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1. USCIS Announces Cap Count - USCIS announced the cap count as of May 20, 2011.
2. USCIS Proposes EB-5 Changes; Accepting Comments Until June 17 - USCIS has proposed significant changes to the administration of the EB-5 immigrant investor program's intake and review process.
3. USCIS Launches 'I-9 Central' Online - The website provides employers and employees access to resources, tips, and guidance on completing the I-9 and understanding the I-9 process.
4. ICE Adds 50 Degree Programs to STEM List - Students who graduate with one of the newly expanded STEM degrees can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension.
5. USCIS Fully Implements Secure Mail Initiative - SMI provides applicants the ability to track the status of their documents with USPS tracking information, and faster delivery.
6. Employment Second Preference Visa Cut-Off Date Advances Significantly for June - The same cut-off date (October 15, 2006) applies to both the China and India employment second preference in June; other second preference categories are Current.
7. USCIS Announces FY 2011 H-2B Cap Count - As of May 6, 2011, USCIS had receipted 27,173 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2011.
8. USCIS Announces FY 2011 H-2B Cap Count - As of May 6, 2011, USCIS had receipted 27,173 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap for the second half of FY 2011.
9. EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting Announced - The next engagement will take place via teleconference on June 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time).
10. EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting Announced - The next engagement will take place via teleconference on June 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time).
11. ABIL Webinar Series: U.S. Investment Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Nationals - The intended audience includes individual investors; potential and actual EB-5 regional centers; attorneys and advisors; real estate developers; and companies seeking capital for development projects.
12. ABIL Webinar Series: U.S. Investment Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Nationals - The intended audience includes individual investors; potential and actual EB-5 regional centers; attorneys and advisors; real estate developers; and companies seeking capital for development projects.
13. ABIL Global: Changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program - Much-anticipated changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program took effect on April 1, 2011, including new safeguards to better protect temporary foreign workers and improvements to the program.
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. USCIS Announces Cap Count
 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that as of May 20, 2011, approximately 12,300 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. Additionally, USCIS receipted 8,500 H-1B petitions for workers with advanced degrees. The announcement is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=4b7cdd1d5fd37210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=73566811264a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD.
 
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2. USCIS Proposes EB-5 Changes; Accepting Comments Until June 17
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed significant changes to the administration of the EB-5 immigrant investor program's intake and review process. USCIS will accept comments until June 17, 2011, via e-mail to opefeedback@uscis.dhs.gov.

USCIS is proposing three fundamental changes to the way it processes certain regional center filings. First, USCIS proposes to accelerate its processing of applications for "job-creating projects that are fully developed and ready to be implemented." USCIS will also give these EB-5 applicants and petitioners the option to request Premium Processing Service, which guarantees processing within 15 calendar days for an additional fee.

Second, USCIS proposes the creation of new specialized intake teams with expertise in economic analysis and the EB-5 program requirements. EB-5 regional center applicants will be able to communicate directly with the specialized intake teams via e-mail to streamline the resolution of issues and address questions or needs related to their applications.

Third, USCIS proposes to convene an expert Decision Board to render decisions regarding EB-5 regional center applications. The Decision Board will be composed of an economist and adjudicators and will be supported by legal counsel.

This proposal will be online until June 17, 2011, for public comment—providing stakeholders an opportunity to offer feedback on the proposed changes to the administration of the EB-5 Program.

USCIS's announcement is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=a4b57b52e5800310VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD.  The proposal is available at http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Outreach/Feedback%20Opportunities/Operartional%20Proposals%20for%20Comment/EB-5-Proposal-18May11.pdf.  For more information on how to submit comments, see http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=f19102992a2ac210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=f19102992a2ac210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD.

 
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3. USCIS Launches 'I-9 Central' Online
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched "I-9 Central," a new online resource center dedicated to the most frequently accessed form on USCIS.gov: Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification. The website provides employers and employees access to resources, tips, and guidance on completing the I-9 and understanding the I-9 process.

