Hello and welcome to the April 2006 Immigration Newsletter!
April was a disappointing month for those looking towards a concrete step towards comprehensive immigration reform. The Senate failed to reach an agreement on immigration reform legislation before the Senators left for a two-week spring recess, stalling the comprehensive immigration reform process. However, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) reportedly stated that his committee would take the issue back up shortly after the Senate’s return during the last week of April.
Earlier this month someone’s April Fools’ Day joke took a serious turn when a reputed website issued a press release that the USCIS reached the H-1B cap for FY 2007 on the first day of filing. We at VisaPro, as always, immediately informed our readers that the news was false as there was no official update from USCIS. Later, the USCIS released the first-day filing numbers informing that they received just over 1,600 H-1B petitions.
Our attorneys have also been busy with H-1B filings ever since the filings began. Though most of our clients had already planned early and were ready with the cases in advance, we are still receiving a lot of calls from clients asking us the probable time when the cap would be reached this year. Although the word amongst the immigration circles is that the cap will not be reached at least in the next two months, we have already advised employers not to wait until the last moment.
Did you notice any change in VisaPro Message Board? We re-organized the forum and introduced new sections to make it more user-friendly. You need to select the appropriate section, classified by different visa categories, to review or post your messages. We hope you enjoy the new format. Feel free to let us know your comments.
Stella Avendano is the winner of last month’s Immigration Quiz. It seems that the participants are now doing a lot of research before sending their responses. Almost half of the participants answered correctly, but most of them lacked proper explanation. Ms. Avendano wins a FREE online consultation with a VisaPro attorney. Congratulations! I will look forward to your responses to this month’s quiz.
You must have also read on VisaPro Immigration News that the DOS Visa Office recently confirmed that an employer who filed a petition for initial blanket L classification prior to June 6, 2005 may continue to bring in blanket qualified workers with only 6 months of qualifying employment. The Visa Office indicated that USCIS concurs with this policy, which is subject to continuing examination by the agencies. Our In Focus article explains the details of the Blanket L program and its advantages.
Have you ever been to the U.S. and overstayed your visa? Do you know the consequences if one continues to remain in the U.S. beyond the authorized period of stay? In our Immigration Article this month, we discuss the consequences of overstaying and how to avoid overstay in the U.S.
While the Senate was busy debating comprehensive immigration reform, we found it best to conduct a poll on what our readers think about the various measures to control illegal immigration. Over 63% of the readers who participated in the poll are of the view that starting a guest worker program is the best way before the government to control illegal immigration. Approximately 20% of the participants were of the opinion that the government should enforce measures to control illegal employment of workers by U.S. employers. Don’t forget to cast your vote in this month’s Immigration Poll. Your opinion does matter and can influence the lawmakers.
Let me know if you would like us to write about anything in particular. See you next month with more from the world of immigration.