H-1B Quota Exceeded On First Day of Filing!!!! April 3, 2007Posted by dsheen88 in H-1B visa, Simply Immigration!, USCIS Press Release.
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WASHINGTON, DC, April 3 – Illustrating the inadequacy of the quota for specialized H-1B workers, USCIS announced today that it received more applications than the 65,000 limit on April 2. April 2 was the first day on which an employer could request a first-time visa for an H-1B worker for the period that begins on October 1, 2007. Agency rules state that if the limit is reached on the first day of filing, all applications received on the first two days are put into a lottery to determine who gets the relatively few visas that are available.
In the fiscal year now in effect, the supply of such visas lasted less than eight weeks after the filing period opened. For the fiscal year that starts October 1, 2007, the supply did not last through even the first day. “Every year, the application window becomes shorter and shorter, to the point that it is now practically non-existent,” said Carlina Tapia-Ruano, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “These high-skilled workers help to keep our system dynamic, and many sectors of the economy will suffer from this shortage.”
The H-1B visa program is utilized by U.S. businesses and other organizations to augment the existing labor force with foreign workers in specialty occupations that require expertise in a specialized field. Typical H-1B occupations include scientists, architects, engineers, computer programmers, teachers, accountants, and doctors. H-1B workers are admitted to the United States for an initial period of three years, which may be extended for an additional three years.
“This absurd situation illustrates the disconnect between current immigration policy and the needs of our economy,” concluded Tapia-Ruano. “The best way to resolve this crisis is for Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform measure as soon as possible.”
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
H-1B Petitions for FY2008 on April 2 March 28, 2007Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, Tips.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2008 (FY08) H-1B cap on Monday, April 2, 2007. USCIS will not reject cases delivered during the weekend (March 31 or April 1). Instead, USCIS will treat those petitions as if they arrived on April 2. The deciding factor for USCIS is when the agency takes possession on the petition and not when the petition was postmarked.
USCIS will monitor cap cases closely and will inform the public of the date the agency has received enough petitions to meet the FY08 H-1B cap. After that date, known as the “final receipt date,” USCIS will not accept any additional petitions requesting H-1B cases that apply against the FY08 congressionally mandated cap.
If you need more information or attorney assisatnce for your H-1B petitions, please feel free to contact David Sheen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us as 510.438.6868 to make an appointment.
CIS released new H-1B/H-4 timing and extension policies January 1, 2007Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies, Info for Doctors and Health Professionals, MyComments, Simply Immigration!, Tips, USCIS Press Release.
Good news to H-1B holders! CIS recently released their new policies that addresses several H-1B timing issues. The following policies will be in effect January 2007:
1. Time spent as an H-4 and L-2 dependent does not count against the maximum allowable periods of stay available to principals in H-1B or L-1 status.
2. Individuals do not need to be in H-1B status or in the U.S. in order to request additional H-1B time beyond six years under AC21.
3. Individual who was in the U.S. in H-1B status for less than six years and then subsequently leaves the U.S. for more than one year, may elect to either be re-admitted for the remainder of the initial six-year admission period w/o being counted against the cap OR seek to be admitted as a new H-1B subject to the cap.
Separating of H-4 and L-2 Time from H-1B and L-1 Time
The first issue addressed in this CIS memo is how to count H-4 and L-2 time against maximum periods allowed under H-1B and L-2 time. For example, would an individual present in the U.S. in L-2 status for the past 6 years be eligible for any H-1B time? The answer is yes.
USCIS clarifies that any time spent in H-4 status will not count against the 6-year maximum period of admission applicable to H-1B individuals. For example, an individual who was previously in H-4 dependent status and who subsequently becomes an H-1B principal is entitled to the maximum period of stay applicable under H-1B time.
Periods of Stay on H-1B Status Beyond 6 Years Pursuant to AC21 (H-1b portability law)
The second issue addressed in this CIS memo deals with requesting extensions beyond six years under AC21 even if the individual is no longer in H-1B status or no longer in the U.S. For example, if someone previously maxed out H-1B time and changed to TN status, and s/he is now eligible for H-1B time beyond six years under AC21, can s/he request more H-1B time even though s/he is now in TN status? The answer is yes.
