Volume Eleven, Number Ten
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Newsletter US Immigration Update November 2006
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. November Visa Bulletin – Singing the Retrogression Blues
2. Congress Debated Immigration Reform for 2 Years, and All We Got Was A Lousy Fence Bill?
3. Act Now to Persuade Congress to End the H-1B Blackout
4. Success Story: Fixing a Poorly-Handled Immigration Case
5. Immigration Trivia Quiz: The New Gods of IT
6. Ten Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Legal Consultation
7. Official Immigration Government Processing Times
8. Schedule of Upcoming Immigration Law Seminars
9. Chat Schedule, Transcripts, Audios & Videos
10. Winner of the October 2006 Immigration Trivia Quiz
- H-1B Visas– Going, Going, but Not Quite Gone! Wait, weren’t the 65,000 H-1B visas all used up last May 26? Yes and no. Under the 65,000 cap, 6,800 H-1B petitions are reserved for citizens of Singapore and Chile under Free Trade Agreements that the U.S. has with these two countries. So, when the CIS announced on May 26 that the H-1B cap had been reached, they meant that 58,200 (65,000 minus 6,800) H-1B petitions subject to the cap had been approved.Recently, the CIS revealed that citizens of Singapore and Chile had used 6,711 of their 6,800 H-1B visas leaving 89 extra H-1B numbers subject to the cap to be randomly given to employers who submitted approvable H-1B petitions by May 26. The “Lucky 89” and their attorneys will be notified by mail, and should respond to the CIS no later than November 14, 2006. Among other things, the letter will include instructions as to where to submit the required filing fees.Those who fail to respond by November 14 will be contacted by the Vermont Service Center by e-mail or by phone to determine whether they are interested in pursuing their petitions.Our use of the term “Lucky 89” refers to the total numbers of H-1B’s subject to the cap which are available. It is possible, although highly unlikely, that the 89 beneficiaries may all have been petitioned by a single employer. It is much more probable, however, that less than 89 employers will be notified since some may have petitioned for two or more qualifying beneficiaries.
- Immigration Policy Debate– On October 19, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and the Federalist Society sponsored a debate entitled “Fixing a Broken Immigration System” between Margaret Stock, Esq. and Michael Cutler. We link to a video of the debate from our “Audios, Videos and WebCasts” page at
- Immigration Statistics– The Migration Policy Institute reports that legal immigration to the U.S. increased substantially in FY2005. Legal permanent residence increased by 17% from a year before. Naturalization increased 14%. Read their nine-page report at
- Lottery Spam– Have you received an e-mail message informing you that you have won the Visa Lottery and asking for money? It’s a fake! How do we know? Simple. The State Department will notify winners in May through July 2007 by regular mail, not by e-mail. And these letters will NOT ask for money.By the way, if you have not yet applied for this year’s Visa Lottery, you may do so online, without an attorney, from our “Lottery” page at
- Naturalization Fraud? – Our October 2006 newsletter contained a News Flash regarding the CIS announcement that they had reduced their backlog of naturalization applications from 14 months in 2004 to 5 months in 2006. According to an article in the New York Times on October 23, the agency was able to achieve this result by disregarding the hundreds of thousands of pending naturalization applications currently undergoing FBI name checks. “Why should we be faulted for sitting on cases that we aren’t sitting on?” asked Emilio T. Gonzalez, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services. Mr. Gonzalez added that he plans to “significantly” increase naturalization fees which are already almost $400 per application (up from $15 when I worked as a Citizenship Attorney for the INS in the late 1970s and up from $95 in 1998). In an article which appeared in the Los Angeles Times on October 29, it was reported that the USCIS plans not only to significantly increase the application fees, but to (1) make online filing of naturalization applications mandatory; (2) impose a new and more difficult history and government test; and (3) require a 19-page preregistration form (“immigration form, big enough to keep me warm”)!