I-9 Central includes sections on employer and employee rights and responsibilities, step-by-step instructions for completing the form, and information on acceptable documents for establishing identity and employment authorization. The site also includes a discussion of common mistakes to avoid when completing the form, guidance on how to correct errors, and answers to employers' recent questions about the I-9 process.

The launch of I-9 Central follows the introduction of other USCIS employment-related resources, including E-Verify Self Check, a service launched in March that allows workers and job-seekers in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status online, and an updated "Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing Form I-9 (M-274)," published in early 2011. I-9 Central complements existing I-9 resources, including the current Form I-9 Web page and the form's instructions. USCIS also offers free webinars on completing the I-9.

I-9 Central is available at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9central. USCIS's announcement is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=738699e7c96ef210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD.

 
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4. ICE Adds 50 Degree Programs to STEM List
 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has added 50 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs to the list of those that qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. By expanding the list of STEM degrees, ICE said the Obama administration "is helping to address shortages in certain high-tech sectors of talented scientists and technology experts."

Under the OPT program, foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges and universities are able to remain in the U.S. and receive training through work experience for up to 12 months. Students who graduate with one of the newly expanded STEM degrees can remain for an additional 17 months on an OPT STEM extension. The employer must be enrolled in E-Verify.

The announcement is available at http://m.ice.gov/news/releases/1105/110512washingtondc2.htm?f=m. The expanded list of STEM-designated degrees is available at http://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/stem-list-2011.pdf.

 
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5. USCIS Fully Implements Secure Mail Initiative
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it has fully implemented the Secure Mail Initiative (SMI), which uses U.S. Postal Service (USPS) priority mail with delivery confirmation to deliver certain immigration documents.

Under a partnership between USCIS and the USPS, the SMI enables USCIS to confirm delivery of permanent resident cards and documents pertaining to travel and employment authorization. SMI provides applicants the ability to track the status of their documents with USPS tracking information, and USPS says they can expect prompt delivery. Those who receive notices of approval may contact USCIS's Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 to request tracking information for their documents. USCIS customer service representatives will provide callers with their USPS tracking number and current USPS delivery status.

USCIS said that applicants should wait at least two weeks after receiving their approval notice before calling for information regarding their cases. When requesting tracking information, callers must also provide information from the receipt notice they received when they submitted their initial application. After receiving the tracking number from the USCIS Customer Service Center, applicants may track the delivery status by visiting the USPS website at http://www.usps.com and entering the USPS tracking number into the "Track & Confirm" field.

USCIS first piloted the initiative in July 2008, delivering all re-entry permits and refugee travel documents using USPS priority mail with delivery confirmation. USCIS has also used SMI processes since July 2009 for re-mailing all permanent residence cards, as well as employment authorization and travel documents returned by USPS to USCIS as undeliverable.

USCIS's announcement is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=79ecdd8ae14af210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=68439c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD.

 
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6. Employment Second Preference Visa Cut-Off Date Advances Significantly for June
 

The previous Visa Bulletin for May 2011, from the State Department's Visa Office, noted that § 202(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prescribes rules for the use of potentially "otherwise unused" employment numbers. During May, the India employment second preference cut-off date governed the use of such numbers, because India had reached its employment second preference annual limit.

Since October 2010, the latest Visa Bulletin for June 2011 explains, there has been heavy demand by applicants "upgrading" their status from employment third to employment second preference. The rapid forward movement of the India employment second preference cut-off date in May had the potential to greatly increase such demand. Therefore, the Visa Office had delayed determination of the June cut-off dates to monitor this demand. The Visa Office has since determined that new "upgrade" demand has been minimal; this has allowed the employment second preference cut-off date governing the use of the § 202(a)(5) numbers to advance significantly for June. The same cut-off date (October 15, 2006) applies to both the China and India employment second preference in June. Other second preference categories are Current. The Visa Bulletin for June notes that all of the "otherwise unused" numbers must be provided strictly in priority date order regardless of the applicant's chargeability.

Cut-off date movement for upcoming months cannot be guaranteed, the June Visa Bulletin notes, and because of the variables involved, "no assumptions should be made until the dates are formally announced." Should there be a sudden or significant increase in India and China employment second preference demand, it may be necessary to slow, stop, or even retrogress that cut-off date as the end of fiscal year 2011 approaches.

