Volume Thirteen, Number Seven
SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE is the Web’s most popular e-mail newsletter regarding U.S. immigration laws and procedures with over 60,000 subscribers located in more than 150 countries. It is written by a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 30 years of experience practicing immigration law.
Published by the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1550, Los Angeles, California, 90017. Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0.
“I have been dealing with immigration lawyers for almost a decade. This office is by far the best office I have worked with.”
- Faras Shakir, Detroit, Michigan
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TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- 1. Immigration Legislation: What Will Pass Congress in 2008?
- 2. Department of Labor Initiates Immigration Crackdown
- 3. H-1B Visa Tips – What is a Specialty Occupation?
- 4. Orphan Gets Green Card Via Private Bill: “You Tube” Video
- 5. Success Story: Helping A Client Become a U.S. Citizen
- 6. Immigration Trivia Quiz: Foreign-Born U.S. Olympians
- 7. Ask Mr. Shusterman: Reviewing a Consular Decision in Court
- 8. Official Immigration Government Processing Times
- 9. Chat Transcripts, Audios, Videos and WebCasts
- 10. Winner of July 2008 Immigration Trivia Quiz
- Asylum– The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University published a report on July 18 entitled “Updated Detailed Reports on Individual Immigration Judges”. We link to the report from both our “Asylum” page at
The report which covers the period from 2001 to 2007 reveals tremendous disparities in asylum decisions by Immigration Judges across the U.S. even controlling for the nationality of the applicants and other related factors.
The report is a useful resource for anyone undergoing removal proceedings.
- EAD for Two Years– Kudos to the USCIS. On July 11, the agency announced that the duration of initial Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for refugees would be increased from one to two years. This will allow most refugees to apply for adjustment of status to permanent residence without the necessity of having to renew their EADs. It will also free the USCIS from the unnecessary task of having to renew EADs for refugees. We link to the USCIS Press Release from our “Asylum” page at
- H-2B Cap Not Yet Reached– Temporary worker visas for the first half of fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009) have not yet reached the 33,000 cap although the number of petition submissions is accelerating. We link to the chart on the USCIS web site at
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=138b6138f898d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD (Link no longer operational.)
- Re-Entry Permits and Refugee Travel Documents– On July 8, the USCIS announced “Biometric Changes for Re-entry Permits and Refugee Travel Documents”. We link to an explanation of these changes from the USCIS website at
- Special Immigrant Visas for Certain Iraqi Nationals– Section 1244 of the Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 authorizes 5,000 special immigrant visas for Iraqi employees and contractors each year for fiscal years (FY) 2008 through 2012, as well as their spouses and children. There are no filing or biometric fees associated with these petitions.If the numerical limitation is not reached during a given fiscal year, the unused numbers will roll-over into the 5,000 authorized for the following fiscal year. If the numerical limitation for FY 2012 is not reached, any unused numbers from that year may be used in FY 2013. Numbers will not carry forward into FY 2014.On July 9, the USCIS announced procedures for processing these Iraqi nationals who worked for the U.S. government. We link to these procedures from the USCIS web site at
- USCIS Today– We link to the most recent issue (June 2008) of “USCIS Today”, the agency’s monthly newsletter, from our “USCIS” page at
- Visa Bulletin– The August Visa Bulletin contains welcome news for EB-2 applicants born in India and mainland China. The visa numbers for these categories advanced 26 months from April 1, 2004 to June 1, 2006. However, the EB-3 “other workers” category has become “unavailable” for the rest of the summer. To view the August 2008 Visa Bulletin, see our “Visa Bulletin” page at
We are a little over three months away from the Presidential and Congressional elections in November, and so far, almost no significant immigration laws have passed Congress this year.
There are dozens of bills which have been introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives and there have been numerous legislative hearings, particularly in House. See our “Immigration Legislation” page at
and our “House of Representatives” page at
If legislation is not passed this month, Congress will adjourn by Labor Day, and legislators will return to their districts to campaign for the November election.