- Notarios– Persons who hire immigration “consultants” and notarios instead of attorneys experienced in immigration law are playing Russian Roulette with their futures. See
- Passports– Starting last October 26, persons traveling to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program whose passports were issued on or after that date, have to present e-passports containing a chip which contains biometric information such as their photos and signatures. Persons with passports issued prior to October 26, 2006 are allowed to use their old passports until they expire. Five years after September 11th, does this make you feel safer? Not me.For more information about the new e-passport requirement, see
- President Signs Secure Fence Act of 2006– On October 26, the President signed a bill which would authorize the construction of 700 miles of fencing along the 2,000-mile border between the U.S. and Mexico. In signing the bill, the President stated that “we must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship; that is amnesty. I oppose amnesty. There is a rational middle ground between granting an automatic pass to citizenship for every illegal immigrant and a program of mass deportation. And I look forward to working with Congress to find that middle ground.” We link to the complete text of the President’s statement and to the White House’s Fact Sheet on the new law from our “Immigration Legislation” page at
- Refugees– The State Department announced that the number of refugees which will be admitted to the U.S. in FY2007 will be 70,000. I remember meeting with the Republican Chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee in 2001, a couple of months after the Bush Administration took over the reins of government. He told me that he thought the U.S. did not let in enough refugees. At that time, the Clinton Administration admitted roughly 100,000 refugees per year. 70,000 seems like a tiny amount given the genocide currently taking place in Darfur and the killings and persecution in many other parts of the world. To read the State Department’s Proposed Refugee Admissions for FY2007, Report to Congress, see our “Asylum” page at
or our “State Department: Immigration Resources” page at
- USCIS Today– We link to the most recent issue of “USCIS Today”, CIS newsletter, from our “CIS” page at
- Visa Bulletin– To view the November 2006 Visa Bulletin, see our “Visa Bulletin” page at
For more information about the November Visa Bulletin, see the article below.
Looking at the November 2006 Visa Bulletin, it’s hard to know whether to be hopeful or pessimistic.
For the “glass half-full” crowd, there is a lot to be happy about. For Indians in the EB-2 category, the numbers advanced a full six months. In the Worldwide EB-3 category, the advance was two months. Even the EB-2 unskilled preference category moved forward four months. The only significant retrogression in the employment-based preferences occurred in the Schedule A category (primarily registered nurses and physical therapists) which retrogressed over one year.
However, looking at the Visa Bulletin on a month-by-month basis can be deceiving. It is like predicting the weather by examining it on a day-to-day basis. Because it stops raining after a storm does notindicate that the skies will continue to stay clear as we move into the winter.
The wise observer will look at the Visa Bulletin over a longer time frame. For example, compare the November 2006 Visa Bulletin with that of November 2005.
In November 2005, the worldwide EB-3 category was backlogged until March 2001, a little over 4 ½ years. In November 2006, the current priority date for worldwide EB-3 is July 1, 2002, or 4 years and 4 months. At first glance, this seems to be grounds for optimism since the waiting times are decreasing slightly.
However, this does not tell the whole story. Some of this decrease was due to a law enacted in May 2005 which “recaptured” 50,000 visa numbers for Schedule A occupations (Registered nurses, physical therapists, persons of exceptional ability and their spouses and children). However, these 50,000 visas will be completely expended during a few weeks. Schedule A professionals will once again be competing with other persons in the EB-3 category for immigrant visas. This will, no doubt, cause the EB-3 category to retrogress.
Even more troublesome are the 300,000+ labor certifications pending at the backlog elimination centers which are due to be acted upon by the Department of Labor (DOL) within the next 12 months. Labor certifications are only required for certain EB-2 and EB-3 workers. And the 300,000 backlogged applications only apply to the workers themselves. Many of these workers have spouses and children who are eligible to immigrate with them. Even if “only” 200,000 of these labor certifications are approved, the number of additional applicants, counting spouses and children, for green cards under the employment-based categories could exceed 300,000 during the coming year. And there are only 140,000 EB visas available annually.