The memo reads “Though both provisions of AC21 use the term “extension of stay,” eligibility for the exemptions is not restricted solely to requests for extensions of stay while in the United States. Aliens who are eligible for the 7th year extension may be granted an extension of stay regardless of whether they are currently in the United States or abroad and regardless of whether they currently hold H-1B status.”
H-1B Remainder Option
The third issue in this CIS memo addressed the situation of an individual who did not max out his or her H-1B time but subsequently left the U.S. for more than one year. For example, if an individual was previously in the U.S. in H-1B status for less than six years, and then subsequently leaves the U.S. for more than one year, may s/he be re-admittted for anytime remaining from their previous H-1B admission period or does s/he now need to admitted as a new H-1B with a new six years available, but subject to the cap? The answer is actually either and up to the individual.
The memo futher provides…
“There have been instances where an alien who was previously admitted to the United States in H-1B status, but did not exhaust his or her entire period of admission, seeks readmission to the United States in H-1B status for the remainder of his or her initial six-year period of maximum admission, rather than seeking a new six -year period of admission, pending AC21 regulations, USCIS for now will allow an alien in the situation described above to elect to either (1) to be re-admitted for the “remainder” of the initial six-year admission period without being subject to the H-1B cap if previously counted or (2) seek to be readmitted as a “new” H-1B alien subject to the H-1B cap.”
Under this new policy, if the H-1B cap is an issue, the option will be for the individual to come in now and take whatever H-1B time they have left, or wait and file under the cap and have six-years available again.
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In the days leading up to December 13, 2006, AILA received reports that USCIS Service Centers were rejecting forms I-907 Request for Premium Processing signed by attorneys for petitioners, declaring that an attorney signature can be accepted only if a Power of Attorney is attached. USCIS Service Centers Operations (SCOPS) has now clarified that the Power of Attorney requirement is limited to those circumstances where an individual other than the petitioner or applicant is signing a form as the petitioner or applicant, and it is accompanied by an I-907 signed by the G-28 attorney. Clarification of Form I-907 Signature Policy is provided by AILA’s SCOPS Liaison.
Congress Adjourns Without Enacting H-1B and EB Relief December 12, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Action, Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Simply Immigration!.
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Congress adjourned on Saturday, 12/9/06, without passing measures to provide relief from the restrictive H-1B visa cap and employment-based (EB) green card backlogs. However, Americam Immigration Lawyers Association plans to resume its push for H-1B and EB relief in early 2007, when new Congressional leaders, and committee and subcommittee chairs, are in place.
Change in Who May Sign I-907 December 12, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies.
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USCIS Service Center Operations has informed AILA that the Form I-907 Request for Premium Processing Service must be signed either by the petitioner, or, by the attorney for the petitioner, but only if the petitioner has filed a Power of Attorney with the USCIS Service Center where the I-907 is being filed authorizing the attorney to sign the I-907, a copy of the power of attorney is attached, and a G-28 is attached. Because the reasons for the processing change are not clear, AILA SCOPS liaison is seeking clarification…
H-1B & EB Advocates Continue to Push for Relief December 6, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Laws and Policies, Immigration reform, MyComments, Simply Immigration!.
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As the House and Senate reconvene today for the final days of the 109th Congress, the chances of enacting H-1B visa and employment-based (EB) green card relief look increasingly slim. Despite behind-the-scenes efforts by immigration advocates and sympathetic members of Congress, reports suggest that the lame duck session is unlikely to offer an appropriate legislative vehicle for measures that would alleviate the caps and backlogs faced by high-skilled immigrants and their American employers.Plans by Republican leadership to pass a continuing resolution instead of completing appropriations legislation would preclude passage of H-1B and EB relief as part of fiscal 2007 spending bills. However, Congress may vote on a number of authorization bills this week, opening up a small possibility that H-1B and EB relief could be passed as part of authorization legislation.
Positive Impact on Market Value by Immigrant Entrepreneurs November 27, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration Cases, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, Simply Immigration!.
