hearty welcome back to our regular
readers and our new readers.
The Thanksgiving Day
marks the beginning of the traditional
Christmas shopping season in the U.S.
With the onset of fall and the approach
of winter itís been getting quite
chilly in the U.S., however, people
are heartily enjoying the weather
and change of seasons. The happiness
is doubled as we see signs of the
economy moving back to normal.
The hot immigration news this month
once again involves the H-1B
visa program. After months of slow
movement H-1B usage surged in October
and early November. According to the
latest figures from the U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services (USCIS) for
Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 the pool of
20,000 H-1B numbers for holders of
U.S. advanced degrees has now been
exhausted. USCIS will continue to
accept H-1B petitions for employment
in FY 2010, however, any petition
that is filed on behalf of a foreign
national with a U.S. advanced degree
will now be counted against the standard
As of November 20, 2009 the USCIS
has advised that 55,600 petitions
had been filed against the 2010 cap.
This is a jump of 1,800 visa application
in just two weeks, and 7,800 since
September 25. The surge can be attributed
to the improving economy and the upcoming
December graduation season.
Though filing rates were sluggish
earlier this year, this recent uptick
suggests that demand for H-1B workers
is increasing. This means that remaining
FY 2010 cap numbers could disappear
more quickly than previous usage indicated.
It also means that there could be
more competition for FY 2011 cap numbers
when next year's filing season
opens on April 1, 2010.
Now on to some other interesting
news... Let's continue with
our voyage of knowledge and wisdom
with one of the most pleasant announcements
of the year. Guess??? No, I'm not
talking about the H-1B visa (we already
hit that topic). I'm talking about
decision to end America's 22-year
HIV ban. President Barack Obama's
administration published a final rule
on November 2, 2009, that will end
the U.S. ban on HIV-positive foreign
visitors and immigrants. The change
will take effect in January 2010.
The President announced on October 30,
2009, the elimination of the HIV entry
ban. Since 1987, HIV-positive travelers
and immigrants have been banned from
entering or traveling through the United
States without a special waiver. In
July 2008, Congress removed all legislative
barriers to repealing the ban and paved
the way for HHS to repeal the ban.
we are one of only
a dozen countries that still bar people
with HIV from entering our own country.
If we want to be the global leader
in combating HIV/AIDS, we need to
act like it."
||"We talk about
reducing the stigma of this disease,
yet we've treated a visitor living
with it as a threat. We lead the world
when it comes to helping stem the
AIDS pandemic, yet
"Twenty-two years ago, in a decision rooted in fear rather than fact, the United States instituted a travel ban on entry into the country for people living with HIV/AIDS," Obama said, announcing the new policy on October 30.
Effective January 2010, non-U.S. citizens who are HIV positive will be able to enter the U.S. just like any other person does. This is a major step in ending the stigma associated with HIV and we heartily congratulate President for taking such a bold step to keep the unity and humanity alive in the world.
Obama's Health Care Insurance Plan
Sometime this year, President Obama will press Congress to approve his national health insurance plan. Obama's plan, perhaps best described in Jacob Hacker's "Health Care for America" plan has the ambitious and expensive goal of providing affordable health insurance to all Americans through a combination of a new federal "Medicare-like" program and existing employer-provided health plans.
We still don't know what the final health insurance plan will look like, but the image below may give you some idea on the Obama administration's idea of the Health Care for America plan.
Supporters of the Health Care for America plan say it would provide the U.S. with universal health care coverage by:
- being available to any legal
U.S. resident without good workplace
- requiring that employers (and the self-employed) either purchase coverage comparable to Health Care for America for all their workers or pay a relatively modest payroll contribution (6% of payroll) to fund Health Care for America coverage for all their employees; and
- requiring that Americans who remain without insurance either purchase private coverage or buy into the Health Care for America Plan.
For persons already covered by employer-provided
health insurance, Health Care for
America would virtually eliminate
the suddenly very real threat of losing
coverage because of layoffs.
Other Developments in Immigration Law
Rapid Increase in H-1B Visa Usage Continues, USCIS Received 1600 New Petitions in Just One Week
USCIS has observed a rapid increase in the H-1B filings as 1600 H-1B petitions were received in just one week. As of November 20, 2009, USCIS has received approximately 56,900 H-1B cap-subject petitions. The rapid increase in the H-1B filings indicates that H-1Bs for FY2010 will go off soon.
USCIS Will Temporarily Accept H-1B Petitions Without Certified Labor Condition Applications (LCAs)
USCIS, on November 5, 2009, announced
that it will temporarily accept H-1B
petitions filed without Labor Condition
Applications that have been certified
by the Department of Labor.
Tuberculosis Screening Required for Adjustment of Status Applicants
USCIS has issued Q&A on the recent revisions to Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, and changes to the tuberculosis testing requirement for adjustment of status applicants.
and Other Fun Stuff
Now for the regulars – this
month's Immigration Article throws
a light on Fiancée
Visa Processing in East Asian Countries.
Also check out our In Focus section
for this month, entitled 'U.S.
Travel Tips - 7 Tips for Travelers
to the U.S. for a Safe Journey,'
which will help the travelers to the
U.S. to be prepared for a safe journey
and a secure stay in the U.S.
Every month we introduce a new and
interesting question for our opinion
poll. Last month's poll results
indicate that 76.92% of the respondents
believe that the Recovery Act has
made significant progress. 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
free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. So itís 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!!!
Dominic Rattansey 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 position, but
gave the correct answer and won
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See you next month with a lot
more noise from the Immigration World!