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March 31, 2005

DOL Q&A on Registering for PERM On-Line

Question: Can an attorney, agent or law firm register to use the Permanent On-line System?

Answer: No. Only an employee or owner of the employer entity may register to use the Permanent On-line System because employers must make the attestations required for the permanent application process and a PIN will only be assigned to an employer. The registration must be submitted by an individual with actual hiring authority for the employer. The individual listed under the “Employer Contact Information” section of the registration page must be an individual with actual hiring authority for the employer and cannot be the attorney or agent. During the registration process, the employer may create sub-accounts for attorneys or agents. We will cancel or deny registrations submitted by non-employers. If the employer’s information on a submitted permanent labor certification application does not match the employer’s information associated with the PIN used with the application, the Department may deny or revoke the permanent labor certification.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:03 PM | Comments (0)

H-1B for fiscal 2006

A USCIS official advises that USCIS does not yet know when the announcement about acceptance of H-1B petitions for fiscal 2005 will be published. The announcement, which will be in the form of a rulemaking in the Federal Register, is currently awaiting OMB clearance.

The official was not able to say whether USCIS will hold to the March 8, 2005, press release that indicated that the fiscal 2005 number would be open to all eligible H-1Bs, or if the agency will go back to declaring that only individuals holding a master's degree or higher from a U.S. university will be eligible for the numbers.

In the meantime, USCIS will start accepting H-1B filings for fiscal 2006 on Friday, April 1, 2005. (There had been a rumor that USCIS would delay acceptance of these filings, but that rumor is not true.)

The question that arises is what to do with those who wish to take advantage of a fiscal 2005 number if possible, but also wish to file as soon as possible for a fiscal 2006 number. USCIS was unable to address this, other than to say that "no one will be advantaged or disadvantaged for a fiscal 2005 number because they filed for a 2006 number." It was indicated that the Federal Register notice would address this situation, but USCIS is unable to disclose the content until it is cleared by OMB. USCIS is aware of the concern about the expense and other issues involved if one would have to double-file for fiscal 2006 and 2005 numbers.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Real ID action required

ACT NOW: To make your voice heard in the fight against REAL ID:

Contact your Senators by clicking here: http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7071006

Contact the White House by clicking here: http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=6804466

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2005

Application for permanent residency

Today a client asked me whether she could file for her husband who had entered the U.S. without a visa from Mexico. Yes, she may file to adjust his status to permanent residency. The process involves three steps; first file with customs and immigration services; second once the petition is approved apply with the national visa center; third apply with the consulate in Cuidad Juarez for an appointment for permanent residency and a 601 waiver to enter the U.S. The waiver takes between 45 to 60 days to approve. After approval her husband will enter the U.S. with permanent residency/green card. The consulate approves 97% of waivers based on marriage cases. So she is going to apply for her husband and the father of her three children

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2005

PERM; 245i eligible because of I-130 prior to 4/30/01

Today I receive a call regarding whether a benificary of a permanent residency application filed prior to April 30, 2001 could apply under PERM. Because of the concept of grandfathering the applicant can go forward on a PERM case becuase he had a I-130 petition pending for him prior to April 30, 2001.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2005

PERM

Today I received a question from a client asking if she could apply under PERM as amnesty. She had heard an inteview on television regarding PERM. Because her visa was expired and she did not apply prior to April 30 2001 she cannot grandfather under 245i to apply now under PERM.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2005

Immigrant workers support US troops in Iraq

Toady I read an article from the Los Angeles Times which describs how the US Army uses immigrant workers to help support the troops. There are no visa restrictions on the use of immigrants used by the US armed forces. These jobs are paid for by the US taxpayers. If the US armed forces were subject to the same restrictions that private employers and families are subject to in the US they would have a hard time completing their mission. Here is quote from the article by David Zucchino at www.latimes.com "Every need — food, laundry, maid service — is attended to by a legion of workers from non-Muslim nations, mostly Indians, Filipinos and Nepalese. They are a chipper, efficient lot who, combined with soldiers from places like El Salvador and Estonia, give the fob the breezy, cosmopolitan feel of a misplaced Olympic Village".