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Here is an interesting study to share…
A “first of its kind” study, commissioned by the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) as part of its MAGNET USA initiative (Maximizing America’s Growth for the Nation’s Entrepreneurs and Technologists), reports that immigrant entrepreneurs have had a profound impact on company creation, innovation, and market value in the United States.
The study, entitled “American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness” found that over the past 15 years, immigrants have started one in four venture-backed public companies in the U.S., representing a market capitalization of more than $500 billion. Moreover, a survey of today’s private, venture-backed start-up companies in the U.S. estimated that 47 percent have immigrant founders. The study also found that two-thirds of the immigrant founders surveyed believe that current U.S. immigration policy hinders the ability of future foreign-born entrepreneurs to start American companies.
The study was authored by Stuart Anderson of the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-profit, nonpartisan public policy research organization focusing on trade, immigration, and related issues, and Michaela Platzer of Content First, LLC, a public policy research services firm that utilizes research and analysis to bring advocacy data, industry statistics, and policy research to trade associations, businesses, law firms, consulting firms, and the public affairs community.
VISA BULLETIN FOR NOVEMBER 2006 October 16, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Immigration by Marriage, Immigration Cases, MyComments, Simply Immigration!, Tips, Visa Bulletin.
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VISA BULLETIN FOR NOVEMBER 2006
A. STATUTORY NUMBERS
1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status. Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by October 6th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed. The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.
Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. Immediately that it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date.
2.Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000. The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620. The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.
3. Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:
First : Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
Second : Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent
Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:
A. Spouses and Children: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
B. Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older): 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third : Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth : Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
First : Priority Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.
Second : Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability: 28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.
Third : Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers: 28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to “Other Workers”.
Schedule A Workers : Employment First, Second, and Third preference Schedule A applicants are entitled to up to 50,000 “recaptured” numbers.
Fourth : Certain Special Immigrants: 7.1% of the worldwide level.
Fifth : Employment Creation: 7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.
4. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed. Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal. The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit. These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas: CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.
5. On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); “C” means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and “U” means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available. (NOTE: Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)
|Fam-ily||All Charge- ability Areas Except Those Listed||CHINA-mainland born||INDIA||MEXICO||PHILIPP-INES|
*NOTE: For November, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01DEC99. 2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01DEC99 and earlier than 01SEP01. (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)
|Certain Religious Workers||C||C||C||C||C|
|Targeted Employ-ment Areas/
The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at: (area code 202) 663-1541. This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category: Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105 – 139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year. This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program. Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.
B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY
Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States. The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program. This reduction has resulted in the DV-2007 annual limit being reduced to 50,000. DV visas are divided among six geographic regions. No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.
For November, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2007 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:
|Region||All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately|
|NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)||6|
|SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN||350|
Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery. The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2007 program ends as of September 30, 2007. DV visas may not be issued to DV-2007 applicants after that date. Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2007 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2007. DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2007 cannot be taken for granted. Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.
C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN DECEMBER
For December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2007 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:
|Region||All DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately|
|NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS)||7|
|SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN||525|
D. OVERSUBSCRIPTION OF THE SCHEDULE A WORKER (EX) VISA CATEGORY
Background: Title V, Section 502 of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Division B of Pub. L. 109-13 enacted May 11, 2005) provided for the recapture of 50,000 Employment-based immigrant visa numbers that were unused in fiscal years 2001 through 2004. Such numbers have been made available to Employment-based immigrants described in the Department of Labor’s Schedule A and their accompanying spouses and children. The immigrant category for these 50,000 visa numbers was designated as Schedule A Workers in the cut-off date table.
Issue: The Schedule A Workers category has become oversubscribed for November and a cut-off date established to hold number use within the 50,000 numerical limit. It is expected that demand will bring allocations up to the program limit during November. Once the limit is reached no further allocations will be possible, and the category listing will be removed from future cut-off date tables.
E. EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISA AVAILABILITY IN THE COMING MONTHS
Cut-off date movements in recent months have been greater than might ordinarily be expected, in an effort to maximize number use within the annual numerical limits. This has been necessary because demand being received from Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Offices for adjustment of status cases has been relatively light. As these dates have advanced, however, many thousands of applicants have become eligible for processing at CIS Offices. Once number use increases significantly as CIS addresses its backlog, cut-off date movement will necessarily slow or stop. Moreover, in some categories cut-off date retrogression is a particular possibility.
