In Focus
A monthly bulletin from Immigration Solutions
October 2007
In This Issue
Monthly Nurse Update
Social Security No-Match Regulation Halted
Passport Services Return to Normal
USCIS Redesigns Naturalization Test
Department of Homeland Security Working to Implement Electronic Travel Authorization
Nonimmigrant Victims of Criminal Activity May Be Granted Status
Department of Labor Update Regarding Cases Pending
"In Focus" for HR: Seven Deadly Workplace Sins
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Answers to the immigration conundrum are appearing to grow increasingly complicated and continue to remain slightly out of reach.  Although there was recent talk in Congress about reviving the DREAM Act, and providing relief for some agricultural workers, nothing has been passed yet to meet the increasing staffing needs of the American healthcare system.  The debate regarding the best way to solve this problem is intensifying: does the immigration policy for nurses and healthcare workers need to change, or should the focus be on changing the treatment and compensation of nurses already in the United States?  As the debate over Comprehensive Immigration Reform and amnesty moves from center stage, it is likely that the healthcare staffing crisis will move into the spotlight, and fuel the fire for future debates regarding immigration reform for healthcare providers as well as the broader topic of healthcare reform in general.   


We at Immigration Solutions make it a point to keep you informed of every change that happens pertaining to U.S. immigration policy and law.  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. 

Leslie Davis
Founder and CEO
Immigration Solutions
562.439.7306 Fax

IN THE NEWS - Monthly Nurse Update
By Thomas J. Joy, Immigration Solutions Affiliated Attorney

The US Department of State has just released its October 2007 Visa Bulletin which marks the start of the government fiscal year and the availability of the new annual quota of immigrant visas for fiscal year 2008 (October 1, 2007 to September 30, 2008).  As predicted, retrogression of the immigrant visa quota continues to result in a substantial and unpredictable waiting period for immigrant visas under the current system.


As we have indicated recently, we remain hopeful that new laws will be enacted soon to decrease the present waiting periods for nurses to immigrate to the US. We base our hope on the fact that the current critical shortage of nurses in the US demands immediate action so that the US healthcare system can continue to operate effectively.  In addition, in the past, new laws have been enacted to address the shortage of nurses in the US by allowing more foreign nurses into the US.  Finally, several legislative solutions have been and continue to be proposed and debated. 


Various groups of healthcare employers, nurse recruiting companies and related entities and persons are presently lobbying for a legislative solution.  The present focus is on short-term immediate relief for nurses.  In addition, long-term permanent relief is being pursued.  Specific proposals include exempting nurses from the annual immigrant visa quota restrictions, increasing the number of immigrant visas available in the EB-3 quota category that applies to nurses and creating a new nonimmigrant visa to allow nurses to come to the US immediately to start work while waiting for the immigrant visa process ("green card") to be completed.  Hospitals and nurse recruiters in the US are encouraged to contact their Senators and Congressmen to express their support for these legislative efforts to relieve the current shortage of nurses in the US by speeding up the process to bring foreign nurse to the US.


We continue to follow these issues on a daily basis and will keep you advised.

IN THE NEWS - Social Security No-Match Regulation Halted Due to Recent Litigation

A federal judge recently granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) which stopped the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from enforcing the "no match" regulation, as well as temporarily barred the Social Security Administration (SSA) from issuing 140,000 no-match letters that were reportedly scheduled to be sent to employers in the near future. The ICE no-match regulations state that if a Social Security Number or immigration document discrepancies cannot be resolved with a 93-day period, employers must terminate the employment of the employee in question or risk liability for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ an individual who is unauthorized to work in the United States. The party who requested the TRO asserts that the DHS has exceeded its authority by promulgating the no-match rule and jeopardizes the employment of large numbers of U.S. citizens and lawful non-citizen workers whose Social Security Number mismatches are due to errors in the SSA's databases rather than lack of employment authorization. The no-match regulation, which was scheduled to take effect September 14, 2007, will be suspended until the federal court adjudicates the matter.

Further reading:

IN THE NEWS - Passport Services Return to Normal Processing Times

After an increased delay in passport processing times due to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the Department of State (DOS of "Department") was pleased to recently announce that the Department has restored passport service to the standard of six to eight weeks processing time for routine passport applications, and no more than three weeks for expedited service.  To get back on track, the Department received hundreds of volunteers from the Department to help process the applications at various centers across the United States.  It also hired hundreds of additional passport adjudicators.  The increase in capacity will stay in effect, which the Department hopes will result in better customer service over the new fiscal year.  It is reported that the Department will be able to respond to a maximum of 500,000 passport applications per week.


More Information:

IN THE NEWS:  USCIS Redesigns Naturalization Text

In the interest of creating a more standardized, fair, and meaningful naturalization process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently completed a multi-year redesign of the naturalization test. The revised test, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, will help encourage citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we all share as Americans. We have provided a link for this under our "Quick Links" that brings you to the USCIS Naturalization Home Page where you can access  the Naturalization Guide, Citizenship and Civic study guides, FAQ's, etc.