The Visa Bulletin for June 2011 is available at http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_5452.html.

 
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7. USCIS Announces FY 2011 H-2B Cap Count
 

USCIS announced that as of May 6, 2011, it had receipted 27,173 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The count included 24,420 approved petitions and 2,753 pending.

A chart showing the updated numbers for the first half and second half of FY 2011 is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=356b6c521eb97210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=d1d333e559274210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD.

 
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8. USCIS Announces FY 2011 H-2B Cap Count
 

USCIS announced that as of May 6, 2011, it had receipted 27,173 petitions toward the 33,000 H-2B cap for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The count included 24,420 approved petitions and 2,753 pending.

A chart showing the updated numbers for the first half and second half of FY 2011 is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=356b6c521eb97210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=d1d333e559274210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD.

 
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9. EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting Announced
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Office of Public Engagement and Service Center Operations Directorate has issued a public invitation for participants to discuss the EB-5 immigrant investor program. The upcoming meeting will take place via teleconference on June 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time). The deadline to submit agenda items was May 27. The next meeting after that will take place on September 15, 2011, via teleconference and also in person in Washington, DC, and the deadline to submit agenda items for the latter meeting is August 15, 2011.

Each meeting will be an opportunity for USCIS to share information on the EB-5 program and address stakeholders’ related topics of interest. USCIS noted that there will be an open forum for questions and answers at each of these engagements, but the agency will not address case-specific inquiries.

To respond to this invitation, e-mail the Office of Public Engagement at public.engagement@dhs.gov by June 29, 2011, and reference the following in the subject line of your e-mail: "EB-5 – Phone". Include your full name and the organization you represent, if any, in the body of the e-mail.

The meeting invitation is available at http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Outreach/Upcoming%20National%20Engagements/National%20Engagement%20Pages/2011%20Events/June%202011/EB_5_Engagement_June_2011.pdf.

 
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10. EB-5 Quarterly Stakeholder Meeting Announced
 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' Office of Public Engagement and Service Center Operations Directorate has issued a public invitation for participants to discuss the EB-5 immigrant investor program. The upcoming meeting will take place via teleconference on June 30, 2011, at 1 p.m. (Eastern Time). The deadline to submit agenda items was May 27. The next meeting after that will take place on September 15, 2011, via teleconference and also in person in Washington, DC, and the deadline to submit agenda items for the latter meeting is August 15, 2011.

Each meeting will be an opportunity for USCIS to share information on the EB-5 program and address stakeholders’ related topics of interest. USCIS noted that there will be an open forum for questions and answers at each of these engagements, but the agency will not address case-specific inquiries.

To respond to this invitation, e-mail the Office of Public Engagement at public.engagement@dhs.gov by June 29, 2011, and reference the following in the subject line of your e-mail: "EB-5 – Phone". Include your full name and the organization you represent, if any, in the body of the e-mail.

The meeting invitation is available at http://www.uscis.gov/USCIS/Outreach/Upcoming%20National%20Engagements/National%20Engagement%20Pages/2011%20Events/June%202011/EB_5_Engagement_June_2011.pdf.

 
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11. ABIL Webinar Series: U.S. Investment Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Nationals
 

Many foreign entrepreneurs want to start businesses or invest in the United States. Other wealthy individuals want green cards to live in the United States, but may be hesitant because of real or perceived immigration obstacles. Real estate developers and companies seeking capital for development projects are increasingly looking for EB-5 capital from foreign investors. Several visa options exist, but each has advantages, disadvantages, and limits.