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

March 26, 2005

Easter Egg Hunt

Today I took my wife and 2 boys to the zoo for an Easter Egg hunt. After working during easter week it is good to spend time with my family. E-mails continue to appear on my blackberry with immigration questions. I will start answering the questions on Monday.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2005

H-1B extension of time if outside U.S.

In a non-precedent decision, the Administrative Appeal Office concluded that time spent outside the U.S. during the 6 years a beneficiary was an H-1B should not be counted toward the 6 years, and thus the H-1B can be extended for the number of days the individual was shown to have been outside the country. This case affirmed the plain language of the statute that the H-1B time is only the time in the U.S.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2005

Bush Cites Political Hurdles in Plan for 'Guest Workers'

Today the New York Times published an article where President Bush is "lowering expetctions" on his guest worker program. Here is an exert from the article;

"WACO, Tex., March 23 - President Bush promised the leaders of Mexico and Canada at a meeting on Wednesday that he would continue pressing for changes in United States immigration policy. But he also sought to lower expectations that a guest-worker program would gain momentum on Capitol Hill, where it has faced resistance for years". The article can be found at; http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/24/politics/24prexy.html?th&emc=th

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2005

Wednesday evening I attended the Tennessee immigrant legislative reception

The reception brought together New American, immigrants, their supporters, Tennessee legislators, Howard Gentry, the vice-mayor of Nashville, numerous representatives of all branches of government. It was a good reception where we talked about issues and met with each other. This was the 2nd annual reception with the Tennessee legislators and elected officials. There I met numerous friends who had taken time out of their busy schedules to attend. This is a great example of using a network to create an event to allow discussion of issues. These are difficult times for immigrants and it is important use our collective efforts together. If your state has not organized this type of event it is very important to host one in your state capital. There were persons and groups from all over Tennessee who attended the reception. Recognition was given to Senator Douglas Henry, Representative Mike Turner and others who have supported the New American and immigrant issues. The event conveners were the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC), Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Conexión Américas, Egyptian National Association, Lao Association of Tennessee, Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors; American Association of Refugee and Immigrant Women (AARIW), Nashville Chapter, Asociación Latina de Tennessee, Columbian Solidarity Network of Tennessee, Centro Latino of Shelbyville, Highlander Center, Hispanic Achievers, Iranian Association of Middle Tennessee, Iraqi House, Knoxville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Nashville Kurdish Forum, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), Middle Tennessee Chapter, Nashville Immigrant and Refugee Task Force, Nigerian National Association , Somali Community Center, Woodbine Community Organization. Business Sponsors; Ajax Turner, Nashville Hotel and Lodging Association, Stewart Clifton, Tennessee AFL-CIO, Tennessee Foreign Language Institute, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, PLLC (event location). Media Sponsors; El Crucero, El Paisano, La Campana, La Noticia, La Prensa Latina, Mundo Hispano, Solo Nashville, Telefutura Channel 42. For more information contact David Lubell, TIRRC (615) 846-6672 www.tnimmigrant.org

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:24 AM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2005

US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reception

In the evening went I with my beautiful wife Iris and her sister Alma to a reception at the Opryland Hotel. The reception was hosted by Robert Chavez of the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The U.S. SBA, (Small Business Association) is holding a conference where they match buyers and suppliers. There will be 800 businesses participating in the conference. There I discussed blogs with David Lizarraga, Chair, Board of Directors of the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Lizarraga talked about the importance of the SBA to Hispanic businesses. There are about 2 million Hispanic businesses in the U.S. The US Hispanic Chamber will hold an Annual Legislative Conference from April 19-20 in Washington, DC. At the conference they will use "The Power of Advocacy" to advance the cause of Hispanic businesses. It was great to see so many of my friends including my good friend Eliud Trevino at the reception.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:10 PM | Comments (0)

REAL ID (H.R. 418) is on the fast track to enactment.

If you care about asylum, free speech, judicial review, due process, or separation of powers, we must derail this train now!
URGENT TIMELINE: REAL ID passed the House without any hearings or meaningful debate and has been attached to an Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill for Iraqi war efforts and Tsunami relief efforts. The Senate is expected to take up the supplemental in two weeks (4/6/05)!!! The question is whether or not the Senate's supplemental will include the REAL ID.

