In Focus
A monthly bulletin from Immigration Solutions
June 2006
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Welcome to our first issue of ?In Focus? ? your monthly immigration update where we focus on the hot topics of concern in the immigration community.

We like to remind those of you who might not be familiar with us that Immigration Solutions is comprised of a network of highly experienced Immigration Case Managers and Paralegals, working in association with licensed, U.S. Attorneys and Certified Specialists in the field of immigration and nationality law. We provide assistance to our clients on a wide range of immigration issues, both employment and family related. We deal with Fortune 500 companies, small to mid-size companies in all industries and individuals who are undergoing the U.S. immigration process. Additionally, we have a depth of experience preparing and processing complex business visas for investors, multinational managers, and outstanding individuals in the areas of athletics, business, science and the entertainment industry. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Please feel free to request a copy of our brochure and schedule of fees.

Leslie Davis
Owner-Case Manager
Immigration Solutions
562.439.7306 Fax

On the legislative front, we are all holding our breath to see if the Senate and the House of Representatives in Conference Committee can hammer out a compromise deal and eventually arrive at fair and equitable Comprehensive Immigration Reform Policy.

The anti-immigrant attitude in the House of Representatives will produce vigorous debate, and we are hopeful that new legislation will pass. There will not be much to report on this issue until the House appoints its conferees. We link below to the Hagel-Martinez compromise passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006 (S. 2611) for your reference. The summary is still a work in process and, as progress is made on this issue, we will keep you informed with further updates and reports.

Much to our surprise, as you are undoubtedly now aware, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on June 1, 2006 that it had met the allotted quota of 65,000 H-1B visa petitions for the 2007 fiscal year. This is a serious announcement for businesses that require workers with critical skills, and means that they will have to wait more than a year before they can obtain this needed expertise.

Certain petitions, however, are not subject to the H- 1B cap. These include (1) amended H-1B petitions; (2) petitions for extensions of H-1B status, whether for an existing or new employer (i.e., in sequential employment situations); (3) petitions filed in concurrent employment scenarios; (4) petitions for new employment at an exempt organization such as an institution of higher learning or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, nonprofit research organization and governmental research organizations; (5) petitions on behalf of individuals who have already been counted against the cap during the previous six years, unless the beneficiary would be eligible for a full 6 years of authorized admission at the time the petition is filed; and (6) J-1 non-immigrants who are changing status to H-1B and have obtained waivers of the home country residency requirement.
Some good news for US employers: This Bill, introduced in the Senate on May 2, 2006, has widespread support from the business community and is known as the Security Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership Act of 2006 (or SKIL Act, S. 2691). If the Bill is enacted, it would provide substantial relief to the current backlog and visa shortage that have hindered the recruitment and retention of highly educated and highly skilled professionals from around the world, including those educated at US universities, who are unable to stay in the US as a result of the visa shortage.

To mention some of the highlights of the SKIL Bill. It would (1) increase the H-1B cap to 115,000 with a 20% increase for the following year if the quota is reached; (2) Increase the following year if the quota is reached; (3) Modify the existing 20,000 cap exemption to apply to persons holding master?s or higher degrees from a foreign institution (current law limits eligibility to US institutions only); (4) increase the annual cap on employment-based visas from 140,000 to 290,000 and allow for the recapture of unused visas from FY 2001-2005.
The USCIS issued a notice in the Federal Register on May 23, 2006 expanding the types of cases that will be eligible for the Premium Processing Service. Please be aware, however, that we do not as yet have the premium processing procedures for the I-140s, I-539s or I-765s that have been added to the premium processing (expedite) roster.

The USCIS will make an announcement when they are ready to start processing these petitions or applications under the premium program. We anticipate that the procedure will be the same as already exists for certain nonimmigrant cases. The forms that have been added to the program are three widely-used forms. We link below to the notice for your further reference.

Leslie Davis
Immigration Solutions

Phone: 562.433.5676
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