Realistically, what positive immigration legislation can be expected to pass in August?
At a minimum, it seems likely that the “Legal Immigration Extension Act of 2008” (S.3257) which was introduced on July 11 will be enacted into law. Why? Because many of the programs contained in the bill will expire unless they are extended by Congress: the EB-5 pilot program for investors, the Conrad 30 program for physicians, the religious worker program and the “E-Verify” program. Bills to extend each of these programs (except “E-Verify”) have been passed by the House of Representatives.
There are a number of excellent bills to modify the employment-based (EB) immigration programs which have been introduced in the House of Representatives: (1) H.R. 6039 – which would exempt foreign-born STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates with advanced degrees from U.S. universities from numerical quotas for permanent residence; (2) H.R. 5921 which would eliminate per-country quotas for EB immigration; and (3) H.R. 5882 which would allow the “recapture” of unused family-based and employment-based green cards from prior years. Compete America, a coalition of employers, education institutions, and trade associations, wrote to Congress in support of these bills on July 17. See
Then, there is H.R. 5924, the Emergency Nursing Supply Relief Act, which was introduced in the House on April 29 and which was the subject of a legislative hearing on June 12. The bill would allow 20,000 registered nurses and physical therapists to obtain green cards each year. The bill now has 17 sponsors in the House.
All of the above bills would significantly improve the current immigration law and help alleviate barriers to utilizing the talents of highly-educated foreign-born workers. Whether such bills will pass both the House and the Senate during the month of August is difficult to assess.
What is certain is that there will be no Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, no DREAM Act and no AgJobs Act enacted into law this year.
We link to the complete text of each of the bills mentioned above from our “Immigration Legislation” page at
As soon as any of these bills are voted upon, we will immediately post this information on our homepage at
On a perhaps humorous side note, there is a write-in candidate who supports all of the above-mentioned pro-immigration bills mentioned above who is challenging the Senators Obama and McCain for the Presidency. See
http://www.shusterman.com/cs-08.htm (Link no longer operational.)
Immigration enforcement has replaced Comprehensive Immigration Reform as the main immigration strategy of the Bush Administration.
Instead of the “they’re here to work so let’s start a guest worker program, make sure everyone can communicate in English, pay a fine and go to the back of the line” which was the Administration’s policy for six years, the new policy is to “secure the borders” and unleash ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on employers and their employees across the U.S.
Even when an employer (e.g., Swift) is participating in the government’s “E-Verify” program and is in total compliance with the law, they are not immune to ICE raids. And the penalty for the jailed workers is no longer just deportation, but serving hard time for “identity theft” even though the ID document in question is used only for working, not for bilking an American out of his or her credit or bank account.
Criminal prosecutions of illegal workers are at an all-time high.
Now, is Stage Two of the Administration’s strategy kicking in?
It all started on June 2 when the Employment Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would start “auditing” all PERM applications submitted by the largest immigration law firm in the U.S. Here is a quote from the press release:
“The department’s decision to further investigate these applications will help ensure the integrity of the permanent labor certification process and ultimately protect job opportunities for American workers,” said Gregory F. Jacob, solicitor of labor. “The department takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that American workers have access to jobs they are qualified and willing to do and that their wages and working conditions are not adversely affected by the hiring of foreign workers.”
Two days later, the DOL followed up with an “Information Paper” which posed and answered the following four answers:
- Why are we doing this?
- What incident/incidents prompted this audit?
- How unusual is this type of audit?
- Are the audits a form of punishment?
The government’s answer to question #2 sums up the DOL’s concerns:
“The Department identified information indicating that in at least some cases the firm may have improperly instructed clients who filed permanent labor certification applications to contact their attorney before hiring apparently qualified U.S. workers. Specifically, several recruitment forms drafted by some Fragomen attorneys instructed their clients that “After interview, should any of the applicants appear to be qualified for the position, please contact a Fragomen attorney immediately to further discuss the candidate’s background as it relates to the requirements stated for said position,” or some variation thereof.”
