Immigration Update

May 2012                                                          Vol. 4 Issue 5

In the May 2012 Issue
STEM Adds Degree Programs
June Visa Bulletin
Workisite Enforcement Results are In!
H-1B's: Cap Almost Met
DOS Makes Big Plans for Brazil
Efforts to Improve Business with Canada are Underway
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DHS Announces Additional Degree Programs for STEM

The U.S. remains the leading host country for international students in STEM fields. As the global competition for international students continues to increase there is a renewed focus in providing additional degree programs to attract and retain exceptional foreign students. The DHS  announced an expanded list of STEM fields in an effort to create additional immigration pathways for foreign professional workers in STEM fields. To read more, click here. 

June Visa Bulletin

The EB-2 category for those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability from China and India is currently unavailable, and expected to remain that way for the reminder of FY 2012.  If an Adjustment of Status application was filed while the person's priority date was available, it will remain pending until the priority date is current again.  Click here to read the bulletin.

Immigration Related Worksite Enforcement Results in Significant Fines

DHS LogoA May 10, 2012, Congressional Research Service report analyzed the effects of worksite enforcement.   The report notes that as of January 2011 there were some 11.5 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. and 14% of them were working in the construction industry, 13% in agriculture and 10% in leisure and hospitality.    In 2011, the administrative fines imposed on employers for violations of I-9 requirements amounted to $10,463,988, the highest number in the last twelve years; the number of individuals arrested on administrative charges was 1,471; and the number of those arrested on criminal charges was 713.  The DOL's Wage and Hour Division collected over $57.5 million in back wages.  To read entire report, click here.

The H-1B Cap has Almost Been Met!

As of May 11th, 36,700 of the 65,000 H-1B visas available to bachelor's degree professionals have been allocated and 14,800 of the available 20,000 H-1B's for master's degree professionals have been issued. Though this application rate is always unpredictable, FY 2013 is especially active and if the trend continues, the cap will be reached much sooner than it was in recent years. It is recommended that employers continue to file H-1B cap-subject petitions for FY 2013 as soon as possible. To read more, click here. 

DOS Makes Big Plans for Brazil

brazilThe Department of State has committed to opening two new consulates in Brazil. Locations in Belo Horizante and Porto Alegre will join the existing consulates in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Sao Paulo to serve the millions of Americans and Brazilians who require consular services each year. The DOS has also sent more consular officers to the country in order to process the visa demand. Click here to view the White House statement.

Cross-Border Business with Canada Expected to Improve

In an effort to increase cross-border business and strengthen the U.S. and Canadian economies, the DHS announced  joint U.S.-Canada consultations with key government stakeholders on cross-border business and issues.  Billions of dollars worth of goods and thousands of people cross our shared border everyday.  The study will hear from businesses on both sides of the border on how cross-border business can be improved. Click here to read entire press release.


We'll Be Back in July!

There will not be a June Immigration Update E-newsletter. Check back in July to get the most up to date information on the Immigration topics that affect you and your business most. Enjoy the beginning of the summer seaon and have a happy Independence Day!








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Giselle Carson
Attorney at Law
Marks Gray, P.A.
1200 Riverplace Blvd., Suite 800
Jacksonville, FL 32207
(904) 398-0900
If you need assistance with any immigration-related issues, please contact Giselle Carson or Thyra Reveron at (904) 398-0900.

Marks Gray, P.A. is dedicated to customer service. We monitor proposed and current developments in the law. The contents of this newsletter are not intended as legal advice related to individual situations. If you have any questions about your particular situation, please contact a lawyer.