely bi-partisan
vote, passed a bill
which was signed by
President Obama on
August 13, 2010, which,
among other things,
imposes an additional
$2000 H1B filing fee
and $2250 L1 filing
fee for certain companies
that file H1B and
L1 applications on
behalf of foreign
This filing fee is
in addition to the
normal filing fees.
Specifically, the bill would increase total filing and fraud prevention fees by an incredible $2000 to $2250 for petitioners with a U.S. workforce of more than 50 percent H1-B or L-1 nonimmigrants. The provision would be applicable to employers with 50 or more employees in the United States. The bill is designed to provide $600 million in emergency funds to increase security along our borders with Mexico, hiring more than new 1,000 border patrol and immigration enforcement officers, and increasing unmanned drone surveillance operations in the region. Many Senators returned to Washington DC from their August recess to vote on the bill.
The U.S. House of
the legislation to
border security despite
anger in India (at
whom the legislation
appears to be aimed)
at the steep increases
in work visa fees
proposed to pay for
the new measures.
There was some anticipation
about the consolidation
or any amendments
to the bill, but nothing
came about. Indian
IT companies will
be the worst affected
by this bill, costing
them between $200
to $250 million per
Though it seems very
unfair from a trade
the U.S. defends it
saying that they want
to encourage the hiring
of U.S. workers and
the growth of companies
working in the U.S.
with more local workers,
and to create jobs.
The bill took effect
immediately upon being
signed by the President.
On the other side of the immigration debate the Obama Administration is considering ways that it could impact immigration relief without Congressional approval - providing some options, should comprehensive immigration reform legislation not pass.
An internal memo to Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Director of USCIS, from the Offices of Chief Counsel and Policy and Strategy, lay out some suggestions that USCIS might undertake within the current structure of the law without having to wait for Congress to pass legislation. Some of the key suggestions include the following:
USCIS believes these administrative options are immediately at their disposal or can be quickly implemented through notice in the Federal Register based upon current authority. There is no word yet whether USCIS will implement any of these suggestions. Be assured that we will report on any forward movement concerning the above administrative policy changes and continue to keep you informed.
- Provide work authorization
dependent spouses if the H-1
applicant has an application for
permanent residence and has extended
beyond the 6 year limit. Currently
H-4 dependents have to wait for
the filing of an I-485
application to get work authorization,
however, that can’t be done unless
the priority date is current.
- Expand the "dual intent"
doctrine to non-immigrants such
- Create a grace period ranging
from 45 to 90 days for most of the
- Eliminate unlawful presence
(3 year and 10 year bar) for adjustment
of status applicants. This
would allow applicants who are subject
to the bar on re-entry to freely
travel and re-enter the U.S. to
resume their application.
- Expand premium processing
to all employment-based cases.
USCIS noted that they do not have
a current backlog of cases so they
are equipped to expand their premium
- Utilize deferred inspection
for applicants whose removal is
not in the public interest.
This allows a “stay” in the U.S.
to buy time for the applicant to
have some form of legislative relief
in the future.
- Expand the EB-5
investor visa program. This
program provides permanent residence
to foreign nationals who invest
in a U.S. business that creates
at least 10 jobs, however, the program
has been underutilized. The USCIS
views this program as an important
tool to revitalize the U.S. economy.
- Extend work authorization
on EADs when an extension is filed.
This would allow automatic 240-day
work authorization for an applicant
who files an EAD extension before
the current one expires. Currently
the renewed EAD
must be approved by the time the
current EAD one expires for the
foreign national to continue to
Other Developments in Immigration Law
USCIS Changes Filing Location for Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)
USCIS on August 3, 2010 announced a change in filing location instructions and addresses for the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F). Beginning Aug. 3, 2010 all Form I-129F petitions being filed by a U.S. citizen on behalf of a fiancé(e) or spouse must be submitted to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox facility. The Vermont and California Service Centers will forward incorrectly filed petitions to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox for a period of 45 days until Sept. 17, 2010. After Sept. 17, 2010, petitions and fees submitted at the Service Centers will be returned to the applicant, with a note advising them of the correct filing location.
Fee for Visa Waiver Program Increases from September 8
Beginning September 8, 2010, foreign
to enter the United
States under the Visa
Waiver Program (VWP)
will need to pay a
new fee of US$14.00
when they submit an
application for permission
to travel through
the Electronic System
for Travel Authorization
State Department Announces Online Immigrant Visa Application
The US Department of State (DOS) has announced Form DS-260, a new, completely electronic application for foreign nationals seeking immigrant visas at U.S. consulates abroad. Form DS-260 is expected eventually to replace Form DS-230, the paper-based immigrant visa application.
and Other Fun Stuff
Now for the regulars - this month's
entitled 'Overstay, Out-of-Status
and Unlawful Presence: What Do These
Terms Mean and How Can They Affect
You? ' tells the meaning of the
terms - Overstay, Out-of-Status and
Unlawful Presence and also explains
how they might affect you. Also check
out our In Focus
section for this month, 'When
is Your Priority Date Becoming Current:
Should You Check USCIS Processing
Times or DOS Visa Bulletin?'
that will help you understand the
differences between the USCIS Processing
Times and DOS Visa Bulletin, their
significance and how do they relate.
Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Last month's poll results indicate that 55.56% of the respondents believe that USCIS will not receive 65,000 H-1B petitions before the end of this fiscal year. We appreciate that people take interest in the opinion question and cast their vote to give us their feedback. Keep it up! And continue to cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
Simbiat Monsur gave the correct answer and won a free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. So it’s time to
get ready for this month's quiz. If
you know the correct answer your name
might be featured in next month's newsletter.
