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1. FY 2013 H-1B Filing Season Begins - Beginning on April 2, 2012, employers may file cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY 2013, for employment starting on October 1, 2012, or later.
2. Department of State Amends Fees for Consular Services - The Department issued an interim final rule increasing fees for consular services for nonimmigrant visa applications, border crossing card applications, and immigrant visa applications.
3. Visa Interview Waiver Pilot Program Expanded to New Delhi, India - The pilot program permits consular officers to waive interviews for qualified nonimmigrant applicants worldwide who are renewing their B-1/B-2 visas within 48 months of the expiration of their previously held visa, and within the same classification as the previous visa.
4. India, China EB-2 Category Expected To Retrogress Soon - The Visa Office is predicting a retrogression of priority dates in the India and China EB-2 category to a 2007 priority date, effective in the May or June Visa Bulletin.
5. USCIS Seeks Public Comment on Revisions to I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form - The comment period ends on May 29, 2012.
6. Federal Judge Chides USCIS for Denial of 'Specialty Occupation' H-1B Petition to Market Research Analyst With Related Bachelor's Degree - The judge said USCIS's errors constituted "a litany of incompetence that presents [a] fundamental misreading of the record, relevant sources, and the point of the entire petition."
7. Brazilian Worker Loses Claim of National Origin Discrimination, Retaliation - Among other things, the court found that the plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence to find that SuperValu's legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for her termination – her performance – was a pretext for retaliation in violation of the law.
8. Business Organizations Send Letter on L-1 Issues to Obama Administration - A significant concern, the letter notes, is that an "inconsistent and improperly narrowed" definition of specialized knowledge is being used to determine which employees qualify for L-1B status.
9. CBP Expands Global Entry to Additional Airports - By September 22, 2012, Global Entry will be implemented at St. Paul International Airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and Denver International Airport, in addition to the 20 other airports listed.
10. DOL Issues Guidance on Transition Period for Changes to H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Labor Certification Process - DOL issued the guidance following publication of its final rule on February 21, 2012, amending and creating H-2B regulations.
11. Syria Designated for Temporary Protected Status, DHS Announces - The TPS designation and the registration period both run from March 29, 2012, through September 30, 2013.
12. USCIS Grants Temporary Extension of Accommodation for H-2A Sheepherders - USCIS will require H-2A sheepherders who have reached their maximum three-year period of stay to depart the United States by August 16, 2012, and remain outside the country for at least three months before petitioning for H-2A classification again.
13. ABIL Global: South Africa - Significant amendments to the Refugees Act and the Immigration Act, 2002, are expected; among other things, applying to change a visitor permit to a work or medical permit will be prohibited. Also, those wishing to work in South Africa for longer than three months must obtain an appropriate permit.
14. New Publications and Items of Interest - New Publications and Items of Interest
15. Member News - Member News
16. Government Agency Links - Government Agency Links
 

 
 
1. FY 2013 H-1B Filing Season Begins
 

Beginning on Monday, April 2, 2012, employers may file cap-subject H-1B petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2013, for employment starting on October 1, 2012, or later.

On November 22, 2011, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the statutory cap for FY 2012. USCIS also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption as of October 19, 2011. With the improving economy, H-1B numbers could run out faster this year. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) recommends that employers file early and allow time for the labor condition application process. Contact your ABIL attorney now for guidance and help with the process.

USCIS REMINDER

 
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2. Department of State Amends Fees for Consular Services
 

The Department of State has issued an interim final rule amending the schedule of fees for consular services for nonimmigrant visa applications, border crossing card applications, and immigrant visa applications.

The rule increases from $140 to $160 the fee for processing most non-petition-based nonimmigrant visas (machine-readable visas, or MRVs) and border crossing cards (BCCs) for Mexican citizens 15 years of age and above. The rule also amends application processing fees for certain categories of petition-based nonimmigrant visas and treaty trader and investor visas (all of which are also MRVs), and amends tiered application processing fees for immigrant visas. Finally, the rule increases from $14 to $15 the BCC fee charged to Mexican citizen minors who apply in Mexico, and whose parent or guardian already has a BCC or is applying for one, based on a congressionally mandated surcharge.

The interim final rule is effective April 13, 2012. Written comments must be received on or before May 29, 2012. The rule, which includes instructions on submitting comments, is available HERE.

