July is a month for remembering and celebrating the wonderful freedoms and democracy we cherish and uphold in the United States. As you know, sometimes those freedoms come with one or two strings attached. If you are a subscriber to the Newsletter, you are aware that air travel within the western hemisphere now requires a passport or proof that you have a passport application pending.
Also in the news, you might be aware of the present condition of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, which is presently up for debate - again. Although many thought that the Bill would die upon the failure to get cloture last month, it is back on the floor with amendments that look quite constructive. Hopefully, the amendments will expedite the passage of the Bill and enactment of real reform, and not serve as an expository demonstration of the legislation making process. On a positive note, it is a great thing to see our government use the political process created over two hundred years ago, and that if we are truly committed to change, the battle is not always short and sweet, but often worth the wait.
Immigration Solutions has a new look! We at Immigration Solutions are extremely dedicated to providing Allied Healthcare Professionals with the most current and up-to-date information regarding all immigration issues. For this reason, we have expanded the depth and breadth of our website content to better serve and inform our growing specialty clientele. We now have "Our Specialty" tab that will link you to immigration issues pertaining exclusively to Allied Healthcare Professionals. Please take a moment to peruse the new sections of our website. We are certain that you will find the contents both informative and helpful.
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. Through an affiliate office, we also provide our clients with global migration consulting services and global work permits. We have a depth of experience with complex business visas for investors, multinational managers, outstanding individuals in the areas of athletics, business, science and the arts, visa petitions on behalf of nurses and allied healthcare professionals and PERM Labor Certification. We are set up to conveniently work on your behalf throughout the USA and abroad.
You may contact our office to schedule a one-time free consultation with one of our affiliated attorneys at no further obligation.
|IN THE NEWS - Senator Gregg Calls on Senate Negotiators to Address National Shortage of Qualified Nurses by Including Provision in Immigration Measure|
WASHINGTON (6/21/2007) - U.S. Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) today called on four key Senate negotiators to S. 1639, the immigration bill, to allow a vote that would give higher consideration to qualified nurses seeking green cards in order to relieve a severe shortage of qualified nurses in New Hampshire and nationally.
"The quality of health care available to New Hampshire citizens and all Americans is directly related to the presence of qualified nurses in our doctors' offices and hospitals," stated Senator Gregg. "The shortage of nurses available in our country is reaching crisis levels, and any effort to fix our broken immigration system should not worsen this problem. Rather, we should improve the immigration bill currently in the Senate to ensure that hospitals can recruit qualified nurses and continue to provide quality care."
A copy of the letter Senator Gregg sent today to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-PA), and SJC Members Senators Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) can be read at the following link:
|IN THE NEWS - Retrogression Over (...For Now) - A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem|
Effective July 1, 2007, retrogression for nurses is temporarily over. The July 2007 Visa Bulletin stated that the EB-3 immigrant visa quota category for nurses will be effective July 1, 2007. As stated in the Bulletin, the CIS hopes to "generate increased demand" for adjustment of status cases, and to maximize number use under the annual numerical caps. However, it is unlikely that the end to retrogression will not last for more than several months, as upon the onset of the fiscal year 2008 (October 1, 2007), "severe cut-off date retrogressions are likely to occur." Beware - some cut-off dates may occur sooner than October. The Bulletin advises that it may be necessary to retrogress some cut-off dates for September, "most likely for China-mainland born and India, but also possibly for Mexico and Philippines." As a result, the "current" status of EB-3 will be with us only for July and August, and possibly September. Severe retrogression will return in October of 2007.
The reason for the sudden 'current' status for the EB-3 immigrant visa category is that the USCIS is trying to fill the 140,000 employment based immigrant visas for fiscal year 2007. The visa quotas are allocated per fiscal year and any visas that have not been used during the fiscal year are extinguished and do not carry over to the subsequent year. Apparently, the USCIS is using the last few months of FY-2007 to compensate for the past nine months of insufficient processing. By opening up the categories, the Department of State is attempting to create a demand for the remaining immigrant visas for FY 2007.