The Senate WILL PASS legislation to fund our troops. Our first challenge is to keep REAL ID off the Senate's Supplemental Appropriations bill. If our opponents succeed in including this ill-conceived measure in the Senate supplemental, REAL ID will become law. If we succeed in keeping this measure off of the Senate bill, we have another challenge: keeping REAL ID off of the bill that emerges from the conference between the House and Senate. Remember, the House bill includes the REAL ID. So Congress and the White House need to hear from you now!!!

ACT NOW: To make your voice heard in the fight against REAL ID:

Contact your Senators by clicking here: http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7071006

Contact the White House by clicking here: http://capwiz.com/aila2/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=6804466

Because nothing takes the place of a direct interaction, we urge you to phone your Senators' district offices and D.C. offices to register your deep opposition to REAL ID. The Congressional Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Because the Senate is on recess until April 4, you also can request a meeting with your Senators while they are home.

BACKGROUND: This bill will have REAL consequences for your current and future clients. To understand how this bill will affect REAL people, please click here: http://www.aila.org/infonet/fileViewer.aspx?docID=17961

For a section-by-section analysis of the bill, please click here: http://www.aila.org/infonet/fileViewer.aspx?docID=17718

This bill proposes the following dramatic policy changes without any hearing or debate:

(1) Asylum: The REAL ID Act will deny refuge to those fleeing persecution by heightening the eligibility standards and evidentiary burdens governing asylum applications.

(2) Removal: The REAL ID Act will make noncitizens including long-time LPRs deportable for lawful speech or associations that occurred far in the past.

(3) Judicial Review: The REAL ID Act will broadly expand the restrictions on judicial review imposed by the 1996 laws. It also will eliminate the power of a federal court to temporarily stay a removal order while an appeal of that order is pending before the court. This means asylum seekers could be sent back to their persecutors before a final decision has been reached in their case!

(4) Driver's Licenses: The REAL ID Act will link immigration status to driver's license eligibility and will deny driver's licenses to whole categories of noncitizens, thereby undermining the safety of our roads and the law enforcement utility of DMV databases.

(5) Bail Bondsmen: The REAL ID Act will subject noncitizens to bounty hunters who are provided unprecedented authority to "pursue, apprehend, detain and turn over" immigrants in removal proceedings.

(6) The Fence: The REAL ID Act will authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive all federal, state, and local laws the Secretary deems necessary, in his sole and absolute discretion, to expedite construction of security fences and barriers at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders.

MESSAGES:

(1) None of the provisions in this bill have been subject to hearings or meaningful debate. It is grossly irresponsible for Congress to enact legislation that could have life or death consequences under such circumstances.

(2) These provisions will do nothing to make us safer and, in the long run, will undermine our security by alienating immigrant populations here and our allies abroad. None of these measures would have prevented or impeded the 9/11 attacks.

(3) What would REAL ID really do? It would:

encourage the denial of asylum to Christians fleeing persecution, battered immigrant women, and others who cannot meet the harsh evidentiary and credibility requirements;
deny asylum to a Soviet Jew who was beaten and robbed by police, if he can't prove that prejudice was his persecutors' primary motive;
permit the deportation of a legal permanent resident who donates online relief to a Tsunami relief fund that is a subsidiary of an organization in a Tamil Tiger-controlled region of Sri Lanka;
deny driver's licenses to a U.S. national from Samoa and to a trafficking victim seeking non-immigrant status;
deny a Guatemalan asylum seeker the right to remain in the U.S. until her case is finally decided, sending her back to her persecutors; and
permit construction companies to violate wage and hour, hiring, and occupational safety laws when they work on the border fence.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:33 PM | Comments (0)

Free Questions H-1B, PERM, Marriage

I spent the morning responding to client questions to my website. The questions range from H-1B; when can I file for fiscal year 2006? Starting on April 1, 2004; PERM; is this an amnesty? No; marriage and the procedure to filing for status, need for an immigration bond; is it possible to marry a lawful permanent resident and then travel with a B visa? No, because of the doctrine of dual intent does not allow entry with a non-immigrant visa if you have immigrant intent.