 
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3. Visa Interview Waiver Pilot Program Expanded to New Delhi, India
 

The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, announced that the Visa Interview Waiver Pilot Program has been expanded to that post, effective immediately. Under the program, certain qualified foreign visitors who were interviewed and screened in conjunction with a previous visa application may be eligible to renew their visas without undergoing another interview.

The embassy explained that the pilot program permits consular officers to waive interviews for qualified nonimmigrant applicants worldwide who are renewing their B-1/B-2 visas within 48 months of the expiration of their previously held visa, and within the same classification as the previous visa. The pilot does not entitle any applicant to a waiver of personal appearance. Consular officers retain the authority to interview any applicant whom they determine requires a personal appearance.

ANNOUNCEMENT

For additional details on qualifying for an interview waiver, see HERE.

 
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4. India, China EB-2 Category Expected To Retrogress Soon
 

The State Department’s Visa Bulletin for April did not continue the dramatic forward movement of India and China EB-2 priority dates that has been observed for the past several months. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers has also learned that the Visa Office is predicting a retrogression of priority dates in the India and China EB-2 category to a 2007 priority date, effective in the May or June Visa Bulletin.

For the month of April, the India and China EB-2 category remains steady at May 1, 2010. For May, the Visa Office recently announced that the priority date will retrogress, or be set earlier, possibly as early as August 2007. Priority dates are not expected to advance again until October 1, 2012, at the earliest, when the new fiscal year begins.

If an I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status is filed while the person’s priority date is current, it will remain pending until the priority date is current again. Because the I-485 will remain pending, the applicant can continue to apply for interim benefits, such as work authorization and advance parole, while the priority date is retrogressed.

ABIL recommends that anyone with a priority date before March 2010 who is eligible to apply for adjustment of status do so immediately, because the opportunity to file such applications will likely end by May 1, 2012, and will not return until at least October 1, 2012 (and possibly much later). Contact your ABIL attorney for assistance.

 
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5. USCIS Seeks Public Comment on Revisions to I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites public comment until May 29, 2012, on a revised employment eligibility verification form (I-9). Employers must complete the I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. The comment period ends on May 29, 2012.

Key revisions to the form include:

  • Expanded instructions and a revised layout.
  • New, optional data fields to collect the employee's e-mail address and telephone number.
  • New data fields to collect the foreign passport number and country of issuance. Only those authorized to work in the U.S. who have also recorded their I-94 admission number on the I-9 will need to provide the foreign passport number and country of issuance.
Until a new version is approved and posted, employers must continue to use the current version of the I-9 form.
 
The USCIS notice, which includes a link to the revised draft form, is available HERE.
 
 
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6. Federal Judge Chides USCIS for Denial of 'Specialty Occupation' H-1B Petition to Market Research Analyst With Related Bachelor's Degree
 

In Residential Finance Corporation v. USCIS, decided on March 12, 2012, Judge Gregory L. Frost of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio chided U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for its faulty analysis of why it denied an H-1B petition to a market research analyst with a bachelor's degree in that field.

The issue before the court was whether USCIS incorrectly concluded that a "specialty occupation" was not involved. The court noted that a specialty occupation is one that requires attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. A related definition provides that a specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge.

Among other things, USCIS argued that although the Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) recognizes a baccalaureate degree as the minimum educational requirement for many market and survey research jobs, the OOH does not indicate that such a degree need be in a specific specialty directly related to market research.

In this case, the beneficiary had obtained a bachelor of science degree in marketing and finance. The record indicated that a minimum requirement for entry into the position of market research analyst is the specialized course of study in which the beneficiary had engaged.

"Perhaps most bewildering is that Defendant [USCIS] rejected the evidence that [the beneficiary] would actually be performing these job duties if hired, despite no evidence to the contrary and no other apparent reason for failing to credit the evidence on this record," the judge said.

Judge Frost continued:

Defendant continues to reject this record in favor of supporting a flawed denial. What Defendant overlooks is that the illogical leaps about which Plaintiff complains in its thorough briefing cannot be separated from the process in which Defendant engaged in its decisionmaking. Stated simply, Defendant did a poor job of keeping the record straight and its focus on the actual inquiry involved.

