Friday, September 24, 2010

USCIS Fee Increase Coming Soon

Yesterday USCIS announced a final rule raising the filing fees for most immigration benefits.  The final rule, which will go into effect on November 23, 2010, will increase by about 10%.  By way of example, the I-129 used for H-1B visas will increase from $320 to $325 and the premium processing fee will increase from $1,000 to $1,225.  The rule does not increase the fee for naturalization applications.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FY 2011 H-1B Cap Count Tracks the Sluggish Economy

As of 9/17/2010, approximately 38,300 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted, and 14,000 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees were receipted.  This slow creep toward the cap stands in stark contrast to FY 2008 and 2007 when the H-1Bs were gone within 24 hours of the April 1 opening date.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why We Need The DREAM Act Now

Next week the Senate will once again consider passage of the DREAM Act.  For an interesting look at why it's important that this legislation finally be passed, please see my article published by ILW.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Huge Jump In October 2010 Visa Bulletin

The Department of State's October 2010 Visa Bulletin shows a huge jump forward for Family Preference 2A.  Family Preference 2A is applicable to family-based petitions filed by lawful permanent residents on behalf of their spouses and children (under 21).  All of these cases, regardless of the country of origin, are now current. It is important to remember however, that unlike the spouses of U.S. citizens, the spouses of lawful permanent residents  must be in valid status or "245i protected."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FY 2011 H-1B Count

Once again, the sluggish economy can be seen in the H-1B usage numbers.  As of 9/3/2010, USCIS announced that approximately 36,600 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted.  It has also receipted 13,400 for aliens with advanced degrees.  This stands in stark contrast to economically strong years when the H-1B cap was reached within 24 hours of the April 1 opening.