If you have a question to;
https://www.mario-ramos.com/mario-ramos-question-free.asp

Or in Spanish go to;
https://www.mario-ramos.com/spanish/mario-ramos-question-free.asp

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 21, 2005

An Immigration Experiment Worth Watching in Spain

There is a good article about immigration reform in Spain in the New York Times. The article discussed the benifits of immigration reform. Here is a quote from the article.

"Madrid — As so much of the Western world debates imposing tighter restrictions on immigration, it's a good time to take a look at Spain.

The year-old Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is moving in the opposite direction, toward a more enlightened system that aims to reduce the number of illegal foreigners by simplifying the path to legal recognition." The rest of the article is located at;

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/opinion/20sun3.html?th

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:40 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2005

Reviewing client questions on my Blackberry

On Sunday I was able to see my e-mail on my Blackberry to review client questions. This device has been great as a way to respond to questions and communicate with my clients. I have directed my e-mail addresses to the Blackberry to be able to view my messages at any time or place. The Blackberry allows me to deal with urgent issues prior to returning to the office. To learn more about Blackberry go to http://www.blackberry.com/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2005

Lobby Day follow up

On Thursay I participated on AILA's (American Immigration Lawyers Association) lobby day in Washington, D.C. Over 300 hundred attorneys and clients flew to Washington to lobby on behalf of immigration issues. On that I am back at my office in Nashville I will continue to work on immigration reform. Contacting members of Congress is important to do in Washington and at their home office. If you need to contact Congress go to http://capwiz.com/aila2/home/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2005

Lobby Day round up

I sent out e-mails to the congressional office with the blog entry from the visit. Also e-mail were sent to several members of AILA on the blog. The blog has been a great way to publish my activities to document what we did in Washington. Immigration reform has a long way to go however it needs to be done. I spent today editing and re-writing some of the entries. The Blackberry is great for making entries on the go, however I am still learing to use this new piece of equipment for my office. I will continue learing to use this valuable tool.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2005

Meeting with the office of Senator William Frist, MD, Majority Leader

Ed and I went to Senator Frist's office where Marshall Fitz from AILA was waiting for us. We had some time before the meeting to talk about current topics and Lobby Day. Over 300 attorneys and clients were lobbying today at the Congress. My visits were focused on Tennessee as my office is located there. We met with James Hippe, Legislative Director for Senator Frist. We spoke on a range of issues; adverse effects of immigration laws, Real Id Act, lack of a full service immigration office in Nashville,

and other immigration topics.We agreed to keep in contact with Senator Frist's office. This is the third time that I have met Jim Hippe on immigration issues. This was our last lobby meeting of the day.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

Lobbying Senator Lamar Alexander

Our group split up as Greg and Tom had already met with the office of Senator Alexander. So Ed and I went to meet John Grant, Legislative Assistant. Ed spoke about the harshness in the current immigration law. Ed is an elected member to the Williamson County School Board. I addressed the previous efforts of numerous persons and groups to bring a full service immigration office to Nashville. We are believed to be the largest city in the country without a full service office. John promised to work with us agreed to work with us on this issue.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

Lobbying Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

Next our group went to the office of Congresswomen Marsha Blackburn. There we had a photo with Mrs. Blackburn as she could not stay to discuss issues because she was on the way to vote. We met with Michael Platt, Lesgislative Director and Rodnet Bacigalupo, Legislative Assistant. Greg and Tom focused their comments on modifying AC21 to allow roll over of unused numbers. Ed discussed the impact of the harsh immigration laws on his clients. I spoke of how immigrants want to serve in the US military. The current shortage of recruits in the National Guard and Armed Forces could be filled from immigrants who want to serve to protect our country. Back in the Vietnam war my uncle Hernando Ramos gained his lawful permanent residency by joining the US army. He was doctor trained as a plastic suregon and he operated on numerous injured soliders and the wives of officers who needed nose jobs. I have been told that when you are in war the immigrattion status of your fellow soldier is the least of your worries. Our country has a long history of immigrants serving in the military. Her staff was polite and reaffirmed her position of which we were aware that Congresswoman Blackburn had rejected President Bush' immigration reform proposal. We understood that more work needs to be done to reach a common ground with her on immigration issues.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:00 PM | Comments (0)

