October 2005

From the Editor's Desk

Hello and welcome to the October 2005 Immigration Newsletter!

The past month saw everyone in our office working day and night, sometimes even over the weekends. The release of October Visa Bulletin came in with the expected news of a tough time for employment-based (EB) immigrant visa petitions. So we had to work especially hard to prepare and file the I-140 and I-485 cases for our clients in order to meet the September 30 deadline. Our Attorneys and staff were all quite relieved when the final case was filed.

Apart from the case filings, we also conducted a record number of consultations through our Consult Attorney service in the last two months. This service is one of our efforts to provide inexpensive and affordable consultations to our users – both online and by telephone. We feel proud when we are able to help our clients through the difficult and, very often, tiring immigration process. One such instance is shared with you in our Success Stories section.

On my part, I was also busy with the continuous flow of emails received from you. Believe me, we go through each and every email that we receive from our friends, and it feels so encouraging when you participate in our continuous efforts to enhance the design, features and content of your Immigration Monitor. A few of our friends suggested that we carry some information on the Green Card Lottery. So we decided to devote our In Focus section this time to the DV Lottery process.

Immigration Quiz is getting more and more difficult to judge. The winner this time is – Sonja Lueg. Congratulations for winning a FREE online consultation! Over 95% of the friends who participated in Your Opinion, our monthly poll, are of the view that spouses on H-4 visas should be allowed to work in the US. I hope our Congressmen and Senators will take this into consideration.

The Industry Perspective section covers the increase in activity during the past few weeks for employment-based visas, and discusses the effect of this development on employers.

Since most of the newsletter this month focuses on green cards, we thought it would a good idea to explain the EB-5 category also. This month’s Immigration Article is Buying a Green Card: EB-5 Investor Visa.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Immigration Monitor.Do let me know if you would like to see a specific topic covered in future editions. And hey, do you know that you can share this newsletter with your friends or with other people who might be interested in our informative content? Click on Email to a Friend and we will send the Immigration Monitor to them on your behalf.

See you next time with more from the immigration front.

Latest Immigration News

USCIS Filing Fees to increase from October 26

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will increase the fees for immigration benefit applications and petitions to account for cost increases due to inflation. The average fee increase is $10, but the amount varies from $5–$20 relative to the amount of the application/petition fee.

2007 Green Card Lottery registration begins

The U.S. Department of State has announced that registration for the 2007 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery will begin at noon on October 5, 2005.

House Judiciary Committee votes to increase L-1 fees by $1,500

The House Committee on the Judiciary approved by a vote of 20-6, H.R. 3648, a bill introduced by Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), that proposes to impose an additional $1,500 fee on L-1 applications.

Cap exempt H-1B visas still available

As per the latest update over 7000 visas are still available, both for Fiscal year 2005 and 2006. Sufficient numbers are available for FY 2005, but the usage of the visas for FY 2006 seems to be heavy.

October's Featured Articles

Green Card Lottery: Your ticket to the United States

The Green Card Lottery (also known as Diversity Visa Lottery) Program was introduced in the year 1990 to promote diversity in the United States by giving citizens of other countries to obtain United States permanent resident visas or green cards. All entries must be submitted electronically during the registration period. (For DV-2007 the registration period is between Wednesday, October 5, 2005 and Sunday, December 4, 2005).

Visa Number Retrogression: Tough times continue for US employers

In September 2005, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the Visa Bulletin for the month of October 2005 which reflects widespread ‘retrogression’ in most of the employment-based (EB) immigrant visa categories, affecting individuals from China and India in particular. It is essential to understand the concept of ‘visa number’ and ‘retrogression’, as they have a huge impact on the employment based green card process and long-term immigration strategy.

Buying a Green Card: EB-5 Investor Visa

Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category in 1990 for immigrants seeking to enter to engage in a commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. The basic amount required to invest is $1 million, although that amount may be $500,000 if the investment is made in a ‘targeted employment area.’ Of the approximately 10,000 numbers available for this preference each year, 3,000 are reserved for entrepreneurs who invest in targeted employment areas.

Questions and Answers


What is Adjustment of Status?


Adjustment of Status is a procedure allowing certain foreign nationals already in the U.S. to apply for immigrant status. Foreign nationals admitted to the U.S. in a nonimmigrant, refugee or parolee category may have their status changed to that of lawful permanent resident if they are eligible to receive an immigrant visa and one is immediately available.

Note: In such cases, the foreign national is counted as an immigrant as of the date of adjustment, even though the alien may have been in the United States for an extended period of time.


How do I apply for Adjustment of Status in the U.S.?


To adjust your status in the U.S., you must submit:

Note: Please read the introductory page to the Form I-485 carefully for complete details. These details are different depending on the visa qualifications that you have. The introductory page will also tell you where to file your application for Adjustment of Status. After you submit your application materials, you will be asked to go to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office to answer questions about your applications.


Will I get a Work Permit after applying for Adjustment of Status?


Yes, if you are inside the U.S. and have filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, you are eligible to apply for a Work Permit while your case is pending. You should use Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization to apply for a work permit.

Note: You do not need to apply for a Work Permit once you are granted an immigrant visa or adjust to permanent resident status. As a legal permanent resident, you should receive a permanent resident card that will provide evidence that you have a right to live and work in the U.S. permanently.

Got A Question?

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