The next day, the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association (AILA) wrote to DOL protesting their view that something was amiss in the way that the law firm was advising its clients. We quote from the AILA letter to the DOL Secretary:
“An intrinsic part of the right to counsel is the right to receive advice on the application of the law to specific facts. DOL cannot change this right to counsel, ingrained through decades of practice in the presence of the same regulatory language, via press release.”
On June 26, the Fragomen law firm posted “Update on DOL Audits” on their web site. Below is an excerpt from this statement:
“Apparently, the DOL interest was triggered during routine PERM audits, where Fragomen submitted a template form used by some of our offices to assist clients in complying with PERM processing. DOL noticed the form contained a legend advising clients to contact the firm if a U.S. worker applicant appeared potentially qualified. DOL reasoned that this rather innocuous advice suggested that lawyers may have dissuaded client companies from actually hiring U.S. worker applicants that the company determined were qualified during the PERM labor market test, and who, but for the lawyer’s intervention, would have received a job offer. In the press release and subsequent communication, DOL announced a new interpretation of the regulations that restricts an attorney’s ability to give advice concerning specific candidates’ resumes.”
Then, on July 8, the DOL issued two more press releases regarding another immigration law firm and an employer.
The DOL announced that
“The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that it has begun placing pending permanent labor certification applications filed by the Cohen & Grigsby law firm into department supervised recruitment. Supervised recruitment requires the employer to receive advance approval from the department for all recruitment efforts to ensure that U.S. workers are fully considered for available positions.”
and, by way of explanation,
“Last year, the department began auditing applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby as a result of information indicating the firm may have improperly advised its clients regarding the recruitment of U.S. workers. Because of concerns identified in the audits, the department is requiring supervised recruitment for certain applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby.”
We assume that the original audits started after the DOL viewed the “infamous” video which is posted on “You Tube” at
In a second press release issued on the same day, the government announced that
“The U.S. Department of Labor today announced that it has formally debarred LawLogix Group Inc. from filing applications for permanent labor certification. The debarment will be in effect for three years. The department has determined that the San Francisco, Calif.- based company willfully has provided false or inaccurate information when applying for permanent labor certifications, and engaged in a pattern or practice of failing to comply with the terms of the application, ETA Form 9089.”
What does this increased enforcement activity on the part of the DOL mean?
At the very least, it seems to signal that the years of quick PERM approvals (2005-08) may be coming to an end. At the annual AILA conference in Vancouver in June, the new DOL audits were the Number One subject of conversation (and consternation) among many of the thousands of immigration attorneys present.
While we are not yet ready to draw any conclusions from these new enforcement efforts by the DOL, we will continue to keep you up-to-date from our “PERM” page at
One of the most common work visas sought after by foreign nationals seeking to live and work temporarily in the United States is the H-1B visa. In order to qualify for H-1B status, an alien must have an offer of employment in a “specialty occupation” from a U.S. Employer.
For the latest information on H-1B issues, see
So what is a “specialty occupation”?
According to the Code of Federal Regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(ii), the definition of “specialty occupation” involves a two-pronged test where both prongs must be satisfied.
A Specialty Occupation is defined as “an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge in fields of human endeavor including, but not limited to, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts, and which requires the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”
Most H-1B petitions are filed on behalf of foreign nationals seeking authorization to work in a professional capacity. A professional position does not necessarily qualify as a specialty occupation. While generally, the term “professional” includes jobs that also qualify as H-1B specialty occupations, there is a subtle distinction between the two terms. While most traditional professions (e.g. doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers) typically require at least a bachelor’s degree or higher (Master’s/PhD, etc.) in a specific field of study and the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, some highly compensated professional, managerial, or executive positions may not necessarily qualify as specialty occupations, as these jobs may not require a specific academic background or the practical application of “a body of highly specialized knowledge” as a minimum entry into the field.