The judge pointed out that USCIS expressly admitted "inexplicable errors" in its briefing, such as references to the wrong sections of the OOH, and that the agency's decision appeared to identify the proffered position incorrectly as a marketing manager rather than a marketing analyst.

Judge Frost said that these errors were not the essentially inconsequential lapses that USCIS suggested. Instead, he said, they constituted "a litany of incompetence that presents [a] fundamental misreading of the record, relevant sources, and the point of the entire petition." If USCIS wants to deny a petition that will send the beneficiary to another country after 21 years of living in the United States, the judge said, "it should afford Plaintiff and [the beneficiary] a bare minimum level of professionalism, diligence, and reasoning."

According to the court, the record indicated that a market and survey researcher is a distinct occupation with a specialized course of study that includes multiple specialized fields, that the beneficiary had completed such specialized study in the relevant fields of marketing and finance, and that Residential Finance Corporation had sought to employ him in such a position. Judge Frost said that USCIS had "ignore[d] the realities of the statutory language involved and the obvious intent behind them. The knowledge and not the title of the degree is what is important. Diplomas rarely come bearing occupation-specific majors."

Judge Frost concluded that USCIS failed to meet the "fundamental threshold for rational decisionmaking and has instead engaged in conduct that cannot be separated from the taint of the foregoing errors." He thus found that the denial of the petition was arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion, and ordered USCIS to grant the petition and change the beneficiary's status to H-1B nonimmigrant.

TEXT OF THE CASE

 
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7. Brazilian Worker Loses Claim of National Origin Discrimination, Retaliation
 

In Guimaraes v. SuperValu, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing with prejudice a worker's lawsuit against her former employer, SuperValu, Inc., for national origin discrimination and retaliation.

The plaintiff, Katia Agiuiar Guimaraes, has dual Brazilian and Canadian citizenship. She speaks English with an accent and her native language is Portuguese, the court noted. Her position changed and her new supervisor, Lisa Delia Bautista Grubbs, from Mexico, began to identify performance problems. A performance plan and mediation efforts by SuperValu were unsuccessful and Ms. Guimaraes was fired and subsequently filed suit. Ms. Grubbs never referred to Ms. Guimaraes' Brazilian origin or mocked her accent, but Ms. Guimaraes alleged national origin discrimination, stating among other things that Ms. Grubbs asked her to repeat herself and to repeat Ms. Grubbs' instructions to Ms. Guimaraes. Ms. Guimaraes also alleged that she heard that Ms. Grubbs had told someone else that she intended to try and have Ms. Guimaraes fired and to prevent her from getting a green card.

Among other things, the court found that Ms. Guimaraes did not present sufficient evidence to find that SuperValu's legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for her termination – her performance – was a pretext for retaliation in violation of the law. The court noted that Ms. Guimaraes had not shown that Ms. Grubbs was "targeting" her because of her national origin. Examining the evidence as a whole, the court noted that a reasonable jury could find that Ms. Grubbs targeted her for any of these reasons: because of a personality conflict, because Ms. Guimaraes critiqued Ms. Grubbs' management style, because Ms. Grubbs honestly did not believe Ms. Guimaraes was competent, or even because Ms. Guimaraes was trying to get a green card. None of these reasons violates the law. The court noted, quoting earlier decisions, that the employment discrimination laws "have not vested in the federal courts the authority to sit as super-personnel departments reviewing the wisdom or fairness of the business judgments made by employers, except to the extent that those judgments involve intentional discrimination."

DECISION

 
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8. Business Organizations Send Letter on L-1 Issues to Obama Administration
 

Sixty-four business organizations signed a letter on L-1 legal and policy issues sent on March 22, 2012, to President Obama and the Secretaries of Commerce, Homeland Security, and State. New proposed L-1 guidance is anticipated from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Among other things, the letter notes that it has become increasingly difficult for companies to procure visas to transfer existing employees in the United States to continue work. A significant concern, the letter notes, is that an "inconsistent and improperly narrowed" definition of specialized knowledge is being used to determine which employees qualify for L-1B status. When visas for key staff already employed in an organization are inexplicably delayed or denied, such delays or denials do not enhance compliance or enforcement and "do nothing except disrupt carefully laid business plans and create significant costs to the company and the American economy," the letter states.

