2011

Blog Posts in 2011

  • US Deputy Secretary of State Dedicates New Consulate Compound in Mumbai, India

    On December 16, 2011, the US Deputy Secretary of State, William Burns, dedicated the new US Consulate General facility in Mumbai, India. The new consulate facility is located in the Bandra-Kurla Complex of Mumbai, and offers expanded space for consulate activities. The new facility incorporates green building techniques. The project cost $111 million, and generated jobs in both the United States ...
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  • House Votes to End Per Country Limits on Worker Visas

    On November 29, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end per-country caps on worker-based immigration visas. This decision would greatly benefit skilled Indian and Chinese workers seeking to stay in the United States as well as the high-tech companies that employ many of these workers. The legislation that passed, 289-15, is a uncommon example of bipartisan accord on immigration. This ...
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  • Original Notices Will be Sent to G-28 Attorney or Representative of Record as of November 30, 2011

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) Service Center Operations confirmed that as of November 30, 2011, both the California and Vermont service centers will once again send all original notices to the G-28 attorney or representative of record. This includes original I-797 approval notices. This change will also be implemented at the remaining service centers on or before ...
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  • H-1B Cap for FY 2012 Is Closed

    United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Service Center Operations (“USCIS”) announced that November 22, 2011 was the final recept date for new H-1B speciality occupation petitions requesting an employment start date in FY 2012. All properly completed H-1B petitions that were accepted for filing on November 22, 2011 will be included in the FY 2012 cap. There will be no lottery for ...
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  • Blanket L Visa Processing Moves to Chennai

    On November 1, 2011, the US Consulate in Chennai announced that starting December 1, 2011, Blanket L visa processing will be moved to the U.S. Consulate General in Chennai, India. The US Consulate General in Chennai will become the only acceptance center in India for all intra-company blanket L transfers. The US Embassy in New Delhi, as well as the US Consulates in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, ...
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  • U.S. Consulate, Mumbai moves to a new location

    U.S. Consulate, Mumbai’s new location at Bandra Kurla Complex will be functional from November 21, 2011. The old U.S. Consulate General office will close from November 15. 2011. There will be no visa services provided at the U.S. Consulate, Mumbai during this transition between November 15, 2011 and November 21, 2011.
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  • A Potential New Bill in the Senate: Buy a House, Get a Visa

    In response to a weakened housing market, two senators are preparing to introduce a bipartisan bill that would give foreign residents visas if they spend at least $500,000 to buy a house in the U.S. This provision is a small part of much larger immigration measures. These measures were authored by Senator Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Mike Lee (R., Utah). The purpose behind these measures is to ...
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  • New USCIS Policy Requires Original I-797 Approval Notices to be Sent Directly to Petitioner/Applicant, Not Attorney of Record, is Revoked

    Earlier in the year, USCIS notified the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that there would be a change in the processing of the I-797 approval notices and mailing of the “courtesy copy” notices. Instead of receiving the original approval notices as in past practice, the attorneys of record began to receive the “courtesy copy” of the approval notice. The petitioning company/applicant ...
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  • H-1B Cap for Fiscal Year 2012 has been reached

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced today that yesterday, November 22, 2011, was the final receipt date for new H-1B specialty occupation petitions. As of October 19, 2011, USCIS had also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the ‘advanced degree’ exemption. Click here for the complete USCIS announcement.
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  • Eligible Widow(er)s of Deceased U.S. Citizens must file I-360 Visa Petitions by October 28, 2011

    Widow(er) of a U.S. citizen who died before October 28, 2009, may be eligible to immigrate to the United States if widow(er) and deceased spouse were married for less than 2 years when spouse died and widow(er) files Form I-360 for Special immigrant classification as a widow/widower by October 28, 2011.
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  • USCIS REPORTS IT WILL CONTINUE TO OPERATE, EXCEPT E-VERIFY, IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN

    The Department of Labor (DOL) is also making plans for a potential shutdown. If there is a shutdown, DOL personnel will not be available to respond to inquires or emails. It is unclear at this point, whether iCERT/PERM will continue to function. However, because the systems required funding to run, immigration attorneys should assume they would not be available. If the iCERT/PERM programs are not ...
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  • USCIS to mail "courtesy copy" of I-797 approval notice to Attorney of Record

    USCIS has advised AILA Liaison that “courtesy copy” of all I-797 approval notices will be mailed to the attorney of record. AILA Liaison has advised USCIS of the consequences of the processing change and has urged USCIS to return to the prior notification procedure immediately.
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  • Immigrant Petition Statistics for EB-1 Alien Worker (I-140) Category

    United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its statistics for the Fiscal Year 2010-2011, relating to the immigrant classifications for alien’s with extraordinary ability, outstanding professors or researchers, and multinational executives or managers. From January 2011 to July 20, 2011, the Nebraska Service Center received 840 applications for immigrants in the classification ...
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  • DOL's Prevailing Wage Determinations Temporarily Suspended

    As of August 11, 2011, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) has temporarily suspended processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWDs). In addition, DOL is not reviewing requests for reconsideration or appeals to the Center Director. Our office has not received PWD from DOL since July 01, 2011. The NPWC is required to reissue approximately 4,000 H-2B wage ...
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  • Skilled Immigrants Encouraged to Start Companies and Create Jobs

    USCIS has joined the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to outline a series of policies, operations, and outreach efforts to help fuel the United States’ economy and stimulate investment. The goal of these initiatives is to help realize the full potential of US immigration laws in order to attract the most innovative and creative minds from around the world. Moreover, these polices ...
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