When a US employer files an H-1B petition, it should include evidence that the job offered meets the two-pronged requirement for a specialty occupation. The petitioner (employer) should include a detailed support letter that allows the USCIS to easily identify the elements necessary to establish the job offered is a specialty occupation. A good description of the offered job should:
- characterize the job, in general, as a specialty occupation;
- illustrate that by outlining specific job duties that entail the application of a body of highly specialized knowledge”; and
- conclude with the fact that such sophisticated knowledge and ability could only be gained through attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, in a related field.
A helpful tool in determining whether a particular job typically requires a Bachelor’s degree and or experience is the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). The O*NET is a database of occupational requirements and worker attributes. It describes occupations in terms of the skills and knowledge required, how the work is performed, and typical work settings. The O*NET is the database used most often by the United States Department of Labor in determining prevailing wages and is accessible to the public online. See
We will examine the O*NET and explain more about the methodology of determining industry standard minimum requirements as it relates to the government’s determination of whether a job qualifies as a specialty occupation in future articles.
While the petitioner must also provide evidence that the beneficiary (the foreign national for whom H-1B status is sought) meets the qualifications for the job offered, to establish that the job offered is a specialty occupation, the petitioner’s H-1B support letter should detail the minimum education and/or experience required for the job offered, not just the academic and professional background of the beneficiary.
When sponsoring a highly sought after individual for H-1B status, many petitioners will be tempted to include a great deal of detail about the exemplary qualifications of the beneficiary for whom the H-1B petition is being filed. However, please note that regardless of the beneficiary’s credentials and his or her qualifications for the job, if the job offered does not meet the two-prong test for a specialty occupation, he or she may not qualify for temporary nonimmigrant H-1B status.
For more helpful tips on the type of information the petitioner should include in the H-1B support letter, see
On July 23, we added our second video to our “You Tube” page at
The subject of this video is a 16-year-old orphan from Canada. After the untimely death of his mother, his grandmother flew up to Canada where a Judge granted her the guardianship of her grandson.
She dutifully displayed the order to the INS officer at the airport who informed her that in his opinion, “it wasn’t worth the paper that it was written on.” Though he was doubtlessly correct from the standpoint of the U.S. immigration laws, it was a tactless comment since the grandson was standing next to his mother’s coffin.
However, the officer’s supervisor took a more sympathetic view and permitted the young man, Guy Taylor, to enter the U.S. on the condition that he report to his local INS office.
Guy’s grandmother took a proactive role, and her grandson’s dilemma was featured in a local newspaper. The reporter called me to ask my opinion of the case, and I replied that I did not want to contradict anything that Guy’s attorney, who I assumed knew far more about the case than I did, had said. The reporter informed me that the family lacked the money to pay an attorney and that all of Guy’s relatives resided in the U.S. and that the boy would be placed in foster care if he returned to Canada.
He had the family call me, and I became their lawyer. The problem was that Guy was too old to be adopted for immigration purposes and that he didn’t qualify for either a temporary visa or a green card.
Fortunately, I was able to persuade the INS officer in Los Angeles to grant Guy a one-year parole. We had a press conference in my office. Mike Downey, a columnist at the Los Angeles Times, wrote a nice piece about Guy and the rest of the media were also sympathetic.
Mike gave me his card, and asked me to contact him if anything significant happened to Guy. I wrote to Mike every couple of weeks for the next six months: “Guy enrolled in a local high school.” “Guy got a job delivering pizza.” And finally, “Guy signed up to join the U.S. Army, but the recruiting officer told him to come back when he received his green card.”
The last item got Mike’s attention, and prompted him to write an article entitled “One Last Hope for Teenager Who Deserves a Break”. See
This article got the attention of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). She introduced S. 2000, a private bill to get Guy a green card. See her press release at
http://feinstein.senate.gov/releases00/guy_taylor.html (Link no longer operational.)
Although the passage rate for private immigration bills is only about five percent, the President signed this private bill and Guy got his green card. See
Did Guy ever join the Army? Watch the video and find out.
We welcome your comments!