Lobbying Congressman Jim Copper

At 1:00 pm I went to visit my Congressman Jim Cooper from Nashville, TN. There I met with Greg Siskind, Ed Bailey, fellow immigration attorneys and Tom Nichols, President of Vintage Health Resources. We met initially with a staffer to discuss issues. Greg and Tom began to lobby for more EB3 visas by seeking to allow AC21 to be modified to allow a roll over of unused visas. This would help to deal with the nursing shortage in the US. Greg Hinote, Jim's chief of staff walked in and we shook hands. Then Jim Cooper ecame available and we entered his office. As always Jim was very gracious in receiving us. We took a photo with us in his office which overlooks the Capitol and the Mall. We talked about various immigration issues. He takes a very balanced and rational approach. Jim told us that the Congress is controlled by the Republicans so we should seek their support. It was good to see Jim again I still recall visiting him at his office when he was elected back to Congress.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:30 PM

Rally at the Capitol

At noon we went to the Capitol to hear Judy Golub, with AILA give us an immigration update. We need to stop the Real ID Act in the Senate. The House did not discuss the Real ID Act. Judy Golub with AILA introduced Congressman Flake, AZ who is supporter of reform; Congresswoman Lofton, CA a former immigration attornay echoed the need for reform. Congressman Luis Guiterrez, IL spoke passionately about the need to unite immigrant families torn apart by current immigration laws. He called for bipartisan support on immigration reform. He spoke of reform freeing immigrants from an unlawful status. Guiterrez called for the need for a real proposal to solve the immigration problem today. Families are being torn apart under the current laws.

Several attorneys brought clients who had suffered under the current laws. One young lady who was brought to the country as a child could not adjust status because her father died while she was waiting on her green card. She was a model student trapped by laws which fail to provide for the human element that sometimes you may need compassion. I had to leave the rally early to go meet my fellow Tennessee attorneys to begin lobbying members of the Tennessee delegation.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:00 PM | Comments (0)

Lobbying update

I just arrived at Dulles airport in Washington, DC. I am headed to the US Capitol for a lunch rally by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Judy Golub will brief us on Lobby Day.

There are three subcommittee hearins on immigration that I will list below;
Tracking International Students, Subcommittee Joint Hearing: House Education and the Workforce Committee — Subcommittee on Select Education, Thursday, March 17, 10:00 a.m., 2175 Rayburn House Office Building. The 21st Century Competitiveness Subcommittee and the Select Education Subcommittee of the House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a joint hearing on tracking international students in higher education. Witnesses: Stephen A. Edson—managing director, Visa Services Directorate, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; Randolph C. Hite—director, Information Technology Architecture and Systems Issues, Government Accountability Office; Lawrence Bell—director, Office of International Education, University of Colorado, Boulder; C. D. Mote Jr., president - University of Maryland

Global Review of Human Rights, Subcommittee Hearing: House International Relations Committee — Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, Thursday, March 17, 1:30 p.m., 2200 Rayburn House Office Building. The Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee will hold a hearing titled “A Global Review of Human Rights: Examining the State Department’s 2004 Annual Report.” Witnesses: Michael G. Kozak—acting assistant secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Brian Steidle—Global Grassroots

Fiscal 2006 Appropriations: Homeland Security—USCIS, Subcommittee Hearing, House Appropriations Committee— Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Thursday, March 17, 2:00 p.m., 2359 Rayburn House Office Building. The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on fiscal year 2006 appropriations for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Witnesses: Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.-Director, USCIS

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:07 AM | Comments (0)

Immigration Reform Press Event

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Press Event-On Thursday, March
17th at 3 pm in room 253 Russell there will be a press event held by
our coalition partners to demonstrate the range of support for
comprehensive immigration reform and set the stage and message for the
Presidents' meeting on March 23. The event will feature: Bishop Kevin
Farrell, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, DC; Bruce Josten of the US
Chamber of Commerce; Janet Murguia, President, NCLR; Karen Narasaki,
President, NAPALC;

Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform; Terence O’Sullivan, President of Laborers International.

