US Immigration News 

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September 17, 2006
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Premium Processing Expanded to Certain EB-3 I-140 Petitions.

On August 28, 2006, the USCIS expanded its Premium Processing service to include EB-3 I-140 petitions for professionals and skilled workers applying for a green card.  A new Form I-907 has also been introduced.

Under the Premium Processing program, for an additional $1,000, the USCIS will adjudicate the I-140 petition in 15 days, either approving it or requesting additional information or evidence.  Up until now, Premium Processing has only been available for I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant work visas, such as  H-1B visas, L-1 visas, etc.  

Currently only EB-3 professionals and skilled workers can request Premium Processing.  EB-3 “other workers” and all other employment-based green card applicants do not qualify. 

The recent development has met with limited enthusiasm due to the onset of visa retrogression late last year and the current 4 to 5 year backlog for EB-3 processing.  In most cases, there’s little to be gained in paying the $1,000 Premium Processing fee as the I-485 Adjustment / Immigrant Visa application will still be subject to the visa retrogression delays.  

There are, however, certain applicants who will benefit from I-140 Premium Processing, such as those who are approaching their 6th year in H-1B status and want to be able to request 3-year extensions of their H-1B status (until their green card applications are approved) rather than requesting repeated 1-year extensions.  

The USCIS announcement concerning the expansion of the Premium Processing program is available on the USCIS website at:  

http://www.uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/PremProc081806NR.pdf  

If you’d like to discuss whether you can benefit from the new I-140 Premium Processing, contact us by phone at (617) 889-0215 or by e-mail at E.Weiner@immigration-aux-usa.com for an initial assessment.

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January 4, 2006
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Most Recent Cap Count for H-1B Advance Degree Exemptions.

On December 30, the USCIS released the most up-to-date numbers in the cap count for H-1B Advance Degree Exemption cases.  As of December 27, 18,636 cases had been approved or were being processed, leaving only 1,364 visas for the FY-2006 quota of 20,000 H-1B Advance Degree cases.  

When the USCIS last released figures on December 15, 17,436 cases had been processed.  At this rate, it’s likely that all of the visas will be used by next month at the latest.  

For more information on H-1B Advance Degree Exemption cases, see our news item from December 22.

 
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January 2, 2006
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New, Live Chat Service Starts on Tuesday, January 3, 2006.

In response to the popularity of our monthly chats, we’re pleased to announce the launching of our new, Live Chat Service on Tuesday, January 3.  

The service will be available daily (Monday through Friday) and will be accessible directly through the homepage of our website at http://www.immigration-aux-usa.com/.  To access it, you simply need to click on this blue box down below or at the bottom of the homepage:  

Live chat by AliveChat

When we are online there will be a green light in the box to indicate so.  To start chatting with us, click on the box to open a dialog box.  You’ll then be asked to enter your name and your question. Press the “Submit” button to start the chat. 

If no one is available to chat with you, you’ll be able to send us a message by e-mail.  

We’re offering this new, free Chat Service as part of our commitment to make our services more accessible to you. 

No matter where you are in the world – and our clients are located all around the world, from Australia and Southeast Asia to Africa, Europe, and the Americas – all you’ll need to contact us is an Internet connection.  

You’ll no longer have to pay expensive phone fees to get top quality, live immigration advice.   With the proliferation of non-legal Internet sites providing outdated and incorrect immigration information, it’s comforting to know that you always have a direct line to Attorney Weiner and his staff  to obtain qualified immigration advice.    

We look forward to chatting with you in 2006!  

 

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December 22, 2005
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Most Recent Cap Count for H-1B Advance Degree Exemptions.

On December 15, the USCIS released the latest numbers in the cap count for H-1B Advance Degree Exemption cases.  These H-1B visas are available to individuals who have received a master’s degree or higher from a US university.  

As of December 9, there were 17,436 cases counted against the FY-2006 quota of 20,000 for Advance Degree cases.  

These 20,000 H-1B visas are available in addition to the 65,000 “regular” H-1B visas, which require applicants to only have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.  

Once the Advance Degree quota is reached, the only new H-1B visas available before October 1, 2006 will be for individuals working for cap-exempt employers or for individuals who currently have an H-1B visa and are changing employers.  

You can follow the final count-down for the Advance Degree cases on the USCIS site at:  

http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/tempbenefits/cap.htm  

Be careful, however.  The USCIS does not update the site daily, and if things are anything like what happened for the regular H-1B cap count in August, there will be very little advance warning – perhaps even none – that the cap has been reached.  

On April 1, 2006 (in just over four months’ time!) the hunting season for the FY-2007 H-1B visas will open.  

Considering that the FY-2006 quota was reached at the beginning of August, in just over four months, it’s likely that there will be a huge rush of applications in the spring and that the FY-2007 quota could be reached as early as June or July.   

If you’re planning to file an H-1B application – either an Advance Degree case or a regular case – we’d be pleased to discuss your case with you.  

Contact us by e-mail at E.Weiner@immigration-aux-usa.com or phone to set up a consultation.  In the US you can reach us at (617) 889-0215.  You can also leave us a message at + 33 (0)6 67 88 73 85 in France.

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 Other News :

For information concerning previous years, we invite you to visit the corresponding archive page :

 
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2005 Immigration News Archive

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2004 Immigration News Archive

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2003 Immigration News Archive

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2002 Immigration News Archive

 
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Please send us an e-mail if you are looking for more specific information.

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Contact Information :

Contact Address :

Edward WEINER

Attorney at Law

P.O. BOX 6485

BOSTON, MA 02114

USA

Tel: (617) 889-0215      Fax: (630) 604-5836

Voice Mail in France : (33) 06 67 88 73 85

E-mail: E.Weiner@immigration-aux-usa.com

 

 


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