In regard to pending nurse applications and the impact of the temporary end to retrogression, it is necessary to keep in mind the processing timeline for nurse applications. After an I-140 immigrant visa petition is approved at the USCIS service center, it may take three months or more to progress through the National Visa Center ("NVC") on its way to the US Embassy. Upon arrival at the US Embassy, it may be another three months or more before the immigrant visa interview appointment is scheduled. Once retrogression returns, the immigrant visa cannot be issued by the consul until an immigrant visa is available for the applicant. Consequently, the predicted two to three month period of no retrogression will be insufficient time to render an expedited effect on an application if it is in the beginning stages of processing. Given the aforementioned processing timeline, the window for the category being 'current' will already be shut by the time the visa application reaches its final destination, and the applicant will still be affected by retrogression.
Will Premium Processing help me get in the Current "window?" Premium Processing is available for an additional $1,000 government filing fee. This processing expedites the approval of an I-140. However, it is uncertain whether or not it will expedite the process so that the immigrant visa will be processed before retrogression takes effect again. Exactly how much time the premium processing service will save depends on how soon the quota becomes current again for the case. Despite the uncertainty, it might possibly still be prudent to consider Premium Processing due to possible pending immigration legislation that is under consideration. If the new legislation regarding nurses does pass, Premium Processing will undoubtedly speed up the issuance of the visa and reduce the waiting time for any applicant. We must take a wait and see position on this.
By making the last three months of FY 2007 current for the EB-3 category in a last ditch effort to meet the quota, the USCIS admitted that that they were unable to process the visa applicants quickly enough. Perhaps the unsatisfactory, unsynchronized management and application process will motivate the Government to approach the visa application process, especially in regards to the shortage occupation of nursing, in a new light, with an emphasis on streamlining the process and increasing agency efficiency. The increase in application fees will supposedly assist this process (we have been told), so a more productive, fruitful, and effective system (for both the Government and the applicants) may well be on the way.
GO: July 2007 VISA Bulletin
|IN THE NEWS - Don't Be a Victim -- Know the Law!! USCIS Alerts the Public to Immigration Fraud|
On May 31, 2007, the USCIS posted a warning, notifying the public of potential faulty legal advice during the congressional debates regarding CIR. The alert continues to resound as the CIR bill maintains a pulse in Congress. The notice reminds concerned individuals that the Bill must first be passed by both the house and the senate and signed by the president before becoming the law, and advises readers to be wary of anyone offering assistance or relief under the "new immigration laws." Rest assured that Immigration Solutions will alert you of the Bill's passage if indeed it is signed into effect.
|IN THE NEWS - Changes to the May CIR Bill|
On June 1, 2007, Senators Kennedy and Specter re-introduced the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill for this year. A selection of the changes to the May CIR Bill are as follows:
Securing the U.S.-Mexico Border:
ü DHS must show "operational control of 100%" of the U.S.-Mexico border.
ü Deployment of 2,000 additional Border Patrol agents and support staff - now 20,000 as opposed to 18,000.
ü Installation of an additional 100 miles of vehicle barriers, and 35 additional ground-based radar and camera towers along the southern land border and 4 unmanned aerial vehicles and supporting systems.
ü Congress's goal of completion of the triggers are to happen "as soon as practicable" as opposed to "not later than 18 months".
ü The GAO must submit a report on the accuracy of such certification no later than 30 days after the triggers have been met.
ü A new account, the "Immigration Security Account" of $4,400,000 shall be established at the Treasury. The funds will be transferred from the general fund of the Treasury to the aforementioned account and be used to help DHS meet the benchmarks set forth in the above section (including fencing, towers, detention beds, the electronic verification system , etc.). DHS must submit to the Senate a plan within 60 days describing the manner in which the money will be spent.
ü The new bill provides for DHS to create Custom Patrol Officers (commonly known as "Shadow wolves")
Technology and Infrastructure
ü Regarding the construction of the fence, roads, and vehicle barriers and other facilities to gain and maintain operational control over the borders, the new bill requires DHS to work with other agencies to minimize the impact on the environment, culture, commerce and quality of life for people located near the sites.