A three-part webinar series, presented by the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) and co-sponsored by Invest In the USA, the association of EB-5 regional centers, helps guide individual investors and others, as well as U.S. companies that want to attract foreign investors and wealthy individuals. The intended audience includes individual investors; potential and actual EB-5 regional centers; attorneys and advisors; real estate developers; and companies seeking capital for development projects. Each 90-minute webinar in the series explains immigration options and offers practical real-world strategies:

  • Session 1: Visa options for individual investors: E and L nonimmigrant visas; EB-5 green cards through direct investments or regional centers, was held on April 13. (A recording of the webinar is available for purchase.) Moderated by Bernard P. Wolfsdorf. Presenters: Kehrela Hodkinson, Mark Ivener, and Stephen Yale-Loehr.
  • Session 2: EB-5 regional center applications and project pre-approval petitions, to be held July 6 at 3 p.m. (ET). Moderated by Laura Danielson. Presenters: Bryan Funai, H. Ronald Klasko, and Steve Trow. 
  • Session 3: How to successfully navigate the back end of the EB-5 process for both individual investors and regional centers, to be held August 16 at 3 p.m. (ET). Moderated by Steve Clark. Presenters: H. Ronald Klasko, Robert Loughran, and Stephen Yale-Loehr.
All participants will receive a file with the PowerPoint presentation, relevant articles, and resources before each session, as well as a recording of the webinar. The cost is $89 for an individual session or $249 for all three sessions, live or recorded. To register, go to: https://securec9.ezhostingserver.com/abil-com/abil_webinar_signup.cfm. For more information, contact Lauren Anderson at lauren@abil.com or visit http://abil.com.
 
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12. ABIL Webinar Series: U.S. Investment Visas and Green Cards for Foreign Nationals
 

Many foreign entrepreneurs want to start businesses or invest in the United States. Other wealthy individuals want green cards to live in the United States, but may be hesitant because of real or perceived immigration obstacles. Real estate developers and companies seeking capital for development projects are increasingly looking for EB-5 capital from foreign investors. Several visa options exist, but each has advantages, disadvantages, and limits.

A three-part webinar series, presented by the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers (ABIL) and co-sponsored by Invest In the USA, the association of EB-5 regional centers, helps guide individual investors and others, as well as U.S. companies that want to attract foreign investors and wealthy individuals. The intended audience includes individual investors; potential and actual EB-5 regional centers; attorneys and advisors; real estate developers; and companies seeking capital for development projects. Each 90-minute webinar in the series explains immigration options and offers practical real-world strategies:

  • Session 1: Visa options for individual investors: E and L nonimmigrant visas; EB-5 green cards through direct investments or regional centers, was held on April 13. (A recording of the webinar is available for purchase.) Moderated by Bernard P. Wolfsdorf. Presenters: Kehrela Hodkinson, Mark Ivener, and Stephen Yale-Loehr.
  • Session 2: EB-5 regional center applications and project pre-approval petitions, to be held July 6 at 3 p.m. (ET). Moderated by Laura Danielson. Presenters: Bryan Funai, H. Ronald Klasko, and Steve Trow. 
  • Session 3: How to successfully navigate the back end of the EB-5 process for both individual investors and regional centers, to be held August 16 at 3 p.m. (ET). Moderated by Steve Clark. Presenters: H. Ronald Klasko, Robert Loughran, and Stephen Yale-Loehr.
All participants will receive a file with the PowerPoint presentation, relevant articles, and resources before each session, as well as a recording of the webinar. The cost is $89 for an individual session or $249 for all three sessions, live or recorded. To register, go to: https://securec9.ezhostingserver.com/abil-com/abil_webinar_signup.cfm. For more information, contact Lauren Anderson at lauren@abil.com or visit http://abil.com.
 
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13. ABIL Global: Changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program
 

On April 1, 2011, much-anticipated changes to Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program took effect. The main objectives are to introduce safeguards to better protect temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and improvements to the program to ensure that it continues to be fair to employers, and to maintain its focus on alleviating temporary labor shortages.

Genuineness of the Job Offer

Under these new rules, foreign nationals seeking to work in Canada will be better protected from exploitation through a more rigorous assessment of the genuineness of the job offer.

Four factors will be considered as part of the assessment of genuineness:

  • the employer must be actively engaged in the business;
  • the job offer is consistent with the needs of the employer;
  • the employer is able to fulfill the terms of the job offer; and
  • the employer has complied with the laws regulating employment in the province where the worker is to be employed.

In instances where a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is required, this assessment will be completed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada before the LMO is to be issued, whereas for jobs exempted from LMOs, the assessment will be completed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency, upon request for a work permit.

