Hello and welcome to the February 2008 Immigration Newsletter!
We have just returned from an exciting tour of India after presenting another installment of our popular Immigration Workshops and for the first time offering a comprehensive Immigration Training Seminar to over 100 attendees in Bangalore. Our program spanned 5 major Indian cities and involved more than 475 attendees from companies representing a wide spectrum of industries and size. You can read more about the experience in one of our attending attorneys’ diary entry for the Hyderabad and Bangalore events.
During our travels across India, things continued to develop on the political front in the U.S. presidential campaigns with Obama pulling ahead of Clinton in a series of state democratic primaries wins. On the Republican side, John McCain has galvanized his support and is now the leading frontrunner. From an immigration perspective the developments on the Republican side are quite positive as McCain is considered to have a pragmatic approach to immigration.
Developments in Immigration Law:
Upcoming Regulations Prohibiting Multiple H-1B Filings on Behalf of a Single Foreign National
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon issue an interim final regulation that will prohibit employers from filing more than one H-1B petition on behalf of a single foreign national. The regulation is now being reviewed by federal authorities and is expected to be made public in time for the start of the Fiscal Year 2009 filing season on April 1.
USCIS Announces Faster I-485 Background Checks
An Interoffice Memorandum from USCIS Associate Director Yates outlines a new procedure for administering national security adjudications and reporting, allowing approval of I-485 and other cases that have been pending for more than 180 days due to delays in the FBI Name Check. The memo reserves a revocation right for USCIS should the Name Check reveal any actionable information after the I-485 adjudication.
USCIS Revised Filing Instructions for the Petition for Alien Relative
USCIS revised the filing instructions for the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130). Effective immediately, all petitioners filing stand-alone Form I-130s must file their petitions with the Chicago Lockbox instead of a USCIS Service Center.
DHS Proposed New Rules to Streamline H-2A Procedures
The proposed rule is designed to remove unnecessary limitations on H-2A employers while preventing fraud and abuse, and protecting the rights of temporary workers. The proposed modifications are mostly aimed at making the H-2A category a more worker and employer friendly category.
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Now for the regulars — this month’s Immigration Article will compare the E and L visa categories and discuss which is more appropriate for setting up a new business in the U.S. Check out our In Focus section to read about our attorney’s experiences on the road this month and find out how our events in Hyderabad and Bangalore turned out. Make sure to also participate in our monthly poll. Last month 60% of the respondents did not believe that USCIS would meet its goal of maintaining processing times of 6 months or less in all categories by 2010. This month’s poll question deals with the ever elusive H-1Bs and the possible impact of proposed regulations on their filing in April. Cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
Pallavi Vajranabhaiah deserves Congratulations for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. Of the answers received her’s was most accurate and as a result Ms. Vajranabhaiah won a free online consultation to discuss her Immigration issues. So get ready for this month’s quiz. Your name might be featured in next month’s newsletter. Good Luck!!!
See you next month with a lot more noise from the Immigration World!