Therefore, if you already have an EB-3 priority date, keep in mind that when DOL clears out its backlog of labor certifications, you may find that many thousands of persons with earlier priority dates than you will be cutting in line ahead of you.
30 years of practicing immigration law tells me that the EB-3 worldwide quota, absent Congressional action, may increase from a little over 4 years to over 6 years sometime before the end of 2007.
The SKIL (Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership) bill which is pending in both the Senate and House of Representatives would help to remedy this situation by (1) increasing the EB quotas; (2) by exempting some occupations from the numerical limitations; and (3) by ceasing to count spouses and children against the 140,000 annual EB cap. (There is precedent for this: Spouses and children are not counted against the H-1B cap.) To read the summary or the complete text of the SKIL bill, see our “Immigration Legislation” page at
What can you do to increase the EB and the H-1B caps?
Please read the topics #2 and #3 below.
by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, a non-profit, non-partisan pro-immigration advocacy group.
How did we get from there to here?
The past two years has witnessed an extraordinary set of developments in the U.S. immigration policy debate. It’s worth recalling some of the high and low lights…
Following his re-election, President George W. Bush makes comprehensive immigration reform a top priority for his second term. In December 2005, and in response to talk radio, talk TV, and the Minutemen, House leaders turn their backs on an increasingly unpopular President and pass the harshest immigration bill in 80 years. In the spring of 2006, millions of immigrants and their allies take to the streets in protest. In an Oval Office address, the President declares that the time has come to get control over the nation’s borders by combining tough enforcement with a realistic framework for legal immigration. In a rare display of bipartisan problem-solving, a comprehensive immigration reform bill passes the Senate that combines tough border and workplace enforcement measures with more worker and family visas and a path to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants in the U.S. In a series of independent polls, the public demands action from its leaders and declares its preference for the Senate approach. The stage is set for difficult but promising negotiations with the House.
And then, in an extraordinary display of cynical election-year calculation (miscalculation?), House leaders sidestep a conference committee with the Senate, mock the bipartisan Senate bill by labeling it the “Reid-Kennedy bill,” and take their base-turnout strategy on a summer road show of “faux hearings.” Upon returning to Washington for the last month of pre-election legislative action, the House Republican leadership pieces together a set of sweeping legislative measures straight out of their previously-passed enforcement-only bill, has them approved on the House floor (again), and attempts to impose its will on the Senate by adding them to must-pass appropriations measures.
Thanks to determined opposition from members on both sides of the aisle, cooler heads prevail and stop most of the sweeping House measures from becoming law. Senators Specter (R-PA), Gregg (R-NH), and Warner (R-VA), all of whom supported the comprehensive Senate immigration bill, refuse to yield to aggressive backroom attempts by House leaders to add the anti-immigrant bills to spending measures. Senators McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Martinez (R-FL), Hagel (R-NE), Brownback (R-KS), and Craig (R-ID) among others, continue to speak out forcefully for comprehensive reform as the only way to truly fix the problem. And just as heroically, Senators Reid (D-NV), Kennedy (D-MA), Salazar (D-CO), Feinstein (D-CA), Durbin (D-IL), Lieberman (D-CT), and Obama (D-IL), among others, maintain their steadfast support for comprehensive reform in the face of a crass pre-election attempt to paint Democrats as “soft on illegal immigration.”
This spirit of bipartisanship is mostly absent in the House, but Democratic House leaders such as Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA), Minority Whip Hoyer (D-MD), members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and many others, add their voices to those who rightly denounce the House tactics as the triumph of bad politics over good policy. Courageous Republican voices, such as Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), as well as others, bravely make the case for a comprehensive approach.