Two-Year Ban for Noncompliance

Officers will have the authority to undertake a "substantially the same" (STS) assessment of whether an employer has, in the last two years, provided wages, working conditions, and an occupation as promised in a past job offer.

The legislation imposes a two-year prohibition from using the TFWP for employers found to have failed an STS assessment. Unless reasonable justification is provided or corrective action is taken, employers may face:

  • the denial of work permit applications for any foreign national offered employment by that employer;
  • becoming ineligible to hire TFWs for 2 years; and
  • having their name displayed on CIC's public website.

Maximum Period of Work in Canada

Many foreign workers will be subject to a four-year "cumulative duration" limit on the length of time they may work in Canada.

However, this regulation is not retroactive in that the commencement date for this four-year period is April 1, 2011, regardless of how long the foreign worker has already been in Canada. Therefore, the earliest date that a foreign worker could reach the four-year cumulative duration is April 1, 2015.

After a TFW has reached his or her four-year cumulative duration limit, the TFW will not be granted another work permit for another four years.

The four-year limit will not apply to certain categories of TFWs, including TFWs in managerial or professional occupations, TFWs who have applied for permanent residence and have progressed to a certain specified stage in the processing, TFWs employed in Canada under an international agreement (such as the North American Free Trade Agreement), and TFWs who are exempt from the LMO process.

 
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14. New Publications and Items of Interest
 

Chamber of Commerce immigration myths and facts:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has released a pamphlet, "Immigration Myths and Facts," to refute seven of the most common myths about immigrants coming to the U.S. The myths related to the areas of jobs, wages, taxes, population, crime, integration, and welfare. The Chamber's compilation "shows that immigrants significantly benefit the U.S. economy by creating new jobs, and complementing the skills of the U.S. native workforce, with a net positive impact on wage rates overall."

The Chamber's seven myths and facts, for which statistics and examples are provided, include:

  • Myth: Every job filled by an immigrant - especially an illegal immigrant - is a job that could be filled by an unemployed American. Fact: Immigrants typically do not compete for jobs with native-born workers and immigrants create jobs as entrepreneurs, consumers, and taxpayers.
  • Myth: Immigrants drive down the wages of American workers. Fact: Immigrants give a slight boost to the wages of most Americans by increasing their productivity and stimulating investment.
  • Myth: Immigrants will "over-populate" the United States. Fact: Immigrants will replenish the U.S. labor force as the Baby Boomers retire.
  • Myth: Undocumented immigrants do not pay taxes. Fact: Undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes each year, often for benefits they will never receive.
  • Myth: Immigrants come to the United States for welfare benefits. Fact: Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal public benefit programs, and legal immigrants face stringent eligibility restrictions.
  • Myth: Today's immigrants are not assimilating into U.S. society. Fact: Today's immigrants are buying homes and becoming U.S. citizens.
  • Myth: Immigrants are more likely to commit crimes than U.S. natives. Fact: Immigration does not cause crime rates to rise and immigrants have lower incarceration rates than native-born Americans.

The announcement is available at http://www.uschamber.com/reports/immigration-myths-and-facts. The pamphlet is available at http://www.uschamber.com/sites/default/files/reports/16628_ImmigrationMythFacts_OPT.pdf.

E-Verify Spanish website launched:  U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has launched a Spanish version of its E-Verify website for employers and employees. Additional sections are planned soon. The Spanish-language site is available at http://www.dhs.gov/e-verify-espanol. The announcement is available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=04db32802cbc8210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=04db32802cbc8210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD.

 
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15. Member News
 

Steven A. Clark (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-clark.cfm?c=US) will speak on a panel, "Issues in PERM Audits," on June 16, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego, California.

Laura Danielson (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-danielson.cfm?c=US) will speak on June 15, 2011, in San Diego, California, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's Global Forum on international sponsorship issues in work permit cases.

Kehrela Hodkinson (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-hodkinson.cfm?c=US) chaired the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers' Global Mobility Seminar on May 5, 2011, and was Discussion Leader at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) Rome District conference in Frankfurt, "Immigration Issues Related to the Military" on May 13, 2011.

