June 2006

From the Editor's Desk

Hello and welcome to the June 2006 Immigration Newsletter!

This month started with the announcement from the USCIS that it had received sufficient applications to meet the H-1B cap for FY 2007. Though everyone expected that H-1B numbers would be over in record time this year, it was surprising that May 26th became the “D-day”. The update on cap numbers released by USCIS on May 25th showed approximately 12,000 numbers that still remained to be filled and everyone was baffled with the announcement that all those numbers were filled in a single day. Later the USCIS clarified that the cap-updates were inaccurate because of lags in data entry and receipting of cases. The Advanced Degree numbers are still available but, as we advised earlier, it is always prudent to plan early and act fast, without waiting for the last moment.

Things were pretty cold on the comprehensive immigration reform front. Now that the Senate has passed its bill, popularly known as the “Hagel-Martinez compromise”, a Senate-House Conference committee will be constituted to arrive at a compromise. We have learnt that the House is considering beginning a fresh series of hearings on immigration reform next month. In that case it is unlikely that any immigration legislation will be passed by the Congress this year. As always, we will keep you updated on all the happenings through Immigration News as well as the Immigration Monitor.

This month we take you on a wonderful journey through the world’s romance capital – Paris, and the lovely city of Moscow. Our In Focus article focuses on the E-2 Investor visa processing at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France. The U.S. Embassy in Paris has clear procedures to update the applicants on the status of their E-2 visa petitions. The embassy maintains an online record of the applications received and updates the status regularly so that the applicants are able to track the status of their petitions online.

For the benefit of U.S. citizens wishing to bring their fiancé(e) from Russia, this month’s Immigration Article explains the fiancée visa processing at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Over 80% of the participants of last month’s poll voted in favor of expanding the benefit of premium processing to family visa petitions.

Continuing with our discussion on immigration reform and the likely fight between the pro- and anti-immigration lobbies in the Congress, do you think a good deal will emerge out of the Conference Committee? Will the House agree to the Senate’s proposal of increasing the H-1B cap and the Immigrant visa numbers? Don’t forget to share Your Opinion in this month’s poll.

Wallace Kaufman deserves congratulations for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. It seems the question was quite simple as we received a lot of correct responses. Wallace wins a FREE online consultation with a VisaPro attorney.

Next month may see some activity in the House regarding the immigration reform debate. We will keep a close watch on the developments and provide you with regular updates as and when the House begins a fresh series of hearings.

See you with more updates on immigration reform and much more in the next month’s Immigration Monitor.

Latest Immigration News

H-1B TRACKER: Advanced Degree cap count as of June 20, 2006

As of June 20, 2006 USCIS has approved 3,311 petitions under the Advanced Degree Exemption category and 6,950 petitions are pending.

USCIS to issue RFEs for over 10,000 Fiancé(e) petitions

In order to comply with provisions of the International Marriage Brokers Regulation Act of 2005 (IMBRA), USCIS will need to issue “Requests for Evidence” for more than 10,000 Alien Fiancé(e) Petitions (Form I-129F) currently being held at USCIS Service Centers.

H-1B Lottery: USCIS returns 90 to 100 cases filed on May 26

USCIS has reported that it has completed the random lottery for the H-1B cases received on the cut-off date of May 26, 2006 and approximately 90 to 100 cases filed on that day were returned; rest all qualifying under the H-1B cap for FY 2007.

DOS changes position on L-1 blankets

The reinstated twelve-month requirement applies to an alien who is seeking initial classification as an L-1 nonimmigrant on the basis of a blanket petition filed with USCIS irrespective of when the blanket petition was filed.

June's Featured Articles

E-2 Treaty Investor visa processing in France

There are different procedures for individual investors or small investing enterprises and larger multinational corporations. In this article we cover the basic steps in applying for an E-2 Investor visa at the U.S. Embassy in Paris.

K-1 Fiancée visa processing in Russia

The visa application procedures and policies followed by Consular Posts vary depending on the local conditions and requirements. In this article we aim to cover K-1 visa processing procedures in Moscow, Russia.

Questions and Answers


I filed I-130 for my wife when I was a permanent resident. Now I am a U.S. citizen. Do I have to file another I-130 or should I wait for a decision on the one I filed earlier?


If you become a U.S. citizen while your relative is waiting for a visa, you can upgrade your relative’s visa classification by upgrading your petition. Husbands/wives and unmarried children under age 21 of U.S. citizens have visas immediately available to them.

If you become a U.S. citizen after your relative’s petition is already approved and sent to the U.S. Department of State, you should notify the National Visa Center (NVC) by sending a copy of your naturalization certificate to them. Please include a letter with information regarding your relative and his/her copy of petition approval.

If you become a U.S. citizen and your relative’s petition has not yet been approved by USCIS, you will need to contact the Service Center where your relative’s petition is pending and send them a signed copy of your Naturalization Certificate, along with the I-130 receipt number, petitioner and beneficiary’s names and current address of record.


Can you apply for a re-entry permit for a second time after entering the US with the first re-entry permit?


Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) use re-entry permits to re-enter the U.S. after travel of one year or more. A re-entry permit is generally valid for two years from the date of issuance and the law requires that you should be in the U.S. to apply for a re-entry permit.

It is difficult, though not impossible, to obtain a re-entry permit for a second time, however, you need to show very strong reasons for doing so. You should not abandon your intention to permanently reside in the U.S. Generally a Green Card holder has to return to the U.S. at least once every year to maintain permanent resident status. We often advise clients to do a lot of other things to give additional proof of their intent; such as filing your tax returns as a resident – even if you are taking advantage of the foreign tax credits available and you have no taxable income; maintaining a bank account and/or credit cards in the US; maintaining your US driver’s license; maintaining an address of some sort in the US, even if it is through family, etc.

Please note that a re-entry permit does not guarantee admission into the U.S. Aliens with re-entry permits are still subject to the inspection process at the port of entry. It is also important to note that travel outside of the U.S for more than one year will under most circumstances break the continuous residence requirement for later naturalization purposes.

We at VisaPro have helped numerous clients in similar situations. Please consult a VisaPro attorney to discuss your case and start the process.

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