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Posts Tagged ‘immigrant

H-1B Update (Nov. 2009)

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As of November 27, 2009, approximately 58,900 H-1B cap-subject petitions had been filed. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved sufficient H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees to meet the exemption of 20,000 from the fiscal year 2010 cap. Any H-1B petitions filed on behalf of an alien with an advanced degree will now count toward the general H-1B cap of 65,000.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

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Written by MithrasLaw

December 1, 2009 at 4:17 pm

AAO Processing Times as of November 1, 2009

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Case Type Time
I – 129F Petition for Fiancée 2 Months*
I – 129 H1B Nonimmigrant Specialty Occupation Worker 13 Months
I – 129 H2 Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker 6 Months*
I – 129 H3 Temporary Nonimmigrant Worker 6 Months*
I – 129 L Nonimmigrant Intracompany Transferee 8 Months
I – 129 O Nonimmigrant Extraordinary Ability Worker 2 Months*
I – 129 P1, P2, P3 Athletes, Artists and Entertainers 6 Months*
I – 129 Q Cultural Exchange Visitor 6 Months*
I – 129 R N/I Religious Worker 5 Months*
I – 131 Application for Travel Document 3 Months*
I – 140 EB1 (A) ‐ Alien with Extraordinary Ability 5 Months
I – 140 EB1 (B) ‐ Outstanding Professor or Researcher 5 Months*
I – 140 EB1 (C) ‐ Multinational Manager or Executive 10 Months
I – 140 EB2 (D) – Advanced Degree Professional 27 Months
I – 140 EB2 (I) – National Interest Waiver 6 Months*
I – 140 EB3 (E) – Skilled or Professional Worker 23 Months
I – 140 EB3 (G) – Other Worker 22 Months
I – 212 Application to Reapply for Admission 2 Months*
I – 360 EB4 Petition for Religious Worker 5 Months*
I – 360 C Special Immigrant Juvenile 2 Months*
I – 360 VAWA Violence Against Women Act Petition 4 Months*
I – 485 Cuban Adjustment Act Application 5 Months*
I – 485 LIFE Act Adjustment Application 6 Months*
I – 485 Section 13 Adjustment Application 4 Months*
I – 526 EB5 Alien Entrepreneur 5 Months*
I – 600 Petition for Orphan 2 Months*
I – 601 Application for Waiver of Inadmissibility 26 Months
I – 612 Application for 212(e) Waiver 2 Months*
I – 687 Legalization Application for Temporary Residence 18 Months
I – 690 Legalization/SAW – Waive Grounds of Excludability 2 Months*
I – 698 Legalization Adjustment Application 2 Months*
I – 700 Special Agricultural Worker 2 Months*
I – 821 Temporary Protected Status 4 Months*
I – 905 Application to Issue Cert for Health Care Workers 2 Months*
I – 914 Application for T Nonimmigrant Status 2 Months*
I – 918 Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status 2 Months*
N – 470 Application to Preserve Residence 4 Months*
N – 565 Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Doc 4 Months*
N – 600 Certificate of Citizenship 4 Months*
N – 643 Certificate of Citizenship for Adopted Child 2 Months*


* Within current USCIS processing time goal of six months or less

Written by MithrasLaw

November 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Having a Criminal Record Can Affect Your Immigration Status

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If you are not a US Citizen and have a criminal record of any sort, it has become increasingly important to know and understand the immigration consequences on your immigration status.

This article explores how having any contact with the criminal justice system can affect a non-US citizen’s immigration status. A non-US citizen includes non-immigrant visa holders as well as green-card holders.

Firstly, it must be understood that being convicted is defined differently for immigration purposes than under state criminal law.

A person is considered to have been convicted if a court has adjudicated him or her guilty or entered a formal judgment of guilt against him or her. Also, a person is considered convicted for immigration purposes even if the court has withheld adjudication on the basis that (1) the person was found guilty or entered a guilty plea or nolo contendere and (2) the judge ordered some form of restraint or punishment on the person’s liberty.

Secondly, convictions for minor offenses or misdemeanors, or a sentence to only probation, or court supervision, or for that matter very old convictions, can have an impact on your immigration status. The different outcomes vary from:
1. Having your application for lawful permanent residence or naturalization denied;
2. Being placed in deportation proceedings;
3. Being put in detention while removing proceedings are ongoing;
4. Deportation to your home country;
5. Being barred from returning to the United States for certain number of years, or permanently.

