Immigration Update

February, 2013                                                                Vol. 5 Issue 2

In the February Update
Immigration Reform is Going Strong
I-Squared Act Improving Options for High Skilled Workers
H-1B Deadline is Approaching
2013 March Visa Bulletin
New and Noteworthy
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Giselle Carson Bio Pic

Giselle Carson


Immigration Reform is Going Strong
The bipartisan "Gang of Eight" (Senators Rubio, McCain, Flake, Graham, Durbin, Schumer, Menedez and Bennet) and President Obama have released plans for overhauling our immigration system. The two plans, on the surface, appear to be mirror images of each other. The specific differences on the plans will come later during many debates and discussions.
The four basic pillars of the Senators' plan are: 1) creating a path to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants already here contingent upon securing the border and combating visa overstays, 2) improving our legal immigration system to attract the 'world's best and brightest', 3) strong employment verification measures, and 4) improving the process to admit new workers and protecting workers rights.
I- Squared Act of 2013 Improving Immigration Options for Professionals

 The Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 (a/k/a  I2  Act) was introduced by Sen. Rubio, Coons, Hatch and Klobuchar.  The Bill contains four sections which propose: 1) a welcomed  based increase  in the number of new H-1B's from the current quota of 65,000 to 115,000, 2) an easier immigration path for STEM students, 3) a recapture and "roll-over" of issued but unused immigrant visas, and 4) allocating Visa processing fees to promote STEM education and worker retention.  We foresee that many of these elements will be included in the upcoming  immigration reform package.  To read the act in its entirety, click here.

H-1B Deadline Quickly Approaching   
 It's February, which means that professionals looking to obtain a new H-1B visa for the 2014 fiscal year (beginning October 1, 2013) should start preparing their petitions. USCIS will start accepting applications on April 1, 2013 and continue to take applications until the 65,000 quota is reached. 
We believe the cap will be reached in April. While last year's cap wasn't reached until June there has been a substantial increase in the number of sponsorship requests this year. If you plan to file a petition or sponsor an H-1B worker, it is strongly advised that you seek the assistance of an immigration attorney who can prepare your petition to be filed on the day quota opens.  
March Bulletin Shows Little Progress

US Visa

 The 2013 March Visa Bulletin is now out with disappointing news. In the EB-2 category, India's priority date remained stagnant for the fifth month in a row, China also remains retrogressed, while the Philippines and the "all other countries" category remained current. On the positive side, in the EB-3 category, the Philippines date moved ahead one week and all other countries progressed by about six weeks.  To view the bulletin in its entirety, click here


   Balancing Business and Life.   How are you doing on your 2013 goals? In this article, I shared  my tips on balancing life and work with Jacksonville's Daily Record. Click here to read more!

Maintaining focus in Dancer Pose!


  Talent: Our Most Valuable Resource. In this article, published by the Florida Bar International Law Quarterly Special NAFTA Issue, I share how to attract, obtain and retain professionals from Canada and Mexico under the NAFTA trade agreement.  Click here to read the entire article. 


 GC Signature
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.