LETTER

 
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9. CBP Expands Global Entry to Additional Airports
 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is adding four airports to the list of 20 participating major U.S. airports in the Global Entry international trusted traveler program. Global Entry allows pre-approved, low-risk participants expedited entry into the United States using Global Entry kiosks located at designated airports. The program is intended for frequent international travelers, but there is no minimum number of trips to qualify.

By September 22, 2012, Global Entry will be implemented at St. Paul International Airport (Minnesota), Charlotte Douglas International Airport (North Carolina), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Arizona), and Denver International Airport (Colorado), in addition to the 20 other airports listed in the notice, which is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-03-26/pdf/2012-7227.pdf.

The starting dates will be announced HERE.

 
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10. DOL Issues Guidance on Transition Period for Changes to H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Labor Certification Process
 

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance to provide transition procedures to ensure that employers filing H-2B applications on or after April 23, 2012, have sufficient information to file appropriately. DOL issued the guidance following publication of its final rule on February 21, 2012, amending and creating H-2B regulations.

The H-2B final rule becomes effective on April 23, 2012. THE GUIDANCE.

 
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11. Syria Designated for Temporary Protected Status, DHS Announces
 

The Department of Homeland Security has designated Syria for temporary protected status (TPS) for a period of 18 months, effective March 29, 2012, through September 30, 2013. The registration period also runs from March 29, 2012, through September 30, 2013. The designation allows eligible Syrian nationals (and those having no nationality who last habitually resided in Syria) who have both continuously resided in and been continuously physically present in the United States since March 29, 2012, to be granted TPS.

The notice explains that TPS was designated for Syria because of "extraordinary and temporary conditions" in that country that prevent Syrian nationals from returning in safety. Among other things, the notice states that President Bashar al-Assad "used the military to suppress the [citizen protest] movement, and the Syrian Arab Republic Government launched a brutal crackdown, violently repressing and killing thousands of its own civilians." The notice states that this activity continues, including "arbitrary executions, killing and persecution of protestors and members of the media, arbitrary detention, disappearances, torture, and ill-treatment." There are also reports of attacks on and arrests of medical doctors treating wounded members of the opposition.

The Federal Register notice, which was published on March 29, 2012, and also describes the other eligibility criteria applicants must meet, is available HERE.

A related U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services press release is available HERE.

 
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12. USCIS Grants Temporary Extension of Accommodation for H-2A Sheepherders
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 20, 2012, that it extended an accommodation for H-2A workers in the sheepherding industry to transition to the three-year limitation of stay requirements. USCIS will require H-2A sheepherders who have reached their maximum three-year period of stay to leave the United States by August 16, 2012, and remain outside the country for at least three months before petitioning for H-2A classification again.

The H-2A program allows U.S. employers to bring foreign nationals to the United States to fill temporary agricultural jobs. H-2A nonimmigrant workers are subject to a three-month departure requirement once they have been in the United States in H-2A status for a maximum three-year period.

USCIS announced its limitation of stay requirements under a final rule that became effective on January 17, 2009. The agency granted an accommodation for H-2A sheepherders in December 2009 in deference to prior practice exempting them from the three-year limitation.

Some petitioners may have had a Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, denied solely on the basis that the H-2A sheepherder had exceeded the three-year limitation of stay. Affected petitioners may request that USCIS reopen these cases on a Service Motion by e-mail to csc-ncsc-followup@dhs.gov. (Include "H-2A Sheepherder Service Motion Request" in the subject line.)

USCIS will only review denials for which it has received a written request. Such requests will be accepted through April 20, 2012. No fee is required. If a petition was previously denied on other grounds in addition to limitation of stay issues, USCIS will not review the case through a written request.

NEW ANNOUNCEMENT

DECEMBER 2009 ANNOUNCEMENT

 
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13. ABIL Global: South Africa
 

Significant amendments to the Refugees Act and the Immigration Act, 2002, are expected; among other things, applying to change a visitor permit to a work or medical permit will be prohibited. Also, those wishing to work in South Africa for longer than three months must obtain an appropriate permit.

Pending Changes to the Work Permit Regime

Outside of refugee movements (which are regulated by the Refugees Act), immigration in South Africa is regulated by the Immigration Act, 2002, and the regulations to that Act. Two significant amendments to each of these Acts are expected. The Department of Home Affairs is revising the regulatory regime underpinning these Acts. These amendments may come into operation in the second quarter of 2012 or possibly as soon as the end of April 2012.