Do you think all your immigration problems are solved once you get a green card? Better think again!
Generally, one must be a US permanent resident for five years before being eligible to naturalize. However, a USCIS naturalization application can be made after three years if the green card holder has been married to a U.S. citizen for three years and is residing together with his/her U.S. citizen spouse.
Additional information pertaining to obtaining citizenship can be obtained from our “Citizenship” page at
The problem with Alex’s case was that he had once been charged with assault on a female. As far as Alex was concerned, the matter would not affect his USCIS naturalization application. After all, he had pled not guilty, and he was not convicted of a criminal offense. Nonetheless, he had to pay a small fine.
At his naturalization interview, the examiner questioned him about the charges and Alex provided the government with all the information that was requested. When the interview ended, Alex thought that everything was fine.
However, after waiting in vain for over two years following the naturalization interview, Alex realized that he needed legal assistance. He decided to schedule a telephonic consultation with me. Alex resides half-way across the U.S. from our offices. This is not unusual since most of our clients live outside of California. I know a little something about naturalization having served as a Naturalization INS Attorney for a few years in the late 1970s.
My associate, Amy Prokop, and I initially thought that the best course of action would be to file a Petition for a Hearing on Alex’s delayed USCIS naturalization application in the United States District Court where he resides. Once 120 days have elapsed following a person’s naturalization interview, it is possible to have a Federal Judge assume jurisdiction over the pending case. Further information regarding U.S. District Court litigation in naturalization cases can be found on our “Citizenship” page at
However, before we could submit a Petition on his behalf, Alex received a denial of his USCIS naturalization application. Worse yet, the USCIS issued a Notice to Appear (NTA) in removal proceedings, charging Alex with being deportable for a domestic violence conviction.
Under the US immigration law, any person who, at any time after admission, is convicted of a crime of domestic violence is deportable under Section 237(a) (2) (E) (i) of Immigration Nationality Act. This meant that instead of worrying about when he would become a citizen, Alex was suddenly facing deportation from the U.S. The complete text of the Section 237 which deals with deportable offences can be accessed from our “Immigration Legislation” page at
Alex was in big trouble, and we knew that quick action was necessary. We immediately contacted the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Chief Counsel’s office and presented a detailed argument showing that the USCIS had misinterpreted the law.
We argued that Alex did not have a conviction as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act because he pled not guilty to the charge, and the criminal Judge never entered any finding of guilt. Although he was ordered to pay a fine, that alone is insufficient to meet the law’s definition of “conviction.”
We presented alternate arguments to show that even if Alex had been convicted of the state assault offense, this did not amount to a crime of domestic violence as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act. Our final argument was that because Alex is married to a U.S. citizen, he would be eligible to re-apply for lawful permanent residence based on this marriage.
Essentially, we provided the Chief Counsel with several reasons why removal proceedings against Alex would prove futile. The Chief Counsel’s office agreed to exercise prosecutorial discretion, and the removal proceedings against Alex were terminated.
The battle was not yet over. While we were seeking termination of the removal proceedings, we also filed an administrative appeal of the naturalization denial. It took a long while before a hearing was scheduled on the appeal. Alex requested that Attorney Prokop accompany him to his hearing even though she had to fly halfway across the country to do so. She explained to the USCIS officer that Alex did not have any conviction as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Despite USCIS’ initial reluctance, they eventually decided to grant his USCIS naturalization application.
Although he incurred additional expense to have an Los Angeles immigration attorney fly thousands of miles to accompany him to his appeal hearing, Alex has no regrets. He will soon become a U.S. citizen.
Dealing with immigration authorities without good counsel is always fraught with risk. Our advice is to seek the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney until the whole process is completed.
To read more of our Immigration Success Stories, see
Our August Immigration Trivia Quiz involves identifying immigrant athletes who have participated on the U.S. Olympic team. See
http://www.shusterman.com/olympicssr.html (Link no longer operational.)
The first person to correctly answer our quiz (and supply their biographical information) wins a free legal consultation with me before the end of August.
