Hello and welcome to the November 2013 Immigration Newsletter!
At this time of Thanksgiving celebration, allow us to express our sincere appreciation for your continuing support and loyalty. We wish to extend to all readers, our best wishes for a happy Thanksgiving Day!
It has been nearly 4 months since the U.S. Senate passed the historic Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill – S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any appreciable progress in the matter since in the House of Representatives. The Republicans in the House of Representatives, while stating that they will not allow S.744 to come to vote, have been working on a piece-meal approach to immigration reform. However, none of the bills sent to the House Judiciary Committee have been called up for a vote. We, like others, hope that the House Representatives will be able to arrive at a consensus with their Senate counterparts and push forward on immigration reform.
After a brief respite, the EB-2 priority dates for India have significantly retrogressed again from 06/15/08 to 11/15/04 in the recently published DOS Visa Bulletin for December 2013. EB-3 dates retrogressed by about 3 weeks for India as well. Significantly, the EB-3 priority dates advanced by a full year, from 10/01/10 to 10/01/11, for all other countries, including China and excepting the Philippines. In fact, as has been the case since June 2013, China’s EB-3 priority dates are better than the EB-2 priority dates.
In consular news, the E Treaty Visa Office of the London Embassy has announced that it will be closed on December 23, 2013 through January 6, 2014. Normal services will resume for E visa applications on January 6, 2014. Hence, E visa applicants have been advised to keep this mind while planning to file their visa applications at the U.S. Embassy, London. Applicants at other embassies are reminded that there may be slowdowns at most embassies during the holiday season because of generally reduced staffing during this time of the year.
In other DOS related news, the DOS has issued a final rule adding the T-6 visa classification. The T-6 visa is available for the eligible family members (parent, unmarried sibling under age 18, adult or minor children) of a derivative beneficiary of a T-1 principal alien.
USCIS announced that it was experiencing a high rejection rate for Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, due to the submission of outdated versions of the form by the applicants. USCIS has reminded all applicants that the revised Form I-821D, dated June 25, 2013, is available for use and is the only version that is being currently accepted. USCIS has also reminded applicants and stakeholders that revised versions of Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur, and Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, are now available for use and USCIS will accept their previous editions only until December 16, 2013 and December 23, 2013 respectively. After December 16 and December 23, USCIS will accept only the revised 09/24/13 and 09/30/13 editions, respectively.
Other Developments in Immigration Law:
USCIS Announces Security Enhancement to E-Verify
USCIS has announced a security enhancement to the E-Verify program that will enable USCIS to lock a SSN that appears to have been misused, protecting it from further potential misuse in E-Verify. If an employee attempts to use a locked SSN, E-Verify will generate a “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC). The employee receiving the TNC may contest the finding at a local Social Security Administration field office, and if an SSA field officer confirms that the employee’s identity correctly matches the SSN, the TNC will be converted to “Employment Authorized” status in E-Verify.
Infosys Pays Record $34 million to Settle Allegations of Systemic Visa Fraud and Abuse of Immigration Processes
The U.S. Justice Department has announced that Infosys Corporation has agreed to a civil settlement of allegations of systemic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes. The settlement agreement requires Infosys to make a payment to the United States of $34 million, said to be the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case. The allegations against Infosys included that it knowingly and unlawfully used B-1 visa holders to perform skilled labor in order to fill positions in the United States for employment that would otherwise be performed by United States citizens or require legitimate H-1B visa holders. Under the settlement, however, Infosys has admitted to no wrongdoing.
Immigration Articles and Other Fun Stuff:
Our ‘Featured Video’ for this month is “Form I-751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence” in which we explain the process for Removal of Conditional Residence Status and what steps you should take while filing the Form I-751 during the 90-day period before the second anniversary of the date you obtained your conditional green card. Please check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel to take advantage of another great service provided to you by VisaPro.
Check out our ‘In Focus’ article for this month titled “H-1B Vs L-1: Which One is Best?” in which we discuss the 15 key differences between the H-1B and L-1 visa categories and how to identify the right visa category to suit an employer’s intended purpose.
Every month we introduce a new and interesting question for our opinion poll. Results of our previous poll indicate that a majority of respondents (75%) think that Obama Administration and immigration reform supporters in Congress will now step up efforts to have an Immigration Reform Bill passed by the House. We continue to appreciate that people take interest in the opinion question and cast their votes to give us their feedback. Keep it up! And continue to cast your vote to express Your Opinion.
We also congratulate Anand Sharma for winning last month’s Immigration Quiz. While we received more than one correct response to the quiz question, Anand Sharma gave the best answer and won a free online consultation to discuss the concerned Immigration issues. 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!