DOS Visa Office Comments on National Visa Center Fees

Posted on April 29, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

Charlie Oppenheim of the U.S. Department of State Visa Office indicated to members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that the National Visa Center (NVC) is requesting payment of NVC fees 8-12 months in advance of the date that an applicant's priority date is expected to become current.

5th Circuit: 245(i) Does Not Waive Fraud Under 212(a)(6)

Posted on April 17, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The Fifth Circuit issued a published decision holding that a person seeking to adjust status to Permanent Resident who has committed fraud under INA § 212(a)(6) may not adjust status under § 245(i). The applicants in question were seeking to adjust status to permanent resident based on an approved employment-based petition, but had originally entered the U.S. with visas bearing other people's names. This is considered fraud under INA § 212(a)(6). Thus, while the applicants' time out of status might have been waiver under § 245(i) and an illegal entry would have been waived under § 245(i), the fraud committed when entering the U.S. is a separate matter. If the applicants had also been eligible for fraud waivers under INA § 212(i), they might have been able to adjust status in the United States.

USCIS Will Begin Adjudicating Premium Processed Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions on April 28, 2014

Posted on April 17, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

USCIS announced today that it will begin processing Cap-Subject H-1B petitions filed for premium processing on April 28, 2014.

USCIS received approx. 172,500 H-1B petitions this year

Posted on April 11, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

Today USCIS announced that it received approximately 172,500 H-1B petitions for this year's H-1B cap. There are only 20,000 slots for those who qualify for the U.S. Master's degree cap (individuals who earned a master's degree or higher in the U.S.) and there are 65,000 slots for those who meet the regular cap (those who have a bachelor's degree or the equivalent or higher). Individuals who are not selected for the 20,000 available master's cap slots become part of the pool of 65,000 petitions to be randomly selected in the regular cap.

DOS Releases May 2014 Visa Bulletin

Posted on April 09, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

The U.S. Department of State released the May 2014 Visa Bulletin. F-2A remains stuck at September 8, 2013 for most areas of the world, with Mexico slightly behind on April 15, 2012. In the Employment-based context, EB-3 and Other Workers for the Philippines has moved up a few months to November 1, 2007, and the EB-3 and Other Workers categories remain at October 1, 2012 for people of all other nationalities. EB-3 China remains ahead of EB-2 China. EB-2 India has moved up one month to November 15, 2004.

USCIS Announces H-1B Cap Has Been Reached

Posted on April 07, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that the 2015 FY Cap has been reached and it will begin its random selection process by conducting a lottery to determine which petitions will be selected for this year's H-1B cap.

Kathryn Karam on Shortage of Workers in Hotel Industry

Posted on April 02, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

Kathryn Karam is quoted in an article in the Houston Business Journal on the rapidly rising number of hotels in Houston and the lack of available workers to fill these positions.

NYT Article on California Farmers Highlights Shortcomings in Our Immigration System

Posted on April 01, 2014 by Kathryn N. Karam

On March 29th, the New York Times ran an article describing difficulties farmers in California are currently facing due to the lack of immigration options for workers needed for farming and harvesting. One of the farmers quoted in the article states that he cannot employ a steady and dependable workforce due to lack of immigration options for would-be workers. Even those who are lifelong Republicans are extremely frustrated at the impasse on immigration reform.

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