While the provisions of the Amendment Acts are obviously known, the Department tends not to reveal in advance what is coming in the regulations and is not required to engage stakeholders on their content. In some critical ways, it is impossible to understand the Amendment Acts before we have seen the new regulations.

One issue that will affect the deployment of staff to South Africa is, however, quite clear. Under the current Act (and even its predecessor), it is entirely lawful for an expatriate employee to travel to South Africa immediately to take up a post, particularly if he or she is the holder of a visa-exempt passport. The employee would enter the country as a visitor and then apply from inside the country for the appropriate work or transfer permit. Even if his or her visitor permit had expired before the main application had been adjudicated and approved, in practice the Department's receipt for the application would serve as a de facto permit to remain in the country. It would not be a de facto "interim" work permit, however.

The new Act expressly provides that, from whenever it comes into operation, a person cannot travel into the Republic as a "visitor" and then, within a week or several, apply for a work permit. Travelling with one's family and seeking study permits, or similar activities, would be a dead giveaway as to intent. The new Act reasons that to say that one is entering the country on the basis of being a visitor when he or she knows that the real purpose is to take up a position constitutes misleading the Department and entering on the basis of misrepresentation. So applying to change a visitor permit to a work permit (or medical permit) will be strictly prohibited. The visitor must instead return to his or her country of ordinary residence (with the family) and apply through the appropriate Embassy for the correct permit.

The new Act provides that "internal" changes of purpose will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances to be defined by the Minister in the new regulations.

Employers should be alert to these changes because a mistake could be a very expensive miscalculation.

Short-Term Deployments to South Africa: No 'Back Door' Work Permits

The South African Department of Home Affairs issued a confidential directive in December 2011 that seeks to regulate the issue of short-term work authorizations. It has supplemented that directive in recent weeks with policy guidelines on the same subject. The holders of visa-exempt passports (for example, U.S., Canadian, and European Union (EU) passports) are most affected.

Generally speaking, persons traveling on visa-exempt passports receive a visitor permit that is valid for three months upon arriving at a South African port of entry, unless they already hold some other residence status. It was often not realized that this visitor permit allowed the holder only to visit, not work.

Immigration legislation did, however, allow for persons needing to enter the Republic to work, so long as the work was for no longer than three months. This special category of visitor permit could be obtained upon arrival at a port of entry, so long as the passport was visa-exempt. This type of permit was intended principally for film crews, performing artists, models and support staff, counsel needing to consult with clients, and other such legitimate short-term deployments.

Until recently, the practice had been that upon presentation of a letter from the offshore employer asking for such short-term work authorization, this subcategory of visitor permit would be issued at the port of entry for a period of three months. However, the ease with which this could be done led to considerable abuse. There were instances of people actually working in the Republic on these visitor permits for years by "commuting" home every three months. This, it was thought, allowed the employer to bypass the requirements for an ordinary work permit. The Department of Home Affairs views such practice as immigration fraud.

The new regime has a number of key features. A well-motivated representation must be submitted in writing to the Director General of Home Affairs at least 10 days before the person is scheduled to arrive in South Africa. The Director General must approve the request in writing, and the employee must submit that approval to the port of entry upon arrival. This permit may only be obtained at a port of entry or at an embassy. The permit will not be extended; anyone needing to stay and work for longer than 90 days must instead apply for an appropriate work permit.

 
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14. New Publications and Items of Interest
 

Subscription service for labor certification updates. The Department of Labor's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has launched a free subscription service to receive e-mail updates whenever the OFLC updates its website, including program updates, outreach announcements, new FAQs, and disclosure data. SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Effect of India-based tech firms on U.S. economy. eWeek.com recently reported in "Contribution of Indian Tech Companies to the U.S. Economy" that although overall unemployment in the United States remains disturbingly high, the direct workforce employed by the Indian IT sector has almost doubled in the past five years, to 107,000. The report also notes that the industry supports an estimated 280,000+ jobs in the United States. The Indian technology industry also has paid more than $15 billion in taxes in the past five years, the report notes. For more information on the report, see HERE.