All the Best!!!
Simbiat Monsur for winning last
month's Immigration Quiz.
Again, we received a significant
number of responses from our readers,
who talked about various solutions
to support their
To ensure you receive your Immigration
Newsletter, please add
to your address book or safe list.
See you next month with a lot
more noise from the Immigration World!
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of Free, Fillable US Immigration Forms on
the Internet. VisaPro's Free, Fillable Immigration
Forms let you enter your information on-screen
and print the completed form. For your convenience,
all the immigration forms are grouped by
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available under each specific category.
to take part in our immigration
events, but missed your chance?
Check out the informative
library of immigration law
videos from past conferences.
H-1B Cap Count Increases Further; USCIS Received 33,900 H-1B Cap-subject Petitions
As of August 20, 2010, USCIS has received approximately 33,900 H-1B cap subject petitions and approximately 12,600 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption. USCIS will continue to accept both cap subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits.
USCIS Implements H-1B and L-1 Fee Increase
On Aug. 13, 2010, President Obama signed a, which contains provisions to increase certain H-1B and L-1 petition fees. The law requires the submission of an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions and $2,250 for certain L-1A and L-1B petitions postmarked on or after Aug. 14, 2010, and will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2014.
DOL Bans Asian Journal from the H-1B Program
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that it has debarred Asian Journal Publications from using the H-1B visa program to hire temporary workers. An investigation conducted by the department's Wage and Hour Division, determined that the employer did not properly pay the workers and misrepresented facts on the Labor Condition Application filed with the department's Employment Training Administration requesting approval to hire the workers. The debarment will remain in effect until July 30, 2012.
When is Your Priority Date Becoming Current: Should You Check USCIS Processing Times or DOS Visa Bulletin?
It is often difficult and
confusing to understand the
USCIS Processing Times and
DOS Visa Bulletin and their
usage. Most of the people
think that the USCIS Processing
Times and Visa Bulletin are
same, but they are not. Processing
times for petitions and applications
are very different from the
waiting times or priority
dates. One needs to understand
the difference between the
two and the significance of
both the Processing Times
and Visa Bulletin so that
they can correctly estimate
the time it may take for their
relative or employee to come
to the U.S. In this article,
we make an attempt to help
you understand the differences
between the USCIS Processing
Times and DOS Visa Bulletin,
their significance and how
do they relate.
Overstay, Out-of-Status and Unlawful Presence: What Do These Terms Mean and How Can They Affect You?
It is vitally important that to understand the differences between Overstay, Out-of-Status (Unlawful Status), and Unlawful Presence. By understanding these terms you can take necessary measures not to fall into any of these categories. The consequences of overstay, out-of-status and unlawful presence are very stiff and the penalties imposed are very severe. In this article, we discuss the meaning of the terms – Overstay, Out-of-Status and Unlawful Presence and also learn how they might affect you.
approval letters received for me, my wife
and my daughter on June 24, 2010. Wife and
daughter are currently on vacation in India
and have valid advance parole to re-enter
the country until Jan 23, 2011. They are coming
back on Aug 23, 2010. Questions:
- Can they re-enter the U.S. on Aug 23, 2010 with the Advance Parole document that they currently carry (valid until Jan 23, 2011)?
- If the plastic card is received prior to Aug 23, 2010 and I can send them their plastic green cards via Fed-Ex to India, can they enter the U.S. on Aug 23, 2010 using the new plastic Green Cards?
If you receive the actual green cards (the plastic card) in the mail before your wife and daughter are set to return to the U.S. you should forward them to India so
you have a short,
simple query on immigration
to the U.S., send
your questions to
us. We will select
and answer a few of
the queries in every
Responses posted in
this section provide
only general information.
law is a complex matter,
an immigration attorney
before acting upon
any responses provided.
||they can be used for entry. If you do not receive them your wife and daughter can use the advance parole for entry. Either way they should not have any difficulty in returning.
The USCIS has been pretty good at getting
the cards out quickly once the I-485 has
been approved so it is very likely that
you will get them in time to forward them
I'm here in the U.S. since 2001. My wife is U.S. citizen. We married in May 2007 and I got two year conditional Green Card. In June 2009 my petition to remove the conditions on the residence was DENIED by the USCIS. I was very disappointed and forgot the case since then. I have also some problems with my wife and in December 2009 I moved to other address. Is it possible for me to get the Green Card based on marriage?
||When a Form I-751,
Petition to Remove the Conditions, is denied the
case is usually referred to the Immigration Court,
and you should have gotten a notice for a hearing.
When a Form I-751 is referred to the Immigration
Court you get an opportunity to renew your petition,
and try again to show that you had a valid marriage.
If you have not received any notices you will need
to follow up on that and make sure that you have
not missed any hearings and been found deportable
If you are now legally separated or divorced from your wife you may be able to file a new I-751 under one of the alternate provisions of the law. A complete review of the facts of your case would be required to determine if that would be possible.
If you have not given the USCIS a change of address you need to be sure to do that right away. Without the change of address you may not get any of the notices that may come to you, and if you have moved and not given them the new address you cannot challenge any action taken based on a notice you did not receive.
"The VisaPro team handled our L-1B
Visa application professionally and promptly.
Detailed knowledge of the immigration process was evident and excellent guidance was provided at every step. Some unusual circumstances in our application were thoroughly analyzed and options for moving forward clearly explained.
For future US immigration services we will definitely consult with VisaPro."
Ian Turnbull, Chief Operating Officer
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