I wiil be posting updates all day.
Mario

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2005

Registration for Lobby Day in Congress

Today I received a voice mail call from Michele Mendez MMendez@aila.org (202) 216-2424 regarding Lobby Day 2005. She asked me to have you contact any non-AILA participants to have them register today. So if you have invited someone to attend please register them earlier today to facilitate the event tomorrow.

Judy Golub sent this list of Hearings and Press Conferences Taking Place on March 17. If you have any time between your Hill meetings, the following may be of interest to you:

Tracking International Students, Subcommittee Joint Hearing: House Education and the Workforce Committee — Subcommittee on Select Education, Thursday, March 17, 10:00 a.m., 2175 Rayburn House Office Building. The 21st Century Competitiveness Subcommittee and the Select Education Subcommittee of the House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a joint hearing on tracking international students in higher education. Witnesses: Stephen A. Edson—managing director, Visa Services Directorate, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State; Randolph C. Hite—director, Information Technology Architecture and Systems Issues, Government Accountability Office; Lawrence Bell—director, Office of International Education, University of Colorado, Boulder; C. D. Mote Jr., president - University of Maryland

Global Review of Human Rights, Subcommittee Hearing: House International Relations Committee — Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, Thursday, March 17, 1:30 p.m., 2200 Rayburn House Office Building. The Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations Subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee will hold a hearing titled “A Global Review of Human Rights: Examining the State Department’s 2004 Annual Report.” Witnesses: Michael G. Kozak—acting assistant secretary of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; Brian Steidle—Global Grassroots

Fiscal 2006 Appropriations: Homeland Security—USCIS, Subcommittee Hearing, House Appropriations Committee— Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Thursday, March 17, 2:00 p.m., 2359 Rayburn House Office Building. The Homeland Security Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on fiscal year 2006 appropriations for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Witnesses: Eduardo Aguirre, Jr.-Director, USCIS

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Press Event—On Thursday, March 17th at 3 pm in room 253 Russell there will be a press event held by our coalition partners to demonstrate the range of support for comprehensive immigration reform and set the stage and message for the Presidents’ meeting on March 23. The event will feature: Bishop Kevin Farrell, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, DC; Bruce Josten of the US Chamber of Commerce; Janet Murguia, President, NCLR; Karen Narasaki, President, NAPALC; Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform; Terence O’Sullivan, President of Laborers International.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:17 AM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2005

Refiling under 245i for PERM

I was asked a question by a mother of two young men seeking to file under PERM, the new process of the Department of Labor. Her question was can they file again under PERM because they filed back in 1995 as unmarried sons of a lawful permanent resident from Mexico. The answer is yes there is no limit to the number of applications they can submit by grandfathering under 254i because they are the beneficiaries of a petition filed prior to April 30, 2001. So it is faster for them to seek to adjust status, receive a work permit under PERM. As unmarried sons of a lawful permanent resident the applications are currently at March 12, 1992. They would have to wait three years more. So they will file under PERM to adjust faster.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2005

Lobby Day in Congress

On March the 17, 2005 I will be in Washington D.C. to lobby on immigration issues. I have set up meetings with the following;

1. Congressman Cooper meeting 1:15-1:45; 1536 Longworth Building
2. Office of Senator Alexander with John Grant re Memphis CIS office; 2:30 pm, Hart 302
3. Office of Senator Frist meeting w/Staffer Jim Hippe & Dr. Nancy Short; 3:00 pm, 509 Hart Bldg

If you want to attend these meetings with me contact me prior to the meetings. Lobbying members of Congress is an essential part of immigration reform.

