January 2007

From the Editor's Desk

Hello and welcome to the January 2007 Immigration Newsletter!

As the New Year beckons us, we at VisaPro are striving hard to introduce exciting services to make your visa processing even more Fast, Easy and Economical! We embraced 2006 with a resolution to divulge into UK Immigration and other Country-Specific Websites ensuring you the ultimate user experience. It has been your continued support and belief that has made this journey and every new introduction of a service a memorable moment.
I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

In spite of the new Democrat-controlled Congress taking office in January, H-1B visas will still remain the focal point of debate. The present H-1B blackout will end in April when the USCIS will begin taking H-1B applications for visas that will be issued in October at the start of the 2008 fiscal year. Last year, with high demand for H-1B visa holders, the USCIS reached the 65,000 visa cap in less than two months after it began accepting applications. In addition, 20,000 H-1B visas limited to graduate students was gone in four months. In this fiscal year, the strong demand will lead to proposals to raise the H-1B cap being introduced again in Congress. This will be no less than a rat-race! However, the lame duck Congress deferred consideration of larger immigration issues to the 110th Congress which convened in January.

The month of December saw some innovative developments to our existing services. VisaDesk, a service that will provide Global Immigration Services to Attorneys, Human Resource Consulting, HR Outsourcing, Corporate Relocation Services and other Third-Party Service Providers who want to provide immigration services along with their regular services. For some of you seeking visa options to U.K., VisaPro brings you Online and Telephonic Consultations with our immigration experts. The added advantage would be an online written opinion in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration solicitor or adviser.

Keeping up with the tradition, this month’s IN FOCUS section will take you through our attorney’s experiences in Bangalore: our first Immigration Workshop in the immigration events series last year. To make sure to be a part of his travelogue, don’t miss reading your Immigration Monitor. Just add our address Immigration-Monitor@VisaPro.com in the list of your contacts to ensure you receive it straight into your email inbox. I am sure you wouldn’t want to miss out on the latest you need to know from the immigration front.

We at VisaPro wanted to get a first hand insight into the H-1B back-end preparation that has gathered full momentum in companies. We have consolidated our findings from the discussion with our clients for you through our Industry Perspective Article in this issue.

Last month Kim Balmer had a tough competition to win the Immigration Quiz. This time it seemed to be a cakewalk for Myraa Parker. Congratulations to Ms. Parker for winning a FREE Online Consultation with VisaPro Attorney. Would you like to see your name as the WINNER in the next issue of Immigration Monitor? Surf through VisaPro.com to find the correct answer to this month’s question.

As part of our continued efforts to provide you with The Best, our team is currently working on various exciting projects for this year. Your suggestions are valuable, so do let us know how we can help you out better! A lot of activity is expected in the next few months with the H-1B quota being released in April. As always, we will keep you posted on all the news you need to know.

Get geared for an exciting year ahead!

Latest Immigration News

I-130 no longer accepted at U.S. Consulates

Effective immediately, the immediate relative petition (I-130) must be filed with the USCIS office responsible for the petitioner’s place of residence. Consular offices at U.S. embassies and consulates are no longer authorized to accept I-130s, although they will continue to provide guidance to American citizen petitioners and their family members.

Passport requirements for air travel

Starting January 23rd, 2007, the citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda will be now required to present a passport to enter the United States while arriving by air from any part of the Western Hemisphere.

USCIS introduces online change of address

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a new web-based service allowing USCIS customers to submit change of address information online.

January's Featured Articles

Travelogue: Immigration Workshop in Bangalore

This month’s IN FOCUS section will journey you through yet another exciting day in our attorney’s travelogue: Bangalore, our first Immigration Workshop in the immigration events series last year.

Get Geared for the H-1B Season

We bring to you first hand insight into the “talk of the town”: H-1B quota and all the preparation and paper work that the companies are getting ready with this year.

Questions and Answers


I am from Mexico. I am looking for a job in a USA company to work with. My question is: Do I need to live in the USA while working there or I can live in Mexico and work. What other requirements are there to work in USA? Thank you in advance.


The TN visa is available for citizens of Canada and Mexico, under the terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A citizen of a NAFTA country may work in a professional occupation in the U.S. provided that all of these conditions are met: The profession is recognized under NAFTA; the applicant possesses the specific criteria for that profession; the prospective position requires someone in that professional capacity and the applicant is coming to work for a U.S. employer. Most professional jobs require possession of a baccalaureate degree as an entry-level requirement; some positions offered do not require a degree. Instead, for some of these positions, an alternative criterion to the degree such as experience is permitted.


I am working for a company in my Optional Practical Training (OPT) period. Even after the expiry of the grace period of 60 days in my OPT, I will be having a gap until the H-1B quota opens by October 1. Please advise the appropriate plan of action.


You may not remain in the US beyond your currently authorized period of stay—unless you change your status to a new visa that would allow you to stay. Your earliest start date will be for October 1, 2007—unless Congress changes the law before then, you will be out of status after your expiry of the grace period. You may have to depart the US and apply for the H-1B outside the US—again, unless Congress changes the law on H-1B cap. You may apply to change the status to B-2 for this period to remain inside the US. But USCIS may or may not approve such request though you may remain in the US while the USCIS makes a decision on your B-2 change of status application. B-2 status does not allow you to work.

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