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Immigration Newsletter
June 2013 - Volume 5, Issue 3
In This Issue
Projected Movement for EB-2 India
Summer Travel Delays
H-1B Alternatives
In the News: What's Happening at RS
Ross Silverman LLP
50 Congress Street, Suite 200
Boston, MA  02109
Phone: (617) 542-5111
Fax: (617) 542-2331
Attorneys at RS

Christine C. Gannon

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Our periodic newsletters are meant to provide you with timely information regarding immigration issues which may affect your company and/or employees.  If you have questions regarding any of these issues, please do not hesitate to contact the attorney with whom you work for more information.



Immigration Reform and Legislative Update


The past couple of months have signaled the first steps in what we expect to be a lengthy process towards immigration reform. On April 16, 2013, the Senate's bipartisan "Gang of Eight" introduced S. 744, the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act." Following its introduction, the bill underwent several weeks of hearings and mark-ups by the Senate Judiciary Committee, whose members filed and debated a number of amendments to the original text. On May 29, the Senate Judiciary Committee released an updated version of S. 744, and on June 11, the bill went to the full Senate for debate. We expect the Senate debate to continue throughout the month of June.


S.744 contains a number of employment-based provisions that are subject to change as the bill makes its way through Congress. We will be monitoring the legislation closely and will keep you informed if any changes that will affect you or your employees are imminent.

July 2013 Visa Bulletin Projects Advancement of EB-2 Numbers for Indian Nationals


The cut-off date for the EB-2 India category has been set at September 1, 2004 since October 2012. In the July Visa Bulletin, the Department of State (DOS) indicated that the priority date will likely move forward in the August or September Visa Bulletin due to decreased demand in other EB-2 categories. As a result, many long-pending I-485 adjustment applications may become eligible to be adjudicated, and some Indian nationals who are currently retrogressed may become eligible to file their adjustment applications. It is expected that this priority date movement will generate heavy new applicant demand, and a sustained demand level could affect the cut-off date at some point in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, which begins in October. We will not know the new cut-off date until it is announced in the DOS visa bulletin, but the upcoming bulletin is typically released in the middle of the preceding month. We will be monitoring the visa bulletins over the coming months and will notify you if any of your employees will be affected by the advancement.


Employers should note that this priority date advancement will likely result in Requests for Evidence (RFEs) for previously retrogressed I-485s to confirm the existence of the underlying job offer. We will be working with both employers and employees to respond to these RFEs as they arise.


Reminder: Summer Brings Delays at U.S. Consulates


Employees traveling abroad this summer who need to obtain new visa stamps should be aware that the summer months bring delays at some U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide. Many Consulates and Embassies see an influx of visa applications at the end of the summer, as students are returning to the U.S. for the start of the academic year, and new H-1B visa holders are applying for their visa stamps to begin work on October 1. Travelers should therefore schedule visa appointments well in advance of their trips. We also recommend that the appointment be scheduled at the beginning of the trip to allow for extra time in the event of processing delays.


Additionally, employees should be reminded that CBP is now issuing electronic Forms I-94, Arrival/Departure Records, to nonimmigrants arriving to the United States by air or sea.  Affected travelers will no longer need to fill out a paper Form I-94 upon arrival, nor will they receive a white I-94 card in their passports upon admission; rather, they will receive a stamp in their passports upon entry, and will be able to access their electronic record through the CBP website. We strongly recommend that all travelers check their electronic record on the CBP website as soon as possible to verify that it matches the class of admission and the period of time indicated on the passport stamp and the underlying visa approval notice (if there is one). We also recommend that employees print their electronic I-94 records, as paper copies may facilitate applications for other benefits that require proof of legal status. They will also serve as backup documents in the event CBP officers cannot access the electronic record.    


H-1B Cap Creates Need for Alternative Visa Options


As you know, the H-1B cap for FY2014 has been met, which means that no new cap-subject H-1B visas will be available until October 1, 2014. Employers may file petitions with USCIS requesting FY2015 H-1B visas beginning on April 1, 2014. In the meantime, the options for employing foreign workers are somewhat more limited. Individuals already working on an H-1B for a cap-subject employer can "port" their H-1B to your company. Depending upon the candidate's country of birth and background, there may be other visa options, as there are some country-specific work visas available (e.g. to certain individuals from Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and Chile).  Please contact the attorney with whom you work to discuss alternative strategies for employing foreign nationals in the Unites States in the coming months while H-1Bs are not available. 

In the News: What's Happening at RS

  • June 29, 2013: Ellen Driver will be the discussion leader for a panel entitled: "What Do I Do If?  Removal Roundtable" at the AILA Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA. 


This newsletter does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for consulting with an attorney.  Please contact us by phone or email if you have questions about any of the topics discussed here or if you have any other immigration or naturalization questions.