International trade symposia. This year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to hold two trade symposia. One will be held on the West Coast in May and the other will be held on the East Coast later in the year. CBP will convene the 2012 West Coast Trade Symposium to discuss issues relating to the agency's role in international trade initiatives and programs. The symposium will be held on Thursday, May 10, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center's Grand Ballroom. The fee is $160. REGISTRATION INFORMATION. For more information, contact the Office of Trade Relations at (202) 344-1440 or tradeevents@dhs.gov.

Several ABIL members co-authored and edited the new publication, Global Business Immigration Practice Guide, to be released on May 31, 2012, by LexisNexis. The Practice Guide is a one-stop resource for dealing with questions related to business immigration issues in immigration hotspots around the world.

This comprehensive guide is designed to be used by:

  • Human resources professionals and in-house attorneys who need to instruct, understand, and liaise with immigration lawyers licensed in other countries;
  • Business immigration attorneys who regularly work with multinational corporations and their employees and HR professionals; and
  • Attorneys interested in expanding their practice to include global business immigration services.

This publication provides:

  • An overview of the immigration law requirements and procedures for over 20 countries;
  • Practical information and tips for obtaining visas, work permits, resident status, naturalization, and other nonimmigrant and immigrant pathways to conducting business, investing, and working in those countries;
  • A general overview of the appropriate options for a particular employee; and
  • Information on how an employee can obtain and maintain authorization to work in a target country.

Each chapter follows a similar format, making it easy to compare practices and procedures from country to country. Useful links to additional resources and forms are included. Collected in this Practice Guide, the expertise of ABIL's attorney members across the globe will serve as an ideal starting point in your research into global business immigration issues.

The book will be discounted 20% for pre-orders through May 31. You can order HERE. The discount code is ABIL20 (enter this code at checkout). International customers who do not want to order through the bookstore can order through Nicole Hahn at (518) 487-3004 or Nicole.hahn@lexisnexis.com.

Green Card Stories. The immigration debate is boiling over. Americans are losing the ability to understand and talk to one another about immigration. We must find a way to connect on a human level. Green Card Stories does just that. The book depicts 50 recent immigrants with permanent residence or citizenship in dramatic narratives, accompanied by artistic photos. If the book's profilees share a common trait, it's a mixture of talent and steely determination. Each of them overcame great challenges to come and stay in America. Green Card Stories reminds Americans of who we are: a nation of immigrants, from all walks of life and all corners of the earth, who have fueled America's success. It tells the true story of our nation: E pluribus unum--out of many, one.

For more information or to order, visit Green Card Stories.

ABIL on Twitter. The Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers is now available on Twitter: @ABILImmigration. Recent ABIL member blogs are available HERE.

 
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15. Member News
 

Laura Danielson has published several new blog entries. "Visiting the Hill: Where Is the Political Will?" and "Words Matter"

Cyrus Mehta has published a new blog entry. "Federal Court Reverses Unreasonable H-1B Denial for Market Research Analyst." He also has co-authored a new blog entry. "Will The Revised USCIS Q&A on Establishing the Employer-Employee Relationship in H-1B Petitions Save Staffing Companies?"

Mr. Mehta was Program Chair for Basic Immigration Law 2012, sponsored by the Practising Law Institute and held in New York City on March 15, 2012. The course handbook and DVD are available HERE.

Angelo Paparelli has published a new blog entry. "Immigration Options for DREAMers Under EXISTING Law."

The Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group will present several free webinars. Upcoming topics include:

Thursday, April 12, 2012
Extraordinary Scientists (E-11), Outstanding Professors and Researchers (E-12), and National Interest Waivers (EB-2)

Thursday, April 26, 2012
International Student Work Visa Option

Thursday, May 10, 2012
Investors/Traders (E Visas) and Company Transferee (L Visas) and Green Cards (E-13)

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Religious Worker Visas – Ordained and Non-Ordained

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Artist and Entertainer Work Visas (O and P) and Green Cards (E-11)

Thursday, June 21, 2012
Work Visas and Green Cards for Athletes (O/P and E-11)

Thursday, July 12, 2012
Visa Options for International Scholars, Faculty and Staff

More information or register

 
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16. Government Agency Links
 

Follow these links to access current processing times of the USCIS Service Centers and the Department of Labor, or the Department of State's latest Visa Bulletin with the most recent cut-off dates for visa numbers:

USCIS Service Center processing times online

Department of Labor processing times and information on backlogs

Department of State Visa Bulletin

Visa application wait times for any post

 
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