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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Current PERM Processing Times as of June 1, 2015

The US Department of Labor tags a case once it is certified, denied, withdrawn or denied or certified-expired (they expire 6 months after approval so file your I-140 within that 6 months).  Trackitt posts statistics about DOL here:  http://stats.trackitt.com/

The latest update on PERM processing time as of June 1, 2015 is as follows:


Read more . . .


Friday, March 7, 2014

House Hearing on Foreign STEM Graduates

On October 5, 2011, the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a hearing  to discuss whether the U.S. should reform its immigration policies to retain more foreign graduates of American universities’ advanced degree programs in the “STEM” fields of science, technology, engineering and math.    

Inside Higher Ed’s article, “Reverse Brain Drain,” provides coverage of the hearing:  
...foreign students are dramatically outpacing their American counterparts in the STEM fields.  In 2009, half to two-thirds of all Ph.D.s in related fields and almost half of all engineering and computer science master’s degrees awarded by American colleges were earned by foreign students...
Because only 140,000 total employment-based immigrant visas are available each year, with only 7% of that number available to each country, the United States is not absorbing these foreign graduates into its workforce.  Backlogs have grown to the point that some green card seekers could spend a lifetime waiting for permanent residency.  According to the article:


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Friday, February 28, 2014

Preparing for the Marriage-Based Green Card Interview

Congratulations! You have received a notice from the USCIS (former INS) instructing you to appear at a local US immigration office for a green card interview!   Amidst the excitement of getting your green card, you might be worried about appearing in front of immigration authorities to answer questions about your relationship.  What if you or your spouse stumble? What if one of you doesn't recall what face cream the other one likes!?!  

Beyond what you say or don't say, know that government officials will look at the unspoken and largely be able to tell if the relationship is real, and whether you are happy or unhappy with each other that day.

When you receive the interview notice, put the time and date on the calendar for yourself AND your USC spouse, because your spouse will be required to attend the interview, too.  Review all the questions and answers to the application forms I-130, I-485, G-325 and I-864 that you filed.


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Friday, February 21, 2014

EFFECTIVE 11/18/2011: U.S. Department of State halts issuance of ALL F, M, J visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

UPDATE:  F, M, J Visa Issuance Has Resumed!

"Effective immediately, in order to ensure maximum data integrity and consistency, DoS has temporarily halted the issuance of ALL F, M and J visas at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates."

"SEVP plans to circulate additional broadcast messages upon receipt of any updates or changes regarding this issue."

This message impacts anyone seeking an F-1 (academic student); M-1 (vocational student); or J-1 (exchange visitor) temporary visa from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy located outside of the United States.


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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DREAM ACT DEFERRED ACTION UPDATE; PLEASE BE CAREFUL OF POTENTIAL FRAUD BY SO-CALLED "NOTARIOS"

Immigration lawyers around the United States welcomed the Administration's recent announcement that younger immigrants may be eligible for "Deferred Action" and work authorization. The policy will grant qualified immigrants the opportunity to live free from fear of deportation and allow them to work legally. This exciting new development brings hope to immigrants and their families. It is not currently a path to a Green Card or Citizenship, nor does it grant permanent legal status to anyone. It will also not extend to family members – everyone must qualify on his or her own.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

USCIS Announces "Entrepreneurs in Residence" Initiative

Agency focuses on fully realizing the job-creating potential of current immigration law

Released October 11, 2011

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas joined the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in Pittsburgh to announce “Entrepreneurs in Residence.” This new innovative initiative will utilize industry expertise to strengthen USCIS policies and practices surrounding immigrant investors, entrepreneurs and workers with specialized skills, knowledge, or abilities. Mayorkas announced the initiative at the Jobs Council’s High Growth Entrepreneurship Listening and Action Session at AlphaLab in Pittsburgh before the Council’s quarterly meeting with President Obama.


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Thursday, October 6, 2011

2013 Green Card (Diversity Visa) Lottery Information and Link to Entry Form

The U.S. Department of State has published instructions relating to its upcoming Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery for the 2013 fiscal year. For DV-2013, natives of the following countries are not eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:

Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haita, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.


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Monday, August 29, 2011

nextgov.com: Say Goodbye to Traditional Immigration Processing Forms

In preparation for a long-delayed transition to online processing of immigration applications, the Homeland Security Department has released new rules for describing forms and filing procedures in official policies.

The 43-page federal notice published Monday instructs the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a unit of DHS, to stop typing on documents the traditional numbers and titles for various benefit claims, such as "Application for Naturalization, form N-400." Instead, to accommodate the new computerized Transformation system, USCIS policies and rules will carry more generic phrases, such as "the form designated by USCIS."


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tony and Janina To Be Reunited!

Last year, I posted a video trailer for Janina’s American Wedding, a feature length documentary that gets to the heart of the broken, red tape ridden U.S. immigration system. After 18 years in America, Tony and Janina Wasilewski’s family is torn apart when Janina is deported back to Poland, taking their 6 year old son Brian with her. Set on the backdrop of the Chicago political scene, and featuring Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez at the heart of the immigration reform movement, this film follows the Wasilewski’s 3-year struggle to be reunited, as their Senator Barack Obama rises to the Presidency. With a fresh perspective on the immigration conversation, this film tells the untold human rights story of Post-9/11, that every undocumented immigrant in America faces today, with the power to open the conversation for change.


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NYT: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

By JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS

Published: June 22, 2011 But I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out. It means rarely trusting people, even those closest to me, with who I really am. It means keeping my family photos in a shoebox rather than displaying them on shelves in my home, so friends don’t ask about them. It means reluctantly, even painfully, doing things I know are wrong and unlawful. And it has meant relying on a sort of 21st-century underground railroad of supporters, people who took an interest in my future and took risks for me.

Jose Antonio Vargas (Jose@DefineAmerican.com) is a former reporter for The Washington Post and shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. He founded Define American, which seeks to change the conversation on immigration reform.

 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Q & A: NIW [National Interest Waiver] green card petitions, legal standards and practical tips

Question: I am a PhD candidate in petroleum engineering (finished my masters in 2009) who works at a supercomputing center. I have about 16 publications including one journal article and 1 book chapter. I am either 1st or 2nd author on these. I have been a reviewer on 6 conferences. My area of research is geologic CO2 sequestration, identifying the candidate reservoirs and studying the long term effects. To a lesser extent, the research is about shale gas (but in development phase) because that's where the CO2 is going to be stored. I managed to get 6 letters from collaborators, including 2 letters from NSF program directors. I also have a national award and about 40 citations of my work.

My question to you is this: What are my odds of getting an NIW EB2 approved given my qualifications?

Answer: Hello and thank you for contacting me. Based on the information you have provided, it sounds very promising. Have you filed yet?

I would say your qualifications are good, in that USCIS should be satisfied that your past record of accomplishment will lead to tangible benefits in the US. However, with respect to the field, and whether it should be considered an area of substantial intrinsic merit and national in scope, that is more difficult to say, mainly because you have not provided as much information.

Please find below the standards for the NIW, for your reference. I would also advise that for EB-1 outstanding researcher/extraordinary ability cases and EB-2 NIW cases, presentation techniques play a large part in the process. In other words, you want to make the adjudicators job easier by presenting your evidence in a way that allows them to determine if your case is a winner within the first 5 minutes of review.


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