Last week, the Houston Business Journal reported on a growing trend of American expats returning to the Houston area to meet the demand for experienced and skilled employees in Houston’s growing energy sector. While these returning expats might be United States citizens with no immigration issues themselves, they often face challenges related to their family members.
The Office of Foreign Labor Certification released its latest statistics regarding the Permanent Labor Certification (commonly called "PERM" or "Labor Certification") Program for the Fiscal Year 2014. So far, the Department of Labor (DOL) has received 53,325 applications, a 15% increase from last year. Of the 53,325 applications received, 47,257 have been certified, 3,618 denied, and 2,981 withdrawn. Among the certified applications, the top 5 occupation categories were Computer and Mathematical (56%), Architecture and Engineering (12%), Management (8%), Business and Financial Operations (7%), and Education, Training, and Library (5%); the top 5 work site States are California (24%), Texas (10%), New York (8%), New Jersey (7%), and Washington (7%); and the top 5 countries of citizenship are India (56%), China (7%), Canada (5%), South Korea (5%), and Philippines (3%). The vast majority of Beneficiaries of certified Labor Certifications are in H-1B status (83%), with L-1s coming in second at 5%. Finally, it is worth noting that 55% of the certified PERM applications required an Advanced Degree and 38% required a Bachelor’s degree. Only 2% of these applications required less than a Bachelor’s degree. Click here for the full report.
Latest article on p. 57 of Lebanon Times magazine: Choose Your Attorney Wisely.
The Houston Business Journal reported Wednesday that large numbers of expatriates are returning to Houston due to growth in the energy sector. With many of these expats come spouses and stepchildren who will need to apply for lawful immigration status in the United States. An experienced immigration attorney can assist with these processes.
The Law Office of Kathryn N. Karam PC welcomes Jessica Chance Anselment as Marketing and Operations Specialist. She brings over four years of experience with business immigration, particularly in the oilfield services sector, to our practice.
The City Council of League City, Texas, located in the Greater Houston area, has passed an ordinance to ban processing and detaining undocumented children caught crossing the border. In recent weeks, over 50,000 undocumented children have been apprehended crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. This ordinance is reportedly an effort to prevent the resources of League City from being stretched too thinly as a result of the housing of undocumented children in the area, but some members of the city council noted that the ordinance contains measures that are illegal and therefore unenforceable.
The Department of State has released the August 2014 Visa Bulletin. Some changes include EB-3 China progressing from October 2006 to November 2008 and EB-2 India moving up to January 2009.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Law Office of Kathryn N. Karam PC! We look forward to many more good years of helping our clients with their immigration needs.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a person who was granted voluntary departure by an immigration judge and left in compliance with that order was considered to have “voluntarily deported” for purposes of a sentencing enhancement following a subsequent immigration crime conviction. In U.S. v. Murillo Acosta, individual in question pled guilty to using a fraudulent visa to enter the U.S. in violation of federal laws. The sentencing judge increased his offense level under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines by two levels. The sentencing enhancement provision used applies to an individual who is in the U.S. without authorization and “has been deported (voluntarily or involuntarily) on one or more occasions prior to the instant offense.” The issue before the Fifth Circuit was whether Murillo-Acosta’s voluntary departure constitutes a “voluntary or involuntary” deportation. In a three-page opinion, the court held that it does not matter whether a formal order of removal was issued: a voluntary departure is treated as a deportation for purposes of the sentencing guidelines.
According to the Department of State's Foreign Affairs Manual, Consulates and embassies may issue H visas to visa applicants up to 90 days before the beginning date of employment-authorized legal status. Thus, Beneficiaries of H-1B petitions who are outside the United States may now apply for H-1B visas. In the case of cap-subject H-1B petitions, H-1B employment may begin no earlier than October 1st of the year that the petition was accepted for processing.