Readers should be aware that the recent rate of cut-off date advances will not continue indefinitely; however, it is not possible to predict when significantly increased CIS number use will begin to influence the cut-off date determinations.
F. OBTAINING THE MONTHLY VISA BULLETIN
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs offers the monthly “Visa Bulletin” on the INTERNET’S WORLDWIDE WEB. The INTERNET Web address to access the Bulletin is:
From the home page, select the VISA section which contains the Visa Bulletin.
To be placed on the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, please send an E-mail to the following E-mail address:
and in the message body type:
Subscribe Visa-Bulletin First name/Last name
(example: Subscribe Visa-Bulletin Sally Doe)
To be removed from the Department of State’s E-mail subscription list for the “Visa Bulletin”, send an e-mail message to the following E-mail address :
and in the message body type: Signoff Visa-Bulletin
The Department of State also has available a recorded message with visa cut-off dates which can be heard at: (area code 202) 663-1541. The recording is normally updated by the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.
Readers may submit questions regarding Visa Bulletin related items by E-mail at the following address:
(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)
Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:October 6, 2006
H-1B Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) September 16, 2006Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, H-1B visa, Info for Doctors and Health Professionals, MyComments, Tips.
The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation or as a fashion model of distinguished merit and ability.
A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.
Yes. The current law limits to 65,000 the number of aliens who may be issued a visa or otherwise provided H-1B status in each Fiscal Year. (The numerical limitation was temporarily raised to 195,000 in FY2001, FY2002 and FY2003.)
H-1B status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. The employer must file a labor condition application (LCA) with the Department of Labor attesting to several items, including payment of prevailing wages for the position, and the working conditions offered. The employer must then file the certified LCA with a Form I-129 petition plus accompanying fee of $185. Additional fee of $1,500 for emplyers with 25 + employees or $750.00fee for employers with less than 25 employees; amd $500.00 of H-1B Fruad Prevention fee. Certain sponsors are exempted for some fee. Based on the USCIS petition approval, the alien may apply for the H-1B visa, admission, or a change of nonimmigrant status.
Under current law, an alien can be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years at a time. After that time an alien must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Certain aliens working on Defense Department projects may remain in H-1B status for 10 years. In addition, certain aliens may obtain an extension of H-1B status beyond the 6-year maximum period, when:
- 365 days or more have passed since the filing of any application for labor certification, Form ETA 750, that is required or used by the alien to obtain status as an EB immigrant, or
- 365 days or more have passed since the filing of an EB immigrant petition.
H-1B aliens may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. H-1B aliens may work for more than one U.S. employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by each employer.
As long as the alien continues to provide H-1B services for a U.S. employer, most changes will not mean that an alien is out of status. An alien may change H-1B employers without affecting status, but the new H-1B employer must file a new Form I-129 petition for the alien before he or she begins working for the new employer. The merger or sale of an H-1B employer’s business will not affect the alien’s status in many instances. However, if the change means that the alien is working in a capacity other than the specialty occupation for which they petitioned, it is a status violation.
As long as the employer/employee relationship exists, an H-1B alien is still in status. An H-1B alien may work in full or part-time employment and remain in status. An H-1B alien may also be on vacation, sick/maternity/paternity leave, on strike, or otherwise inactive without affecting his or her status.
Yes. An H-1B visa allows an alien holding that status to reenter the U.S. during the validity period of the visa and approved petition.
Yes. An H-1B alien can be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent Resident status without affecting H-1B status. This is known as “dual intent” and has been recognized in the immigration law since passage of the Immigration Act of 1990. During the time that the application for LPR status is pending, an alien may travel on his or her H-1B visa rather than obtaining advance parole or requesting other advance permission from Immigration to return to the U.S.
Can an H-1B visa holder bring their spouse and minor children to U.S.?
Yes. H-1B holders can bring thier spouse and minor children to live with them in U.S. under H dependents visa (H-4). However, H-4 visa holders can not work in U.S. Spouse here on an H-4 visa must have his or her own H-1B visa to work legally in U.S.