Generally, the decision of a consular officer to deny either an immigrant (permanent) or a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa cannot be challenged in the Federal Courts. This is known as the doctrine of “consular nonreviewability”. For this reason, we usually advise our clients to adjust their status in the U.S. rather than seek immigrant visas abroad. Persons who are denied adjustment of status may submit a motion to reopen or reconsider the decision, or if they are placed in removal proceedings, they may renew their applications before an Immigration Judge and, if necessary, have the opportunity to present their case before the Board of Immigration Appeals. Persons who elect to go abroad to obtain their immigrant visas usually have no such rights.
However, the doctrine of consular nonreviewability is not without exceptions.
Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit joined the 1st, 2nd and D.C. Circuits in holding that under the Supreme Court holding in Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753 (1972), “a U.S. citizen raising a constitutional challenge to the denial of a visa is entitled to a limited judicial inquiry regarding the reason for the decision.” Bustamente v. Mukasey, No. 06-17228 (9th Circuit, July 9, 2008).
The Court held that
“Here, Alma Bustamante asserts that she has a protected liberty interest in her marriage that gives rise to a right to constitutionally adequate procedures in the adjudication of her husband’s visa application. The Supreme Court has deemed “straightforward” the notion that “[t]he Due Process Clause provides that certain substantive rights – life, liberty, and property – cannot be deprived except pursuant to constitutionally adequate procedures.”
Ultimately, the Court dismissed Mrs. Bustamante’s appeal because the consular officer’s decision to deny her husband’s application for a visa because they had reason to consider him to be a drug trafficker was both “facially legitimate and bona fide.”
However, this holding provides a chink in the armor of the doctrine of consular nonreviewability.
For example, where a case involving the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) is pending at a U.S. Consulate abroad, and a consular officer erroneously concludes that the beneficiary of an approved petition does not qualify as a “child”, the petitioning parent may seek relief in the Federal Courts under the Due Process clause of the Constitution.
Unless the officer’s decision is “facially legitimate and bona fide”, a Federal Judge may order the officer to comply with CSPA and grant an immigrant visa to the applicant assuming he or she is otherwise qualified under the law.
This is why we are suing the Secretary of State in our CSPA lawsuit which is pending in Federal Court. See Cuellar de Osorio v. Scharfen which is posted on our “Child Status Protection Act” page at
We link to the complete text of Bustamante v. Mukasey from
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/ca9/newopinions.nsf/CEAFAB82E03EBADC88257481004ED84B/$file/0617228.pdf?openelement (Link no longer operational)
Do you have immigration questions of general interest to our readers? Send them to
email@example.com (Link no longer operational)
Each month we choose one question to answer in our newsletter. To be considered, questions should be general in nature, and should be short and to the point (no more than 20-30 words).
If your question is neither short nor general, please schedule a 30-minute legal consultation with me at
* Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
The Immigration Service (USCIS) lists its processing times for immigration petitions and applications on their web site. Most immigration applications and petitions must be submitted to one of the following USCIS Service Centers: (1) Laguna Niguel, California; (2) Lincoln, Nebraska; (3) Mesquite, Texas; and (4) St. Albans, Vermont and (5) the National Benefits Center in Missouri.
These service centers periodically issue lists of their processing times for various types of petitions and applications. We link to the latest list issued by each service center.
Warning: Processing times may appear faster on the official lists than they are in reality.
To see how fast (or slow) your service center is processing a particular type of petition or application, see our Government Processing Times Page at
Processing times at USCIS local offices may be accessed at
Administrative appeals of most types of petitions denied by the USCIS are adjudicated by the agency’s Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Washington, DC.
The AAO’s most recent published processing times (July 21, 2008) may be found at
* Department of State
The State Department web site contains a “Visa Wait List” page which permits readers to choose a particular U.S. consular post and learn how long it takes the post to process temporary, nonimmigrant visas. See
Since 1999, we have served as the official immigration experts for About.com. We have participated in dozens of free chats since then. Our chats always focus on a particular subject.
