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Good News! CIS Reopens EB Adjustment Filings. July 17, 2007

Posted by dsheen88 in Employment-Based Immigration, Immigration Cases, Immigration Laws and Policies, Labor Cert, News and politics, Simply Immigration!, USCIS Press Release, Visa Bulletin.
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USCIS has announced that, beginning immediately, it will accept employment-based applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority date are current under July Visa Bulletin, No. 107 (the one they retracted).  USCIS will accept applications until August 17, 2007.  Please pass on this announcement to all interested parties.

Positive Impact on Market Value by Immigrant Entrepreneurs November 27, 2006

Posted 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.

-AILA

VISA BULLETIN FOR NOVEMBER 2006 October 16, 2006

Posted 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:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

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.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED 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
1st  22APR01 22APR01 22APR01 01JUL93 15NOV91
2A 01SEP01 01SEP01 01SEP01 01DEC99 01SEP01
2B 01FEB97 01FEB97 01FEB97 22FEB92 15AUG96
3rd 15NOV98 15NOV98 15NOV98 01JAN95 08FEB91
4th 22OCT95 22APR95 01AUG95 22OCT93 01MAY84

*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.)

  All
Charge-ability
Areas
Except
Those
Listed
CHINA-
mainland born
INDIA MEXICO PHILIP-PINES
Employ-ment
-Based
         
1st C C C C C
2nd C 15APR05 01JAN03 C C
3rd 01JUL02 01JUL02 22APR01 08MAY01 01JUL02
Schedule
A
Workers
01OCT05 01OCT05 01OCT05 01OCT05 01OCT05
Other
Workers
01MAY01 01MAY01 01MAY01 01MAY01 01MAY01
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th C C C C C
Targeted Employ-ment Areas/
Regional Centers
C C C C C

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  
AFRICA 8,500 Except:
Egypt
5,600
Ethiopia
5,600
Nigeria
4,300
ASIA 2,600  
EUROPE 5,700  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 6  
OCEANIA 280  
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  
AFRICA 10,300 Except:
Egypt
7,700
Ethiopia 7,300
Nigeria 5,900
ASIA 3,500  
EUROPE 7,700  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 375  
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:

http://travel.state.gov

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:

listserv@calist.state.gov

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 :

listserv@calist.state.gov

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:

VISABULLETIN@STATE.GOV

(This address cannot be used to subscribe to the Visa Bulletin.)

Department of State Publication 9514
CA/VO:October 6, 2006

Lawsuit to Challenge DHS’Refusal to Follow Perez-Gonzalez, Ninth Circuit I-212 Decision September 30, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Cases, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, Simply Immigration!, Tips.
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This class action challenges the Department of Homeland Security’s willful refusal to follow the precedent decision of the Ninth Circuit in Perez-Gonzalez v. Ashcroft, 379 F.3d 783 (9th Cir. 2004). The Ninth Circuit determined that individuals who have previously been removed or deported may apply for adjustment of status (under INA § 245(I)) along with an accompanying I-212 waiver application.

The suit is brought by Northwest Immigrants Right Project, the American Immigration Law Foundation, and Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP. The case is Duran Gonzalez v. U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, C-06-1422, and was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington on Thursday, September 28, 2006.

-source AILA

9th Circuit Cout of Appeal (CA9) Remands Motion to Reopen for BIA Abuse of Discretion September 22, 2006

Posted by dsheen88 in Immigration Cases, Immigration Laws and Policies, MyComments, Simply Immigration!.
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Petitioners, a husband and wife from Mexico, were denied cancellation of removal by the immigration judge for failure to demonstrate that their U.S. citizen children would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” as required by INA §240A(b)(1)(D). The BIA affirmed the denial but granted Petitioners voluntary departure. By the time the Board’s decision was issued, the female petitioner had become seriously ill. The couple failed to voluntarily depart the U.S. and instead filed a motion to reopen with the BIA, attaching new evidence of hardship in light of the female petitioner’s illness. Specifically, Petitioners submitted a letter from the wife’s doctor, which explained that the nature of her illness “may be, in fact, life threatening” and that “it is essential that [she] be allowed to remain in the area and receive . . . proper medical care.” The BIA denied the motion to reopen.

The court found that the BIA did not even mention the female petitioner’s medical problems when it explained its reason for denying the motion. The court held that “[t]he BIA’s failure to identify and evaluate the favorable factors was an abuse of discretion.” The court granted the petition for review and remanded the case to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Franco-Rosendo v. Gonzales (9th Cir. July 18, 2006)

Doc. No. 06092146 (posted Sep. 21, 2006)–

The BIA’s failure to identify, consider and evaluate factors that are favorable to granting a motion to reopen is an abuse of discretion.