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July 2007
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US Immigration Newsletter - From the Editor's Desk

July is National ice cream month, and it just got a bit hotter with wide ranging discussions and apprehensions over immigration and the Green Card issue. Many discontented legal and highly-skilled workers sent hundreds of flowers to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services in an effort to vent their frustration over the long wait that they have to undergo to get their immigrant visas. The flower campaign was due to the recent policy flip-flop which may hurt their pursuit for permanent residency.

Moving on to other news this month: the flip-flop that led to the flower campaign came from the Department of State which issued its July Visa Bulletin initially to show that all employment based categories were current, then revised it to reflect that all available employment-based immigrant visas have been allocated for fiscal year 2007. In response to the move by the Department of State, on July 2nd, the USCIS started rejecting applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are not current under the revised July Visa Bulletin. Then on July 17th, the USCIS retracted and announced that it will start accepting employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are current under the original July Visa Bulletin, No. 107. The USCIS will now accept applications filed until August 17, 2007.

The hue and cry over the H-1B program seems to have caught up with the L-1 program as Senators Grassley (R-IA) and Durbin (D-IL) have now expressed fresh concerns over the use of L-1 visa by companies who also use large numbers of H-1B visas. The Senators were worried about the screening of individuals for blanket L petition that allows companies to bring in a limitless amount of workers. They were of the view that employers can use the L visa program to avoid restrictions on the H-1B program because it does not include the same protections for American workers and have advocated for additional checks on the L visa program.

Amidst the huge outcry over the significant increase in the filing fees, the USCIS has readied the stage to implement the new fee structure beginning July 30, 2007. Under the new schedule, application and petition fees will increase, on average, about 66 percent. The USCIS states it is increasing the fees to ensure appropriate funding to meet national security requirements and customer service needs, and modernize its outdated business infrastructure.

Speaking of customer service, USCIS, adhering to its commitment to provide the Premium Process Service in accordance to the Premium Process Service program guidelines, the USCIS announced on 24th of this month, that it would extend the temporary suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, which was previously announced on June 27, 2007 and became effective on July 2, 2007. USCIS anticipated that the volume of Form I-140 petitions filed that request Premium Process Service will be continuing to exceed USCIS' capacity. USCIS was thinking ahead!

Apart from providing you with top stories, we will enlighten you with exciting topics in the immigration world through a series of articles. In this month's In Focus section, we try to educate and remove some of the popular misconceptions about the J-1 visa being relegated to studying and researching, and not available for working.

The Immigration Article in this issue throws some light on Dependant Spouses: Working in US a Distant Dream?

VisaPro is proud to inform our readers that its presentation about Online Marketing Strategies at the Online Marketing Summit '07 was a huge hit. Here is a TIP on how you can find out more about your website performance relative to your competitors in your industry: Visit compete.com and quantcast.com. These sites show how VisaPro.com is a leader in its industry, which is a testimony earned through quality service. If you want to learn more about VisaPro online strategies, contact us at 202-787-1942.

Last month's poll question seems to have garnered the interest of our readers. The opinion was, as expected, again divided. Some of the participants believed that the USCIS should not have increased the filing fee and some of them opined that it was fair enough to increase the fee. Few of the participants were happy to take a neutral stance. This month we have an interesting question for you to express Your Opinion. So don't forget to cast your vote.
Congratulations to Oliva Cowan for winning last month's Immigration Quiz. A significant number of participants were confused whether a person can apply for US Citizenship if he was a permanent resident of the US for three and a half years and visited his home country thrice. Gear up and research well for this
month's question. Give it a try; your name might featured in the next newsletter. All the Best!

Don't forget to add our address Immigration-Monitor@VisaPro.com to the list of your contacts so that you see the Immigration Monitor in your email Inbox every month and you will not miss the latest immigration activity.

See you next month with a lot more information from the Immigration World!
 
 








Extension of Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140 Immigrant Alien Worker Petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have announced that it would extend the temporary suspension of Premium Processing Service for Form I-140, Immigrant Alien Worker Petitions, which was previously announced on June 27, 2007 and became effective on July 2, 2007.


IN THIS ISSUE
Latest News
In Focus
Immigration Article
Processing Times
Discussion Corner
Questions and Answers
Success Stories


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YOUR OPINION
In view of the failure of the comprehensive immigration bill, do you also think that Congress will fail to pass the bill for the increase of Schedule A green cards for Nurses?
a.

Yes

b.

No

c. Not Sure
Cast Your Vote
View Results


IMMIGRATION QUIZ
Win a FREE Online Consultation!

Submit your answer to the query below. The best response will be published in the next Immigration Monitor and the winner will receive a FREE Online Consultation from an Experienced VisaPro Immigration Attorney during the month of August 2007.

I am a permanent resident of the U.S. and will be going back to my home country for a period of nine months. Is it true that I would have to apply for my travel document to re-enter the U.S.?

Submit Your Answer


Winner of the Immigration Quiz - June 2007:

Oliva Cowan

The Question:

I have been a permanent resident of the U.S. for the past three and half years. I have gone back to my home country three times but have never stayed beyond 6 months. Can I apply for my citizenship?

