Hello and welcome to the May 2006 Immigration Newsletter!
The immigration activity resumed this month with the Senate continuing the debate on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611) popularly known as the “Hagel-Martinez compromise”. The Senate voted on the various amendments to the proposed legislation and finally passed the bill by a 62-36 vote. During the first week, the Senate struck down amendments that would have eliminated guest worker program and legalization provisions. Now the real fight begins when the bill is presented before the Senate-House Conference Committee.
While the immigration debate continues, the H-1B numbers for FY 2007 seem to be dwindling fast. You may be tracking the latest cap update through our Immigration News section. While everyone is still guessing when the cap will be reached, over 44% of our readers who participated in last month’s Opinion Poll are of the view that H-1Bs for FY 2007 will be over by June. As of May 25, 2006 USCIS has over 49,000 cap-subject H-1B petitions approved or pending. This means there are less than 12,000 H-1Bs remaining before the USCIS decides that it has received enough petitions to count towards the cap. We again remind and urge the last-minute decision makers to act fast and contact us immediately, if you intend to file an H-1B petition for an alien worker.
Would you mind paying a little extra to get a quick decision on your petition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)? USCIS is planning to expand the Premium Processing service to Form I-140 – Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; Form I-539 – Application to Extend/Change Status; and Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization. A notice to this effect was posted in the Federal Register by the USCIS. However, the notice indicates that premium processing for those categories will not begin until notification is posted on the USCIS website.
Our In Focus article explores the benefits of premium processing of a petition to get a speedy decision. Should the USCIS also consider expanding the benefit of premium processing to family visa petitions such as K-1 or K-3? Don’t forget to express Your Opinion in this month’s poll.
Martina Powell is the winner of last month’s Immigration Quiz. Unlike the past few months, there was little competition for Martina this time. Although a few participants answered correctly, their responses lacked proper explanation. Ms. Powell wins a FREE online consultation with a VisaPro attorney. Congratulations!
We often receive queries from various users of our website on how to obtain a U.S. work permit. VisaPro readers are aware that there are various visas available for working in the U.S., depending upon the nature of work, the employing organization and the employee’s background. I have already informed you all that we have various exciting projects in the pipeline, one of which will allow you to determine your visa options for working in the U.S. at the click of a few buttons. While we continue to work towards adding that feature on our website, I have a wonderful article for you in this month’s Immigration Article section. The article discusses the various options available to people of different professions to obtain a work authorization for U.S. I wish you the best of luck for your American Dream!
As always, I am looking forward to your wonderful feedback on your Immigration Monitor. Did you check the new version of VisaPro Message Boards? It is really great fun posting your queries and responding to others’ queries. I am learning a lot about U.S. Immigration through the message boards. Are you?
See you next month with more news from the world of immigration.