In the end, Congress appropriates more money for border security, approves a measure to make tunnel-building illegal, and in its highest profile “accomplishment,” authorizes the construction of 700 miles of fencing along our 2,000 mile border with Mexico. (In fact, Congress authorizes 700 miles of fence in the “Secure Fence Act” but only appropriates enough money for DHS to build approximately 90 miles!)
Is this the best we can do?
This is what passes for political leadership? Refuse to convene a conference committee to negotiate a far-reaching reform on a pressing policy priority? A political road show aimed at throwing red meat to a minority of voters in hopes that they get angry enough to show up in November? Playing “gotcha” politics anchored in cynical disregard for the intelligence of American voters? A fence to nowhere with funds from nowhere? Is the failure to deliver workable reform one of the reasons Congress’ approval rating is so low?
What’s next is the election. And the election results will have a considerable impact on future prospects for comprehensive immigration reform.
If House Republicans retain or expand their current majority and conclude that their hard line on immigration helped them do so, one suspects that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) will continue to be the face of the House Republican agenda on immigration issues. If House Republicans lose numerous seats or their majority, then prospects for comprehensive immigration reform will improve significantly. We believe there has been and will be a bipartisan majority for workable comprehensive reform in the House, no matter which party is in the majority. The main question is whether the leadership will allow this majority to work its will.
Whether the Senate is led by Republicans or Democrats, the upper chamber has already proven its ability to enact architecturally-sound comprehensive reform. The challenge for the Senate will be to improve on its 2006 bill so that it not only passes with strong bipartisan support, but works once implemented.
What about a lame duck session of Congress? Some proponents of comprehensive immigration reform are holding out hope that something good might happen when Congress returns the week after Election Day. We would be pleased to be proved wrong, but we are not optimistic. After all, what are the chances the House Republican leadership, after spending six months trashing comprehensive immigration reform, will come back in November and enact comprehensive immigration reform?
In fact, the more likely scenario is that House leaders will return determined to attach some or all of the sweeping enforcement-only measures rebuffed in September to must-pass appropriations measures. We hope and expect our allies in both parties and in both chambers will continue to resist this backdoor attempt to enact measures that will only serve to make our broken immigration system more dysfunctional.
We believe that the immigration debate will continue to roil American politics and American communities, and that voters will become more insistent that our leaders lead. We believe they will become more demanding that Congress and the President size up problems in their full dimensions so that our responses are realistic and workable. We believe they will intensify their call on Congress to solve complex problems like the broken immigration system with comprehensive, common-sense, bipartisan solutions—instead of the partisan polarization and paralysis we have today.
In the immigration debate, this would mean that we stop ignoring the facts of life. We can no longer ignore the fact that the U.S. economy is increasingly dependent on an increasingly integrated labor market with the world in general and Latin America in particular. We can no longer ignore the fact that 500,000 workers settle in the U.S. without legal status each year in part because there are only 5,000 visas for full-time low-skilled service workers. We can no longer ignore the fact that our family reunification system is badly backlogged and keeps spouses and children separated from loved ones for years. We can no longer ignore the fact that 20 years of enforcement-only strategies have failed to reduce illegal immigration, but have instead increased smuggling fees, the proliferation of fake documents, and the number of gruesome migrant deaths in the Arizona desert. We can no longer ignore the fact that the majority of the 12 million or so undocumented immigrants in this country work hard, live in families, and have been settled in the U.S. for years, making up 5% of the U.S. labor force and living as welcome members of many local communities.
We look forward to a continuing debate over how to reform our immigration laws so that we regain control of our borders, strengthen our economy, reunite families, level the playing field in the workplace, protect civil rights, and renew our nation’s commitment to citizenship. We sincerely believe that replacing the broken status quo with a 21st century regulatory system that works is a matter of “when,” not “if.” We are confident that the next Congress will move beyond fences and slogans to fixes and solutions.
