Hello and welcome to the January 2008 Immigration Newsletter!
As the New Year arrives, we at VisaPro are striving hard to introduce exciting services to make your visa processing even more Fast, Easy and Economical! New Year for VisaPro will be as exciting as ever with new services in the form of Immigration Training, furthering our commitment to educate and equip professionals to handle US immigration matters single-handedly and confidently. It has been your continued support and trust that has made this journey and every new service introduction a memorable moment. I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!
While the New Year celebrations haven’t yet subsided, the political front is heating up with the democratic primary contenders Obama and Clinton pulling out all stops to beat each other to the Oval Office. During this year’s presidential campaign, immigration has been one of the hot-button issues catching everybody’s imagination on all sides of the political spectrum. Some analysts contemplate that immigration policy and immigration reform may be the key differentiator in determining who will be elected.
Immigration Workshops and Training Seminars
VisaPro is busy preparing for our upcoming February workshops in India on U.S. Immigration Strategies. This year is going to be as exciting as ever with Immigration Workshops in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi. These workshops will focus on the H-1B visa and its alternatives and will cover the common issues for each relevant nonimmigrant visa category. The excitement does not stop there, because the workshops will be followed by a first-of-its-kind Immigration Training Program in Bangalore. Our training program will provide a nuts-and-bolts overview of the H-1B and L-1 visa application process and is aimed at those who want to learn how to effectively file their own petitions or have a more detailed insight into the relevant procedures. Click here to read more details about these upcoming events and to view photographs and videos from our previous seminars.
Developments in Immigration Law
Save Small Business Bill
Now to the Immigration front. The H-2B saga continues as small businesses are still reeling under shock due to U.S. Congress’ failure to pass the 2007 Save Small Business Bill prior to adjourning for the year. Amidst initial speculation and debate, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) declared that it has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated H-2B cap for the second half of Fiscal Year 2008 (FY2008). USCIS notified the public that January 2, 2008 was the “final receipt date” for new H-2B worker petitions requesting employment start dates prior to October 1, 2008. Let us hope that the Members of Congress and Senators understand the gravity of the situation and pass the 2007 Save Small Business Bill.
Premium Processing for Religious Workers Still Not Available
Applicants for R-1 Visa need to go through the regular filing process until July 8, 2008 as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has extended the suspension of premium processing services for religious worker (R-1) visa petitions. The good news is that in the future, if USCIS is able to properly process these cases within 15 calendar days of receipt, the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker (Form I-129) requesting R-1 nonimmigrant visa classification may once again be available for premium processing services. Additionally, USCIS may prescribe additional conditions of availability on the Premium Processing Service for religious worker petitions.
USCIS Seeks to Provide Better Customer Service
This New Year, USCIS has set a goal to provide good quality customer service and the first in its series of activities will be to expand and improve contact services for customers seeking assistance with the E-Verify program. E-Verify will expand the available hours for customers to accomplish program support by utilizing the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC). In the near future, USCIS will offer additional access methods for E-Verify customers. In addition to these services, USCIS will proactively call new E-Verify customers within 24-48 hours of registration to offer additional information and instructions.
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Now for the regulars — this month’s Immigration Article will provide an introduction to the Labor Condition Application. Check out our In Focus section which will address the H-1B cap issues faced by employers who plan to file their H-1Bs this April. We have again brought an interesting question for our opinion poll. We ask all our readers to cast their vote and we appreciate that people are taking interest in giving their opinion. Keep it up! Last month’s poll results indicate that 60% of the respondents do not believe that recovering the costs of security and other enhancements is a valid reason for increasing the application fee for U.S non-immigrant visas. Cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
Hank Meyer deserves Congratulations for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. Answers to the quiz indicated that many of our readers were unsure as to whether or not an L-1 transfer is possible. However, Mr. Meyer gave the right answer and won a free online consultation to discuss his Immigration issues. So get ready for this month’s quiz. Your name might be featured in next month’s newsletter. All the Best!!!
See you next month with a lot more noise from the Immigration World!