Hello and welcome to the December 2009 Immigration Newsletter!
VisaPro wishes all its readers Happy Holidays and a very prosperous new year.
Another year has passed! With 2009, we have completed one more year of our beautiful journey with you. Although the year 2009 has gone through many rough economic times, as it is said, “there is certainly a bright day after a dark night.” We hope that the year 2010 brings pleasant things to all our lives.
Here is a short New Year message for you coming from the whole VisaPro team:
May you enjoy the advent of a beautiful new year….may you feel the warmth of coming the year….may your new year begin with peace and harmony….may your smile stay on your face throughout 2010, and may your loved ones always be with you…
We wish you all the best for the coming year…! Let us have a look at the interesting events that took place this month.
The biggest news is that Congress is taking up immigration reform again. On Tuesday, December 15, 2009, Representative Luis Gutierrez introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act. The bill has many provisions that we will want to watch, but some of the most important include a new legalization/amnesty provision, would change the preference system to treat spouses and children of permanent residents the same as spouses and children of U.S. citizens, would allow beneficiaries of employment-based permanent residence petitions to file for adjustment of status even if their priority date is not current, and will restore some of the judicial review provisions that were eliminated in 1996. We will be keeping a close eye on this bill as it makes its way through the legislative process, and keeping you informed every step of the way.
The H-1B visa has been catching much of the limelight. After months of slow movement, H-1B visa usage finally picked up the pace. This is certainly the sign of an improving economy. While this news brought smiles many people were disheartened on the announcement by two Senators’ to introduce a bill to restrict nonimmigrant hiring.
On November 19, 2009, Senators Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA) officially introduced the Employ America Act (EEA) in the U.S. Senate. This bill would further restrict the ability of employers to hire nonimmigrant workers if the employer conducts “mass layoffs” under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.
Setting aside the gloomy news, there is one more bit of interesting news for you. In culmination of a program started in April President Obama launched the SAVE Award – a program that offers every federal employee the chance to submit their ideas for how government can save money and perform better, in September. We are now at the final step in the process. The person who submitted the idea with the most votes (voting took place December 7 – 10) will meet the President and their idea will be included in the FY2011 Budget. Isn’t this an interesting way to improve government? Ms. Nancy Fichtner from Colorado became the first-ever winner of the President’s SAVE Award.
Her winning idea:
“Nancy Fichtner from Colorado thinks that veterans leaving VA hospitals should be able to take the medicine they’ve been using home with them instead of it being thrown away when they’re discharged.”
Other Developments in Immigration Law:
DOL Published Proposed Rule to Increase Non-Immigrant Visa Application Fees
DOS on December 15, 2009, published a proposed rule in the Federal Register to increase the nonimmigrant visa application processing fees. The proposed rule establishes a tiered structure with separate fees for different visa categories. Q & A follows.
CBP Launches H-2A and H-2B Temporary Worker Exit Pilot Program in Arizona
CBP on December 8, 2009, launched an exit pilot program for H-2A and H-2B temporary workers at San Luis and Douglas land ports of entry in Arizona, which is expected to last approximately one year. To verify final departure from the United States, H-2A and H-2B non-immigrant temporary workers will be required to scan their visa and their fingerprints and return their I-94 at an exit kiosk located at the port of departure
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Now for the regulars – this month’s Immigration Article will focus on how the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) helps a child to become a legal permanent resident if the child turns 21, and ages-out during the processing of the Green Card application. Also check out our In Focus section for this month, where we talk in detailed about how Green Card holders of the U.S. should maintain their status.
Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Last month’s poll results indicate that 73.08% of the respondents believe that President Obama has made a thoughtful decision by lifting the HIV ban. 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 Your Opinion.
We congratulate Priyadarshini 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 Priyadarshini gave the correct answer and won free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. So it’s 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!!!
See you next month with a lot more noise from the Immigration World!