Thanks,

Mario

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2005

Residency requirement for naturalization

Today I spoke to a client who has been outside of the U.S. for over six months but less than one year while his application for naturalizaion has been pending with CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services). He wanted to know if he has lost his case for naturalization. To answer the question you have to look at Residence which is defined as the place of general abode which means one’s principal, actual, dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent and an absence of more than six months but less than one year raises a rebuttable presumption of abandonment of continuous residency for naturalization purposes. The burden is on the alien to show by a preponderance of evidence that the continuous residence requirement has been met. Also, the alien’s intent, as manifested by objective evidence, is determinative. There are some exceptions to this rule for certain limited classes of persons.
If you are near the six month limit you need to inquire if you fall into the exceptions or you need to return to the U.S.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2005

Blackberry

I recently purchased a Blackberry to use to keep track of my e-mail, calendar, calls, etc. Over the weekend I will be using it to access my office e-mails and respond to client questions. This device is a great way to stay connected to the office.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2005

AILA Grassroots Advocacy Committee

Today I participated on the conference call for the Grassroots advocacy committee. The committee consists of 8 fellow immigration attorneys with help from Judy Golub, the Senior Director Advocacy and Public Affairs for AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association). We planned for Lobby day on March 17, 2005 in Washington, D.C.

We discussed how to encourage AILA members and the public to Contact Congress. If you want to call Congress the Congressional Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. If you want to go to Washington D.C. to accompany me or an immigration attorney from your state contact me.
To contact Congress go to;
http://capwiz.com/aila2/dbq/officials/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

Plain English FAQ on PERM

Today I published a 45 questions and answers FAQ (frequently asked questions) on PERM. You may ask what is PERM? This is the new web based method to file labor certifications with DOL (Department of Labor). PERM will take effect on March 28, 2005. Because there has not been a lot of information released about PERM I took the materials previously released and wrote out 45 questions and answers in plain English. Yesterday, the DOL released a 23 page FAQ which I will study and rewrite as my second FAQ on PERM. I have noticed that most FAQ's then to be written by and for fellow attorneys so I am writing them to be understood by non-attorneys. Go to the new FAQ button on my website and click. You will be directed to a second page where you may select the PERM FAQ. By now you have realized that immigration law is full of abbreviations.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:19 AM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2005

DOL FAQ on PERM

The Department of Labor has released today a 23 page FAQ (frequently asked questions) on PERM. You can find the FAQ on PERM at;

http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/foreign/pdf/perm_faqs_3-3-05.pdf

I will be publishing a FAQ on PERM tomorrow where I have taken the material published and written a FAQ. I will begin to read the DOL's FAQ on PERM to write a second FAQ. Immigration law is full of abbreviations. By the way for those of you wondering what is PERM? It is the new web based method to file labor certifications which will open on March 28, 2005. This method will significantly reduce the waiting period for labor certifications. Now by using PERM you can enter the U.S. with permanent residency faster than many family based applications.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2005

USCIS Will Apply 20,000 Fiscal 2005 H-1B Numbers to All Qualified H-1Bs (later revised to limit use to only masters or higher)

Press release from USCIS indicates that the 20,000 H-1B numbers for fiscal 2005 under the exemption will NOT be limited to individuals holding a master's or higher from a U.S. university, but instead will be applied to all qualified H-1B nonimmigrants. The date when filing can begin is not yet announced.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2005

Court in Chicago

At the hearing before Immigration Judge Vinikoor my client receive an order adjusting his status to permanent residency status after a hearing where the Judge determined that he was not inadmissible due an unlawful conviction of a non-authorized military court in his home country. The Judge had previously ruled that his marriage was a good faith marriage even though he had married after being placed into immigration court proceedings. This case was a great example of using current communication tools; my Blackberry to communicate by phone and e-mail; using web based research to support my web based processing; for example I found different articles referring around the world which supported my client's case. The judge referred to the article and cases in his ruling. This case will be how immigration attorneys will handled cases in the future.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2005

Immigration Court in Chicago

I will be travelling to Chicago to handle a hearing for adjusment of status for a client who initially filed for asylum then married a U.S. citizen. He is seeking to adjust status based on his marriage. This is possible by showing the marriage is in good faith.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2005

As an L1 VISA holder how can I apply for a US Green Card?