ü The Y program will sunset after 5 years
Seasonal Agricultural Nonimmigrant Temporary Workers
ü In regards to the 200,000 total cap, the provision allowing the cap to grow up to 15% per year depending on how quickly the cap is reached in the previous fiscal year is removed as is the provision that would allow the cap may to decrease by 10% per year if the cap is not reached (unless the cause of this was either a delay in issuing rules or processing delays)
B-1 Visitor Visa Guidelines and Data Tracking System
ü DOS shall review its regulations and guidelines within 6 months to ensure that the issuance of B-1 visitors is made in a consistent manner. DHS will complete the same for CBP officers regarding the admission of B-1s. Within 18 months, DOS and DHS are to establish data tracking systems as part of the effort to ensure consistency.
Z Visa Authorization of Appropriations.
ü Authorizes $4,400,000 collected in Z visa fines to be used to fund various sections of the Bill.
English as the official language
ü English shall be the official language of the government of the U.S.
Presidential Award for Business Leadership in Promoting Citizenship
ü An award is established for employers that best help employees learn English and prepare for the citizenship test
American Competitiveness Scholarship Program
ü This language is the Sanders Amendment imposing new taxes on H-1B visas. The National Science Foundation shall establish a scholarship program to fund students studying science, health care, mathematics and engineering. The scholarships will be $15,000 or the cost of tuition and fees, whichever is lower.
Supplemental H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account
ü The scholarship in Section 713 will be funded by a new H-1B fee, and be funded by a $3500 supplemental fee (on top of other H-1B fees). The fee will be $1750 for employers with fewer than 25 employees.
|"In Focus" for HR's, Managers, and Business Owners -- Two Ideas for Success|
1) Attract Business By Making Yourself Scarce
We all marvel at the "brilliance" of thriving service providers and their huge list of clients. "They must have had a really great ad campaign!" or "It was all word of mouth." These are all answers that we give ourselves in order to learn from and emulate their success in building and developing a client base. But a marketer by the name Trey Ryder proposes a much simpler, and cost-efficient way to go about building your clientele than bringing in marketing executives and launching a million dollar ad campaign with your face on the side of a bus. Ready for the big secret? Tell them you are busy. Tell them your client list is full. Tell them you have been made to work nights due to a heavy work load. In other words, make yourself scarce. In the article, Ryder asserts that human nature is to desire what is scarce. Therefore, if you present yourself and your time as being "hard to get," those whom you are trying to attract will work harder to attain the service you are providing to "so many" others. This is a great idea to get clients in the door. So go on - play hard to get!
2) Focusing on the Present - A Key to Long Term Victory
Winning a big victory, and achieving your most sought after goals, means constantly winning the smaller battles. This is not a new concept for many of us. Whenever we decide to break a bad habit (or start a new, healthy habit), we are called to focus on the present by taking "one day at a time," or "one step at a time." Although these are phrases we have all heard at one time or another, most of us still are challenged when it comes to implementing these seemingly simple mantras. In essence, they encourage us to focus on the present, rather than the future, in order to achieve a long term goal. If you are trying to grow your business, focusing on the present can be even more of a task. After all, a thriving business depends largely upon future interactions with customers, clients, partners and investors or future investments, and future markets. With this in mind, it is not surprising that a common downfall for business growers is that they find themselves spending too much time planning how to grow their business (the future) instead of hunkering down and actually doing it (the present).
Having a plan is a great idea. In fact, very few businesses would be successful without one. But in order to achieve the pot of gold at the end of the business road map, it is imperative to have a system in tact that keeps your momentum constant and your sanity in check. One suggestion given by Wil Schroter, the Founder and CEO of the Go BIG Network, is to take a small bite out of your big vision and focus your energy on achieving a new mini-vision every week. This is accomplished by taking on smaller, focused projects, and completing them in rapid succession. While you are motoring through the small details, be sure to take a moment to make sure that you are still on the right track. At the outset of a new week, look at what tasks you're going to accomplish that week in particular. If all of the tasks or projects propel you towards your ultimate goal, then congratulations! You are on track and one step closer to accomplishing your business goal. Not only will this strategy help you to reach the goal you have set, but it will give you a well deserved sense of accomplishment at the end of the week and maybe, just maybe, you can truly enjoy a weekend with peace of mind, free from anxiety about "the future."