Hello and welcome to the July 2006 Immigration Newsletter!
Last month I had informed you about the intention of the House Republicans to hold a two-month series of hearings on immigration reform, rather than directly constituting a Conference Committee to reconcile the differences on the immigration reform bills passed by the House and the Senate. The latest news is that, in response, the Senate Judiciary Committee is also likely to hold similar hearings to promote the temporary worker program and other provisions of its bill on comprehensive immigration reform. We are keeping a close watch on the response to these hearings and their likely consequences and will keep updating you with the latest in the coming issues of your Immigration Monitor.
On the H-1B front, there was some bad news for a few H-1B applicants earlier this month when USCIS informed that three cap-subject H-1B cases that were not selected in the ‘H-1B Lottery’ conducted on May 26, 2006, were erroneously approved. The USCIS informed that they would reopen the cases on service motion to revoke them and notify the parties accordingly. The numbers for Advanced Degree exemption category are dwindling fast and less than 10% of the numbers remain as of July 23, 2006. With H-1B numbers dwindling, employers are looking for alternative visa categories, such as, B-1, L-1, E-1 and E-2 etc. to transfer eligible employees to the U.S. For those who advocate immigration reform and the expansion of H-1B cap, it is time to contact your Senators and insist on them to push for immigration reform, when the Senate-House Conference Committee is constituted.
Continuing with our series of articles on visa processing at embassies and consulates across the world, this time we move to the far-east and visit South Korea. This month’s Immigration Article covers E-2 visa processing at U.S. Embassy in Seoul. This issue of your Immigration Monitor also covers family visa processing in the U.K., with the In Focus article explaining eligibility and procedure of direct filing of I-130 petitions at the U.S. Embassy in London.
Natalie Bykova is the winner of the Immigration Quiz published in last month’s newsletter. It seems everyone is doing a lot of research before sending in their responses. I was impressed by the number of correct responses we received this time and would like to make a special mention of Rommel Ravanera, Sabrina, and Jenny, who gave well-researched responses. Natalie was finally selected as the winner by our team of immigration experts.
Over 30% of the participants of last month’s Opinion Poll are of the view that the Senate-House Conference committee may agree to increase the H-1B cap, when they meet for discussion on immigration reform. About 25% of the participants believe that increasing immigrant visa numbers would be top priority, while the rest of the votes were equally divided between Guest Worker program and legalization of undocumented individuals. This time we have reversed the question and would like to have your opinion on the provision that is most likely to be dropped by the Conference Committee. Don’t forget to share Your Opinion.
The House is expected to begin their series of hearings on immigration reform shortly, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will also follow suit. I will wait to see you next month with more updates on the hearings, and other news from the immigration world.