To receive a Green Card as an L1 visa holder you must apply under one of three categories;
1. The EB-1 visa is for persons with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation. This visa grants lawful permanent residency without an offer of employment.
2. The EB-2 visa is for members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent, or who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the U.S. and whose services are sought by an employer in the U.S. A national interest waiver will eliminate the need for an offer of employment. This visa grants lawful permanent residency.
3. The EB-3 visa is for professionals who have a Baccalaureate degree (or foreign university equivalent) or persons who are a member of the professions, skilled workers or other workers, including foreign nationals with less than two years of training and work experience. A job offer and labor certification is needed for all EB-3 visas. A national interest waiver is not available for EB-3. This visa grants lawful permanent residency.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

CIS to implement H-1b Visa Reform Act of 2004 advises employers not to file petitions until new guidance is issued

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is currently preparing guidance for the implementation of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2005 which created a new exemption from the annual H-1B congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 visas. While the applicable provisions of the H-1B Visa Reform Act become effective March 9, 2005, USCIS advises employers not to file H-1B petitions seeking to employ an H-1B worker who may benefit from these provisions until USCIS publishes guidance in the Federal Register. USCIS will reject any new H-1B petition that is filed in advance of the effective filing date as established in the forthcoming Federal Register notice.

Ruth E. Tintary
HQ Office of Congressional Relations
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Department of Homeland Security
(202) 272-1947

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2005

Your Voice Needed to Stop H-2B Visa Blackout

In response to employer outcry over H-2B visa blackout, Congress has introduced the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005" (S. 352/ H.R. 793) in the House and Senate. This bipartisan bill would provide emergency H-2B relief for this year and next by exempting from the cap those workers who have participated in the H-2B program in one of the previous 3 years and successfully complied with all program requirements. It also would end the inequitable distribution of H-2B visa numbers by reserving half of the cap numbers for the latter half of the year. While this emergency fix could never replace comprehensive immigration reform nor serve as a model for reform, it is a critical piece of legislation that could determine the fate of many businesses across the nation.

Now, it is up to us to keep the momentum going and the co-sponsor list growing! Reach out to your Members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor the "Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005." Here's what you need to do:

Show your support for Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005. Click here to send a letter immediately to your Senators and Representative. You can also contact members of Congress directly by phone (202-224-3121).

Let your Senators and Representatives hear your story! Use the H-2B Model Letter or the sample letter discussing H-2B visas as a small business issue as a guide. Fax these letters directly to your Members' D.C. offices.

Follow up with your Members of Congress. Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Contact Members directly by phone (202-224-3121). If they are co-sponsors of S. 352 / H.R. 793 thank them. If not, urge them to support and co-sponsor the bill. Use AILA's H-2B Issue Paper and Talking Points as a guide, but the real stories come from the frustrations you are feeling from the H-2B visa blackout!

Provide examples of the need for H-2B visas. The proof is in the pudding -- Senators and Representatives need to know their constituents are affected by the H-2B visa blackout. Send your examples, including company location (city, state) and industry to Joanna Hedvall. AILA will then provide Congress with evidence of the need for an immediate fix!

Utilize the power of the pen. Using AILA's H-2B Issue Paper, write to your local newspaper, submit an op-ed, and contact your local immigration and business reporters. Don't hesitate to contact AILA's Media Relations Associate, Julia Hendrix, for help and advice.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2005

Amnesty in Venezuela

Más de 400 mil colombianos esperan obtener la ciudadanía venezolana y 680 mil siguen como ilegales

Hasta la fecha, unos 186 mil nacionales ya gozan de la ciudadanía del vecino país gracias a los planes de regularización de Hugo Chávez.
view at; http://eltiempo.terra.com.co/inte/latin/noticias/ARTICULO-WEB-_NOTA_INTERIOR-1995256.html

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:22 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2005

Why is the Department of Labor switching to PERM?

Their stated reason is the following; “PERM is a new process that will take full advantage of state of the art technology and the use of policy driven standards to minimize manual intervention, and to increase the speed of case processing at a reduced cost to employers and government alike.” This idea debuted in the Federal Register on August 25, 2000 in the Federal Register. At that time the idea was to use scanning however, this idea has evolved into web based processing as the technology has evolved.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2005

What is PERM?

This is the working title for Program Electronic Review Management System created by the U.S. Department of Labor. Soon I will publish a FAQ on PERM for more information on PERM

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:43 PM | Comments (0)