The Winning Response:

No, you may not be eligible to apply for US Citizenship as you have only been a permanent resident for the past three and half years and you have gone to your home country three times. You could have applied if: You are a foreign national with 5 years permanent residence in the U.S. and must have been physically present in the U.S. for at least half of that period with no periods of absence over six months OR You must have been a permanent resident for 3 years, who is currently married to a U.S. citizen, and has been married to the same U.S. citizen for the past 3 years.

Oliva Cowan receives a FREE Online Consultation from an Experienced VisaPro Immigration Attorney during the month of July 2007.


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USCIS expects that the volume of Form I-140 petitions filed that request Premium Process Service will continue to surpass USCIS' capacity to provide the Premium Process Service according to the Premium Process Service program guidelines.


USCIS Discontinues Use of Prepaid Mailers to Issue Notices and Documents

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has advised the public that as of July 30, 2007, USCIS' Service Centers will only accept “prepaid mailers” for Refugee Travel documents and Reentry Permits given their high rate of expedited handling. USCIS has, for some time, allowed the public to enclose “prepaid mailers” in connection with applications or petitions filed with USCIS.


USCIS Announces Revised Processing for I-485 Applications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that, beginning immediately, it will accept employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I- 485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are current under the July Visa Bulletin, No. 107. USCIS will accept applications filed not later than August 17, 2007.


Read More News



USA Immigration - In Focus

Unraveling the J-1 visa scheme and the “New” Trainee and Intern provisions

The J-1 Exchange Visitor category was introduced in 1961 in an effort to enhance understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. U.S. institutes of higher learning have greatly benefited from the program by attracting top faculty and researchers. Their coming on J-1 visa ensures that the students equip themselves with the international viewpoint of the subject of their interest. But there is a popular misconception among many people that the J-1 visa is only relegated to study and research and is nowhere related to working; a misconception which we will try to clarify.


Read Full Article  |  Read More Articles



USA Immigration - Immigration Article

Dependant Spouses: Working in US a Distant Dream?


Dependants of personnel with work visas in the US are not generally allowed to work in the US, unless they qualify for a work visa in their own. However, spouses of certain student or work visa holders can apply for employment authorization. This article discusses the situations when a dependant spouse can work or study in the United States.


Read Full Article  |  Read More Articles



US Immigration - USCIS (INS) Processing Times

Visa Bulletin
USCIS Processing Times
Local USCIS Offices




DISCUSSION CORNER

L1 and H1 both stamped. Currently on L1 and want to transfer H1

By dp1976

B1 entry while H1 is in process - Urgent pls

By swetha_chandran

F1 student - Marriage to US Citizen Questions-- VERY URGENT
By luckyjoann


More Discussions


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
 
1.










I am here in the US on L-1 Status and would like to adjust or change my status to Permanent Residence or H-1B?

If your current employer is willing to pursue permanent residence on your behalf and you are willing to remain with them for at least 6 months you would qualify as a multinational manager in the employment based 1st preference (EB-1) category. You would be able to file your adjustment of status concurrently with the I-140. Once the I-140 has been approved, you can change employers and keep the underlying I-140 and priority date.

If you do not want to remain with your current employer you would have to look at an H-1B or permanent residence through another employer. The drawback with the H-1B is that there are no H-1B visas available until October 2008.


GOT A QUESTION?
If 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 issue.

Note: Responses posted in this section provide only general information. Since immigration law is a complex matter, please consult an immigration attorney before acting upon any responses provided.
Ask Your Question
2.

I am a naturalized US citizen and getting married to my fiancée in next month. How can my future spouse come here and we live together after marriage? What would be the procedure?

Once you get married, you can submit an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the USCIS. Once the petition is approved the case is transferred to the State Department. The processing through the National Visa Center and the consulate will take an additional 4 to 6 months. She would be able to travel to the US only after your wife goes through her immigrant visa interview at the consulate in home country.

You can also pursue a K-3 visa for your wife which would allow her to come to the US to wait for the I-130 to be adjudicated. Once the I-130 has been filed and you have the receipt notice you can file an I-129F. The K-3 petitions are being approved in 5-6 weeks. Once the I-129F has been approved it is transferred to the National Visa Center for processing. Processing for the K-3 is generally much faster than for the immigrant visa and your wife should be able to enter the US in 5 to 6 months.



More Q&A



VisaPro Customers' Immigration Experiences

"I'd like to express sincere and heartfelt thanks to both of you and the Visa Pro team for successfully preparing the case that led to my wife getting the greenlight on her [K-3 visa] to the USA. This is the best news I have received this year, and without a doubt the most positive news I have received since I got married to Irina last year.

Thank you so much for helping me and Irina to navegate through the maelstrom of legal paperwork required for processing an immigration visa. I am certain that your help was critical to the success of our case and we are so happy that we followed your advice.

May God bless you all mightily for the outstanding work you do to bring lives together. I will happily refer you to anyone that comes into my path requiring immigration visa services."

Yours most thankfully and respectfully,


Steve & Irina Latham,
United States


More Stories




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"Immigration Monitor" is published monthly for users and clients of VisaPro.com. Our goal is to help keep you informed of the trends and events related to US Immigration.
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