Editor’s Note: We link to the web site of Mr. Sharry’s organization, the National Immigration Forum, from our “Immigration Reports and Organizations” page at
Congress will reconvene on November 13 for the post-election, “lame duck” session, but it remains unclear how long members will remain in DC to consider legislation. If Congress opts for an abbreviated lame duck, they could be in session for less than a week, offering a very narrow window for immigration advocates to push for H-1B and employment-based (EB) green card relief. To prepare for this possibility, immigration advocates must act now to mobilize American businesses, hospitals, and universities to demand action from their legislators
Without H-1B visas for U.S. employers to hire teachers, health care workers, scientists, computer professionals, engineers and a myriad of other professionals, the U.S. economy will suffer. Below is a sample letter from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) that you can modify and sent to your Senators and Representatives. The “me” in the following message refers to Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr whose e-mail address is
From: [template email: your name here]
Subject: H-1B/EB sign-on letter to Congress: Raise the H-1B cap and
alleviate EB green card backlogs!
bcc: [your clients’ email addresses here]
As you know, there are no normal H-1B visa numbers available for the next year, until October 1, 2007. The H-1B visa limit was filled on May 26, 2006, 16 months before the end of the next fiscal year. There are also increasing delays in obtaining employment-based (EB) green cards from some countries.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is organizing U.S. companies to ‘sign on’ to a letter that will be sent to each member of Congress urging an increase in the H-1B quota and EB numbers. I urge you to agree to sign that letter, which is pasted in below.
If your company would lend its name to the letter to Congress, chances of raising the H-1B cap back to a more rational level and of obtaining more EB green card numbers would improve. We hope to have 1,000 companies sign the letter. Please reply to me by email to let me know if your company is willing to ‘sign on’ to the letter below. You don’t need to actually sign and send the letter; just tell me you are willing to sign it. Please let me know if you are agreeing to sign on behalf of the headquarters office or your local office.
Only your company name, city and state need appear. Individual responsible persons at a company need not be named.
Thank you in advance for your help on this important issue!
[Your name here]
American Businesses Call for Relief from the H-1B Blackout and Employment-Based Green Card Backlog Crisis
The Honorable __________
United States Congress
Washington, DC ______
Re: Employment Crisis
Dear Senator/Representative ________:
We are writing to urge Congress to take immediate steps to address the crisis facing American businesses as a result of an H-1B “blackout” and serious employment-based (EB) green card backlogs. Companies seeking access to the best and brightest global talent have been confronted with an unprecedented sixteen-month restriction on access to new H-1B temporary professional employees and multi-year delays in EB green cards for permanent hires.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that the FY 2007 numerical cap limiting the H-1B program for workers was reached on May 26, 2006, four months before the start of the fiscal year. This means that U.S. companies are being denied access to topflight global talent for over 16 months, disrupting-if not destroying-crucial research and development projects in critical industries. It will also retard technological innovation and undermine our ability to create and sustain domestic employment opportunities.
A similar crisis is occurring with EB green cards. Because these visas are distributed equally among all countries, with a quota set for each country, backlogs have resulted for individuals coming from high-demand countries, even when the overall cap has not been reached and regardless of the fact that these high-demand countries are often the only source of individuals capable of filling high-skilled jobs American businesses need. Once the quota is met for nationals of a given country, only those who applied before a set cut-off date are able to get visas. The rest are forced to spend up to seven years waiting, unable to become true stakeholders in our country, putting their lives on hold in the hopes that a green card will eventually become available to them. Not surprisingly, these talented professionals often tire of waiting and leave the U.S. to put their knowledge and skills to use in other countries eager to compete with and surpass the U.S.
Every day that passes without access to these high-skilled workers is a lost opportunity for growth, productivity, and innovation. The undersigned entities thus urge swift Congressional action to provide relief from the H-1B blackout and EB backlogs. If U.S. companies do not gain immediate access to the best and brightest, our competitors on the global stage will continue to advance and America’s competitive advantage will decline.
