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Immigration News

USCIS "is rejecting applications to adjust status (Form I-485)" for all non-current categories under the NEW July Visa Bulletin

As a result of the State Department updating its July 2007 Visa Bulletin on July 2, 2007, declaring all Employment-based preference categories to be unavailable, the USCIS has now announced that it "is rejecting applications to adjust status (Form I-485) filed by aliens whose priority dates are not current under the revised July Visa Bulletin."  The USCIS Press Release is as follows:

State Department Announces Update to July Visa Bulletin: NO Employer Based Visa Numbers will be made available until Oct 2007

Incredibly, the U.S. Department of State has announed today, July 2, 2007, that it is updating its Visa Bulletin for July 2007.  The July Visa Bulletin was the visa bulletin which all of a sudden declared most of the Employer Based visa categories to be current.  Now, today, the State Depatment has announced that it unexpectedly used "almost 60,000 Employment numbers" in June, and as a result the State Department is changing the July numbers.  Specifically, the State Department has announced that all numbers for the Employment-based preference cases have been used up for this fiscal year (FY-2007), and that new Employment-based preference numbers will only be made available for the next fiscal year (FY-2008), beginning October 1, 2007.

This is a truly incredible turn of events:  one moment the State Department announces that most of the Employment-based preference categories will be current in July, and the next moment they announce that all of the Employment-based preference categories are unavailable in July--even before any new cases were filed in July.  In other words, this was a pure miscalculation on the part of the State Department, and was not based on any deluge of filings on July 2--since the numbers were cut off before anyone even filed in July.

Somalia and Sri Lanka: $5.215 million to be made available for urgent refugee and migration needs

According to Presidential Determination No. 2007–8 of December 14, 2006:

Pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act of 1962, as amended, 22 U.S.C. 2601(c)(1), I hereby determine that it is important to the national interest that up to $5.215 million be made available from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of meeting unexpected urgent refugee and migration needs resulting from conflicts in Somalia and Sri Lanka. These funds may be used, as appropriate, to provide contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations and, as necessary, for administrative expenses of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.

USCIS Issues Notice of Transfer of Cuban Adjustment Act Applications to the Texas Service Center

On October 20, 2006, the USCIS issued a notice regarding certain I-485, adjustment of status, applications filed under the Cuban Adjustment Act. Specifically, the USCIS advised that the National Benefits Center transferred certain Cuban Adjustment Act Applications received on or after October 1, 2006, which do not require an interview, to the Texas Service Center. The USCIS stressed: "This internal transfer of work does not alter, in any way, the existing process for filing a CAA application with USCIS. Customers will continue receiving a receipt notice for their case with a receipt number bearing an “MSC” prefix."

USCIS Announces Extension of the Returning Worker Limitation to the H-2B Numerical Limitation

On October 23, 2006, the USCIS clarified how it would be handling the “returning worker” exemption to the H-2B numerical limitation which was extended for Fiscal Year 2007 by H.R. 5122, section 1074. President Bush signed that legislation on Oct. 17, 2006. The USCIS noted that the one year exemption will remain in effect until September 30, 2007.

In signing Fence law, President Bush stressed need for new temporary worker plan to "reduce pressure on our border".

In signing the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (H.R. 6061), legislation, President Bush stressed that the fence with Mexico is at most only part of the solution to the illegal immigration problem, and that a temporary worker plan is needed to "reduce pressure on our border". President Bush stated:

DHS Announces that 24 of the 27 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries Have Met e-Passport Requirements

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 26, 2006 that 24 of the 27 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries have met the October 26, 2006 deadline by satisfying the requirement for issuing e-Passports. These requirements mandate that passports contain a contactless chip with the passport holder's biographic information and a biometric identifier (e.g., a digital photograph of the holder). DHS announced in July 2005, that passports issued by VWP countries on or after October 26, 2006, must comply with these requirements in order to be valid for entry into the United States without a visa, i.e., under the visa waiver program.

USCIS Reminds Applicants for Adjustment of Status, and other benefits, to obtain ADVANCE PAROLE Before Holiday Travel Abroad

The USCIS issued a Press Release, on October 4, 2006, reminding Applicants for Adjustment of Status, and other benefits, to obtain ADVANCE PAROLE Before Holiday Travel Abroad.

U.S. offers to take in Burundi refugees

The U.S. is offering to permanently resettle up to 10,000 refugees from a 12-year civil war in the African country of Burundi, the State Department said Tuesday.

Border 'passport cards' could cost $20

Under a new government proposal, U.S. citizens who frequently go back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico or Canada would pay $20 for a new credit card-sized travel document they could use instead of a passport.

NEW H-2B LAW signed by President Exempts individuals from H-2B Quota who already obtained an H-2B in certain past years.

On 10/17/06, President Bush signed a law (Section 1074 of H.R. 5122) which exempts individuals from the H-2B QUOTA for the 2007 fiscal year (October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007) who obtained H-2B's in certain past years. Specifically, to be exempt, individuals must have obtained an H-2B in one of the following fiscal years: 2004, 2005, or 2006. Those individuals who are exempt under this provision may be able to obtain an H-2B extension which takes effect beginning October 1, 2006.

DHS Announces 12-Month Extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nationals of Burundi until 2-NOV-2007

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a 12-month extension of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for nationals of Burundi until November 2, 2007.

DHS Announces that Additional Ports of Entry Will Use US-VISIT

Related topics:

DHS issued a notice identifying additional ports of entry that will use the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology Program (US-VISIT) for biometric screening. (71 FR 46918, 8/15/06)

Senators introduce Bill to to Grant Temporary Protected Status to Nationals of Lebanon

Senators Durbin and Sununu introduced a bill which would grant Temporary Protected Status to Nationals of Lebanon. Lebanon would be designated for TPS under INA section 244(b).

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Search for H1B Visa Employers

You can search for "H1B Visa Employers" using this database, which was compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources. This database identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas in the past, or who have at least started the process by filing for the LCA. If you find an employer you are interested in, you can then contact them to inquire as to whether they have any current job openings in your field. Please tell your friends about this valuable resource.

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"FMG Friendly" Employers

Foreign Medical Graduates ("FMGs") should be aware that there are "FMG Friendly" employers, and "FMG Unfriendly" employers. This database (compiled by Antao & Chuang, Attorneys at Law from government sources) identifies those U.S. employers who have filed for H-1B visas for foreign medical graduates in the past (or at least started the process by filing for the LCA), and who can therefore be deemed "FMG Friendly". Please tell your colleagues about this valuable resource.

Use this form to search for "FMG Friendly" employers in a given state.

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