IN THE NEWS - Department of Homeland Security Working to Implement Electronic Travel Authorization

The new "Electronic travel authorization" (ETA) system is part of the travel forecast.  A recent law passed on August 3, 2007, directed the Department of Homeland Security to develop a system by which most foreign tourists and business visitors would have to obtain ETA prior to traveling to the United States.  The new requirement would only apply to tourists and business visitors who presently travel to the United States under the visa waiver program, which does not require a visa stamp or any other form of pre-approval.  Those exempt from ETA would include travelers with visa stamps in their passports as well as Canadians.  The ETA program is in early stages of development, and there has not been any indication as to when we can expect ETA to take effect.  Before its implementation, the agency must develop the technology imperative to ETA's success, as well as submit a report to Congress at least 60 days before the ETA program is announced, and must publish notice in the Federal Register in order to alert travelers to the new requirement.  Immigration Solutions will keep you appraised of all the latest developments on this upcoming procedural change.

IN THE NEWS - Nonimmigrant Victims of Criminal Activity May Be Granted Status Under New Rule

On September 5, 2007, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would soon publish an interim rule that would grant temporary immigration benefits to certain victims of crimes who assist government officials in investigating of prosecuting the criminal activity.  USCIS Director Emilio Gonzalez states that "many immigrant crime victims fear coming forward to assist law enforcement because they may not have legal status. . .we're confident that we have developed a rule that meets the spirit of the Act; to help curtail criminal activity, protect victims, and encourage them to fully participate in proceedings that will aid in bringing perpetrators to justice."  Alien victims of criminal activity who: suffered substantial mental or physical abuse because of the activity; have information regarding the activity; and are willing to assist government officials in the investigation of the crime, which must have also violated U.S. law or occurred in the United States (including its territories and possessions), are eligible for this relief, the "U" visa.  Those granted U nonimmigrant status may remain in the United States for up to four years, and may be accompanied by certain immediate family members. 


For More Information

IN THE NEWS -  Department of Labor Update Regarding Cases Pending at Backlog Elimination Centers

The Department of Labor had previously set a deadline of September 30, 2007 for eliminating the backlog of Labor Certification (LC) cases pending with the Backlog Elimination Centers (BECs).  Although the BEC has stated that they had completed approximately 97 percent of their LC cases, 11,000 cases remained to be adjudicated at the end of September.  The BECs will stay open to complete the pending cases, and therefore the DOL has not been able to indicate and specific date for closing the BECs.  The agency indicated that the closing process will nevertheless be gradual, and the number of staff will decrease over time.  Employers can expect to receive any BEC labor cases that were certified by September 30, 2007 in the mail within 30 days following the actual certification.


If the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) hears a case on appeal and decides to return it for adjudication, the case will continue at a BEC until the BECs are closed.  After the BECs close, BALCA will send such cases to a PERM National Processing Center.  The DOL will subsequently publish the procedure outlining how to initiate the appeal process in the Federal Register.

"In Focus" for HR:  Seven Deadly Workplace Sins

Pride.  Envy.  Anger.  Greed.  Sloth.  Gluttony.  Lust.  John McKee, business coach and author of "21 Ways Women in Management Shoot Themselves in the Foot," encourages those who wish to attain business success to avoid the above-mentioned "seven deadly workplace sins" so they may stay worry free on the highway to career heaven.

  1. Pride:  Make sure to acknowledge and appreciate your peers and subordinates, so that they, too, can savor a taste of the glory. 
  2. Envy:  Don't allow yourself to be overly envious of others in the workplace.  It can sabotage your self-esteem, which is crucial to your own success.  Instead of being envious, use accomplishments of others to motivate your own acts and or work habits. 
  3. Anger:  Those prone to angry outbursts rarely get promoted - they are seen as being poor leaders who cannot inspire or motivate others.  Learn how to channel your energy and emotions into actions that will work to your benefit in the eyes of others.
  4. Greed:  Don't get sucked into the "more, now" mentality your co-workers might embrace, which leads to decisions that may be good for the moment, but not so good in the grand scheme of things.  Keep your vision on long term goals, as this type of focus will prepare you best for taking things to the next level.
  5. Sloth:  Make every day count! Sure, there will be days where you might not feel as motivated as when you have that second or third cup of coffee, but try to overcome feelings of laziness by treating every work day and every project as if your job, and your future at large, depends on it.  You never know who is watching and evaluating your performance.
  6. Gluttony:  More isn't always better! Too much focus on one area of life may prevent you achieving balanced. Remain balanced both personally and professionally in order to maintain the ability to grow and progress.  If you are not well equipped to handle the immediate task, you will not be able to meet others' expectations or rise to new challenges.
  7. Lust:  Spending an abundance of time focused on what you don't have rather than what you do will create a bad attitude and negative demeanor.  "One's overall 'presence' in the office plays a big part in who gets promoted and who doesn't.  No matter how ambitious, it's prudent to be 'present' and make the most out of your current position at this moment in time.
To read more about the "Seven Deadly Workplace Sins," visit



We're excited to report the publishing of  Immigration Solutions' e-book entitled, "Your Guide to Living in the United States of America".  This is a must read for anyone starting a new life in the USA.  It is easily downloaded from our website and will provide you with everything you need to know about the US lifestyle, culture, the steps you need to take to start your life in the USA,  how to maintain permanent resident status and become a US citizen, and much more!  So, visit our Publication page at: and take advantage of our introductory offer.  This is full of valuable information that you won't want to miss and will greatly contribute to you and your family's smooth transition to the USA!


You may contact our office to schedule a one-time free consultation with one of our attorneys at no further obligation. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions at all times.  We would be pleased to send you a copy of our brochure, our fees and respond to any other inquiry that you might have.

...Making it a point to keep you informed,
Leslie Davis
Founder and CEO

Phone: 562.433.5676