We thank you for your attention in this urgent matter. Sincerely,
[Company name] [City] [State]
Mr. V is an accountant born in India. His former attorney applied for a labor certification for him way back in 1994. The application was approved and so was his I-140. Later, however, the INS denied his application for adjustment of status on the grounds that he lacked the Bachelor’s degree and the two years of experience as an accountant required by his employer in the labor certification. Accordingly, the INS also revoked Mr. V’s I-140.
When he came to our US immigration law firm in 2000 seeking assistance, his H-1B had expired making him out-of-status.
We obtained his file from his former attorney and discovered that the attorney had incorrectly entered his qualifications on the labor certification application; not only did he have a Bachelors Degree, but he also had more than ten years of experience as an accountant. What to do?
We immediately re-filed his I-140. This generated a Request For Evidence (RFE) from the INS requesting a copy of the certified Labor Certification from the Department of Labor.
However, because the Department of Labor only keeps files for five years, they were unable to issue a duplicate Labor Certification. Additional complications arose when we discovered that the INS was also having difficulty locating his file at National Records Center. It became clear that if Mr. V’s file was not found, he would have to begin his immigration process from the start and as a result, lose his 1994 priority date as well as his ability to adjust status under section 245(i). This would have been devastating.
Additionally, due of previous attorney’s mistake, Mr. V was unable return to India for the funeral when his son tragically died. He would have been subject to the 10 year bar if he left and tried to come back to the U.S. because he had accrued over one year of unlawful presence in the U.S.
Fortunately, we were able to get the cooperation of the right person at CIS, and Mr. V’s file was located and retrieved from the National Records Center in Missouri. Thereafter, his I-140 was approved.
We then re-filed his Form I-485.
Recently, Mr. V. obtained his green card and was able to visit his home country for the first time in 13 years.
To read more of our Immigration Success Stories, see
A legal consultation with a good-to-great immigration attorney is neither cheap nor is it lengthy. The normal length of a consultation is 30 minutes, and it can easily run you several hundred dollars.
Therefore, it is important that you take the following steps to maximize the value of your consultation, whether it is telephonic or in person:
Tip #1 – Create a Chronological Summary of Your Immigration Case
Organize your immigration paperwork in chronological order, and put a cover sheet on top to show the attorney your immigration history at a glance.
6-15-00 Entered U.S. on F-1 Student Visa
6-22-04 Graduated with B.S. in Computer Science from NYU
7-01-04 to 7-01-05 Optional Practical Training – Worked as Computer
Professional for Hi-Tech Systems – $45K/year
6-5-05 Change of Status to H-1B – Systems Analyst – Intel – $75K/yr.
1-4-06 PERM Application Filed
4-5-06 PERM Application Approved
5-1-06 I-140 Filed (Still Pending)
Want to change employers.
Tip #2 – Always show the attorney your Passports showing all your entries into the U.S., your I-94, and copies of all approvals and denials issued by the government.
Tip #3 – If you are in Removal Proceedings, make sure the attorney gets to read your Notice to Appear, the notice for your next hearing, copies of all applications for affirmative relief, approvals, denials, appeal briefs, etc.
Tip #4 – If you have ever been arrested, show the attorney a copy of the complete record (charge, plea, judgment and sentence). DON’T tell the attorney that “I was convicted of 415 P.C., spent 10 months in prison, but I didn’t really do it.”
Tip #5 – If you have been represented by other immigration attorneys in the past, provide the attorney with their names, addresses and other contact information. It is truly amazing that persons will answer questions like “Who was the attorney who submitted your H-1B?” with answers like “I think his name was “Rob” or “Bob” or something like that. He was the company’s attorney, and I really don’t remember his name.” Sometimes a person has had 3 or 4 different attorneys (usually a bad sign) and can only remember one or two of their names.