Under federal immigration law, crimes of moral turpitude are crimes that shock the public conscious or involve fraud as an element. If a non U.S. citizen is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude s/he may be deported. Crimes of moral turpitude include theft, transporting or receiving stolen goods, embezzlement, fraud, adultery, assault, bigamy, kidnapping, rape, murder, etc, and even charges that may appear seemingly minor such as shop lifting, can trigger deportation proceedings.

Reproduced from e-Sandesh where the article written by our attorney , Hanishi T. Ali, was orignally published: http://iswonline.org/iswSite2/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=212:criminal-record-can-affect-immigration-status&catid=95:community-orgs&Itemid=200

Written by MithrasLaw

November 2, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Does the U.S. need an exit monitoring system for visitors?

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The arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19-year-old Jordinaian who was accused of plotting to blow up Dallas skyscrapers has drawn attention from both parties of Congress that the U.S does not have an efficient system in place to trace foreign visitors on expired visas and that the US needs a universal electronic exit monitoring system. Mr. Smadi is a most recent example of a visitoir who entered the country legally but overstayed his visa.

It is estimated that about 40 percent of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States came on legal visas and overstayed their visas. In FY ’09, of the 39 million temporary foreign visitors that were admitted in to the US, it is estimated that approximately 200,000 may have overstayed their visas and remained in the US.

Although the Department of Homeland Security officials express concern that the an universal exit control system can be an expensive and daunting option with more than one million crossings a day, it is one of the few ways to assure a systematic follow up that the visitors have departed and not overstayed their visas.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has indicated he would attempt to apply federal stimulus funding to the building of an exit monitoring system.

Written by MithrasLaw

October 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm

FY 2010 H-1B Update (October 1, 2009)

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services  (USCIS ) in its most recent updated count as of October 1, 2009, stated that as of September 25, 2009, approximately 46,700 H-1B cap-subject petitions and approximately 20,000 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption had been filed.

USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

Written by MithrasLaw

October 5, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Obtaining Lawful Permanent Residence by Adjustment of Status

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As an extension to our article on applying for a green card for your parents or other immediate relatives, this article discusses the ways to obtain lawful permanent residence through a family based petition.

The two alternate ways in a family based petition to obtain lawful permanent resident status are: (i) consular processing which usually takes place in the intending immigrant’s country of residence and (ii) adjustment of status which is processed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States.

Adjustment of status essentially is a provision in the immigration law that allows certain persons to obtain a green-card or a lawful permanent status while being in the United States and without having to go abroad to the consular office in their home country to apply for an immigrant visa.

Adjustment of status applications must be filed when the applicant is in the US and with the USCIS.  Generally, a foreign national applying for a green card as an immediate relative or through a family based preference categories qualifies for an adjustment of status process.  A major advantage for immediate relatives is that an adjustment of status can be filed concurrently with the petition for a green card so that the immediate relative(s) are able to adjust as soon as their green card petitions are approved.

One can apply for an adjustment of status so long as:
• S/he entered the United States legally on a valid visa and were inspected and admitted or paroled.
• Never worked in the United States without valid work authorization. This means never having worked illegally.
• Was in a lawful non-immigrant status at all times when in the United States (there are certain exceptions to this requirement) . This means that the applicant has not overstayed the period of time stamped on his or her I-94.
• Were not a non-immigrant admitted without a visa under the visa waiver program (with certain exceptions).
• Were not admitted on a K visa – unless adjusting based on marriage (must occur within 90 days of entering the United States) to the US citizen spouse who filed the non-immigrant visa petition.
• S/he is not in removal proceedings.

Our office generally recommends adjustment of status where possible as opposed to consular processing since:
• The applicant does not have to return to his/her home country.
• Typically time required for obtaining a green-card is shorter through the adjustment of status route.
• Applicant is eligible to obtain employment authorization.
• Applicant has access to administrative and judicial appeal if his/her application is denied.

Written by MithrasLaw

September 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

H-1B September 2009 Update

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In the H-1B count released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) the H-1B cap subject petitions count was 46,000 as of September 18, 2009 and approximately 20,000 petitions qualifying for the advanced degree cap exemption had been filed. USCIS will continue to accept both cap-subject petitions and advanced degree petitions until a sufficient number of H-1B petitions have been received to reach the statutory limits, taking into account the fact that some of these petitions may be denied, revoked, or withdrawn.

USCIS has warned that it will deny or revoke all petitions filed by an employer for the same H-1B worker if more than one filing was discovered.  So, if multiple petitions are discovered by the USCIS, it will retain all fees and either deny the petitions or, if the petition was approved, USCIS has the right to revoke the petition.

Written by MithrasLaw

September 25, 2009 at 2:52 pm

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