Ms. Hodkinson will be a moderator of the Consular Processing Roundtable at AILA's Global Mobility Action Group Forum on June 15, 2011. She also will speak on Consular Processing: Worldwide Hot Spots, and on the Department of State Open Forum on June 17, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego, California.

Mark Ivener (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-ivener.cfm?c=US) has written a new article, "Surprise Your Clients," which is available at http://www.attorneyatwork.com/articles/surprise-your-clients/.

H. Ronald Klasko (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-klasko.cfm?c=US) will speak on a panel, "Recent Developments and Strategic Considerations in Dealing With Lawful Status and Unlawful Presence," on June 16, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego, California.

Charles Kuck (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-kuck.cfm?c=US) will speak on a panel, "Beyond Litigation: Advocating for Your Client Outside the Courtroom," on June 17, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's (AILA) annual conference in San Diego, California.

Mr. Kuck has published a new article, "HB 87: The 'Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011' - Arizona-Style Legislation - What Does It Mean for You?", available at http://www.immigration.net/hb87.

FosterQuan LLP, with the assistance of the American Immigration Council (AIC), recently announced the winners of the fourth annual Austin, Texas-area "Celebrate America" Creative Writing Contest. As the first place winner, 5th-grade student Avery Oh wrote an essay that was entered into the AIC's regional competition. Winners from the latter competition are entered in the National Contest. The Austin winners were honored at a naturalization ceremony in Austin. The top three essayists met with Robert F. Loughran (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-loughran.cfm?c=US), a FosterQuan partner and ABIL member. The announcement is available at http://www.fosterquan.com/Firm/Celebrate_America_Austin_Area_Creative_Writing_Contest/winners2011/.

Sharon Mehlman will speak on a panel, "PERM Labor Certification: The Long and Winding Road to 'PERM' Residency and How to Get There," on June 18, 2011, at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego, California.

Cyrus Mehta (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-mehta.cfm?c=US) has published several new blog entries. "Immigration Lessons From the Fall of Strauss-Kahn" discusses the ramifications of recent allegations against the International Monetary Fund head from the perspective of an immigration lawyer. "Expansion of STEM Fields as an Example of Administrative Fixes for a Broken Immigration System" discusses the 17-month extension of Optional Practical Training for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) graduates, calling it "a good example of how the Administration can fix problems within our broken immigration system in the face of Congressional inaction." See http://cyrusmehta.blogspot.com/.

Mr. Mehta also recently published an article, "Why Can't a U.S. Branch of a Foreign Company Sponsor an Intracompany Transferee for a Green Card?" The article discusses the fact that although a U.S. branch of a foreign entity is authorized to sponsor an intracompany executive or manager for an L-1A nonimmigrant visa, when the same branch wishes to sponsor the individual for permanent residence through an I-140 immigrant visa petition, the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field Manual says "No." The article is available at http://www.cyrusmehta.com/news.aspx?SubIdx=GAdmin201151384130.

Angelo Paparelli (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-paparelli.cfm?c=US) has posted a new blog entry, "Face-Off: Foreign Entrepreneurs vs. the Immigration Alligators - With Obama as Referee," which discusses things President Obama could accomplish on immigration by executive action. The blog is available at http://www.nationofimmigrators.com/immigration-reform/faceoff-foreign-entrepreneurs-vs-the-immigration-alligators/index.html.

Bernard Wolfsdorf (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-wolfsdorf.cfm?c=US) will speak at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego on a panel regarding advanced E nonimmigrant investor issues on Saturday, June 18, 2011, from 1:50 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Stephen Yale-Loehr (bio: http://www.abil.com/lawyers/lawyers-loehr.cfm?c=US) will speak at the American Immigration Lawyers Association's annual conference in San Diego on a panel regarding advanced EB-5 immigrant investor issues, on Saturday, June 18, 2011, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

 
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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: https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do

Department of Labor processing times and information on backlogs: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/times.cfm

Department of State Visa Bulletin: http://travel.state.gov/visa/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html

 
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