Links to the transcripts of all of our chats are posted online on our “Chat” page at
Are your eyes getting tired from reading all of our information about immigration laws and procedures? Then sit back, close your eyes, and listen to any (or all!) of the following immigration audios:
- Welcome To Our Web Site!
http://www.shusterman.com/audio/welcome.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Understanding the H-1B Cap Law: AC-21
http://www.shusterman.com/audio/h1bcapla.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Temporary Visas to Visit, Study or Work in the U.S.
http://www.shusterman.com/audio/temp.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Obtaining A Green Card To Live and Work in the U.S.
http://www.shusterman.com/audio/gc.ram (Link no longer operational)
- How to Become a Citizen of the U.S.
http://www.shusterman.com/audio/usc.ram (Link no longer operational)
National Public Radio (NPR) Audio Programs
We link to selected audio programs regarding immigration produced by National Public Radio at
See our videos and accompanying power point presentations:
- Immigration and IMGs (Kaplan Medical) at
http://www.shusterman.com/video/kaplan-img.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Immigration and Nurses (Kaplan Medical) at
http://www.shusterman.com/video/kaplan-nurses.ram (Link no longer operational)
See my testimony before the Senate Subcommittee On Immigration regarding “Immigration Policy: Urban And Rural Health Care Needs” at
http://www.shusterman.com/video/carlsenate.ram (Link no longer operational)
Read the complete transcript of my testimony at
Also, see a video and an audio of President Bush announcing his guest worker program on January 7, 2004 at
Our July 2008 Immigration Trivia Quiz was entitled “Crossing Borders through Words”. We asked our subscribers to identify the photos of authors who have written about the immigrant experience. See
http://www.shusterman.com/authors2jo.html (Link no longer operational.)
Here is the letter that we received from our winner:
Subject: Quiz Answers – Crossing Borders Through Words
- Isabelle Allende (born in Lima, Peru)
- Frank McCourt (born in Brooklyn, New York)
- Edwidge Danticat (born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
To the wonderful folks at the Shusterman law firm:
Thank you so much for all you do and for the time you take to put out your highly informative newsletter. You are by far the most trusted and comprehensive source of immigration information out there. I am deeply grateful for all of the information and guidance that I have received from you all for the last several years, as I have tried to map out a strategy to emigrate to the United States. Thank you also for the opportunity you provide for a free consult based on your quizzes. This quiz was the most fun I’ve had, as I am an avid reader and love the above-mentioned authors!
My name is Svenja.This past May, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and am preparing to take the NCLEX for licensure as a nurse. This is my second U.S. Bachelor’s Degree (I also hold a B.A. in Business/Marketing).
Currently, I am in the U.S. legally on the 1-year Optional Practical Training extension of my F-1 Student Visa. However, this expires at the beginning of next June (2009). I am desperately looking for ways to remain in the U.S. and work as a nurse. My employer might be willing to sponsor me for a green card, however, it is my understanding that even so, the process could take anywhere from 2-5 years.
Must I leave the country during this time? Or can I stay and continue to work while my paperwork is processed?
Possibly, there are other work authorization alternatives that I have not considered based on my upcoming RN status? Should there be no other realistic options, I would like to inquire about possible alternatives to remain in the States based on my previous business education / work experience. I speak fluently English, German, and basic French and have several years of business marketing experience.
I have attached a copy of my resume for additional information.
Again, thank you for all that you do and I look forward to speaking with you.
Svenja, I enjoyed speaking with you, and I trust that I answered all of your questions, and provided you with useful advice about your immigration future.
Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California
Former U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association (1988-97)
Phone: (213) 623-4592 Fax: (213) 623-3720
Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, California 90017
“Many of those in immigration custody are there for minor administrative and paperwork related mistakes or because they have sought political asylum under the law. Their detention should not be a death sentence.”
– Representative Zoe Lofgren Chairwoman of the House Immigration Subcommittee July 3, 2008
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July 27, 2008