Tip #6 – Do some research on the Internet before your consultation. Don’t just call an attorney, and say, “How can you help me stay here?” Smart clients know the difference between an H-1B, an L-1A and an E-2 visa. They know what an EB-1, an EB-2 and an EB-3 are. The more you know about your immigration situation before your consultation, the better your chances of getting something positive from the consultation.
Tip #7 – Write down a list of questions in advance, and show them to the lawyer at the beginning of your consultation.
Tip #8 – Always tell your attorney the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He is trying to help you. He does not work for the Immigration Service, and is not going to turn you in even if you tell him that your stay in the U.S. is not legal. Lying to your attorney is like cheating at solitaire. You are only hurting yourself.
Tip #9 – Reveal all. This is not the time to be modest or embarrassed. If you are HIV positive, were convicted of shoplifting or your marriage is falling apart, the lawyer needs to know. Similarly, if you were nominated for a major award, earn a high salary or just returned from your honeymoon in Bora Bora, be sure to tell the attorney.
Tip #10 – These days, it is far more important to select an attorney based on his experience and expertise than it is to choose a local practitioner. Most of our clients reside in other states and we obtain temporary visas and green cards for them without ever meeting them in person. You may find yourself completing an online form in preparation for your consultation. In order to ensure that your are sending personal information over a secure connection (SSL), before completing the online questionnaire look for a small icon shaped like a pad lock. Once you have located the icon, double click to display the site’s security certificate. To ensure the validity of the certificate, make sure that the “issued to” name is the name of the company or office whose site you are visiting and that the validity date has not expired. Taking these quick and simple cautionary steps will ensure that the personal information that you are sending via the Internet is properly encrypted, and will not be available to a third party.
* Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)
The Immigration Service (CIS) 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 CIS 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 (October 17, 2006) 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
- November 2-4
American Immigration Lawyers Association
19th Annual AILA California Chapters Conference
- February 13, 2007
Los Angeles, California
Southern California Association of Health Care Recruiters
Topic: Immigration of Nurses and Allied Health Professionals
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!
https://www.shusterman.com/audio/welcome.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Understanding the H-1B Cap Law: AC-21
https://www.shusterman.com/audio/h1bcapla.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Temporary Visas to Visit, Study or Work in the U.S.
https://www.shusterman.com/audio/temp.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Obtaining A Green Card To Live and Work in the U.S.
https://www.shusterman.com/audio/gc.ram (Link no longer operational)
- How to Become a Citizen of the U.S.
https://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
https://www.shusterman.com/video/kaplan-img.ram (Link no longer operational)
- Immigration and Nurses (Kaplan Medical) at
https://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
https://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
Remember, you may need to download a free copy of RealPlayer which you can find at
in order to hear the audios or to view the videos.
Dear Mr. Shusterman,
Halloween comes from the festival of Samhain and originates from Great Britain.
The immigration event that bought Halloween to the US was the Irish immigrants fleeing here in the 1840’s to escape the potato famine. My name is Karen Campbell.
I live in Sarasota, Florida with my family and I originate from England.
I am here on an L-1A and have been here since 2003.
I have been a subscriber for around 2 years and I use your newsletter to keep me updated on immigration issues (such as the recent premium processing of I-140s). I also visit your website on a regular basis.
Karen E. Campbell
CEO, Welcome Connection
Congratulations, Karen! Cead mille failte!
Carl Shusterman Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association (1988-97) Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550 Los Angeles, CA 90017, Phone: (213) 623-4592 x0 Fax: (213) 623-3720
November 1, 2006
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
– In early October, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that in order to meet promises made under Social Security and Medicare, taxes would have to rise by about 33 percent. He stated, however that a more liberal immigration policy would ease some of the burden. But, he cautioned, it would take annual flows close to 3.5 million immigrants, not today’s 1 million, to adequately replace retiring baby boomers.
Newsletter US Immigration Update November 2006 – Quick Links
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November 1, 2006
Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. All information contained in this newsletter is generalized. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.