November 2010

Planning your Trip to the Caribbean

Traveling to the Caribbean is as simple as buying an airplane or a cruise ticket for most. But before you pack your bags, be prepared for all the immigration requirements. Even if you are a U.S. citizen, there could be some surprises along the way. So let's look at what you need to be prepared for.

Update on the DREAM Act

On November 16, 2010, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), sent a letter to all the congress members urging them to pass the DREAM ACT before the year’s end.

The DREAM ACT, which refers to “The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act,” is a bill that was drafted many years ago.  The bill purports to legalize the status of young, undocumented immigrants if they attend college for two years or join the military.  The immigrant must have arrived in the U.S. while under the age of 16 and have resided in the U.S. for at least 5 years before the enactment of the law.  Also, the person must not have been convicted of serious crimes.

This proposed law is aimed at helping those children who were either brought to the U.S. illegally or fell out of legal status.  It encourages them to gain education and to serve our country in a meaningful way, while barring those who are convicted felons.

Although the Congress is in a lame-duck session until the new elected leaders take office, some lawmakers are supporting the passage of the DREAM Act

Religious Workers: No More Concurrent Filings

As of November 8, 2010, USCIS is no longer accepting Form I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status until the I-360 petition is approved. This new rule will make it more difficult for Religious Workers to maintain status until the employer's petition is approved. In the next issue, we will elaborate on the difficulties created by this new rule.

In This Issue

Newsletter Issues

H-1B Cap Count

As of 11/19/10, the USCIS had received approximately 48,977 H-1B cap-subject petitions. Further, USCIS had received 17,836 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees. This is for the fiscal year 2011.

Anyone with an offer of employment for a "specialty occupation," requiring a bachelor's degree or higher, may be eligible for this valuable H-1B employment visa. There is a cap of 65,000 petitions per fiscal year. Some aliens of advanced degree are provided an exemption from the cap, i.e. for the first 20,000 petitions filed for beneficiaries who have obtained a U.S. master's degree or higher.

If you are looking for an employment-based visa in order to remain in the U.S., immediately contact an experienced immigration attorney from our Law Firm.

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