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July 30, 2005

PERM Denials

The Department of Labor has been addressing PERM decision logic issues that AILA has been bringing to its attention. As a result, it re-ran the cases already in its system--including those for which a denial notice has actually been sent--and a large number of previously-denied cases are now in processing for full review.

Thus, if you received a denial notice dated earlier than June 24, 2005, you can ignore that notice. Either the case is now being processed for full review or you will receive or have received another denial notice. This is true whether the case was filed electronically or by paper.

If you received a denial notice dated between June 24, 2005 and July 14, 2005, please check the PERM status screen for electronically filed cases. If the screen now shows a processing status (such as sponsorship, audit review, final review, etc.), you can ignore the denial notice. You will eventually receive something else--either a new denial, an approval or an audit letter. If, however, the screen still shows the status as denied, or if your application was filed in paper form, DOL asks that you hold off on filing an appeal for 2 weeks until you see if you get another, corrected denial notice. DOL will allow 60, rather than 30 days, for appeal of cases with a denial letter dated between June 24, 2005 and July 15, 2005 to give employers adequate time to receive any possible updated denial notices.

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

July 29, 2005

FAQ; U.S. citizen needs a work permit

Free Question: well, i'm trying to get a work permit. i'm 15, going to be 16 on october 29th and i don't know if this is what i need but i'm just trying to figure out how i can get a work permit. i both need and want to get a job. if you can help me out, thank you very much for your time. even if you're not able to help me out with getting a work permit, thank you for you time.

Free Answer; Because you are a U.S. citizen you are not required to apply for a work permit from immigration. Your question shows the enormous amount of confusion on immigration law in the U.S. Contact your local labor department to see about working while you are 15 years of age.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2005

Immigrants are not a drain on America's healthcare system

Contrary to popular opinion, immigrants are not a drain on America's healthcare system -- and in fact use much less medical care than those born here, Harvard researchers concluded in a report released Monday. According to study co-author Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons: "Latino immigrants had the lowest health expenditures - $962 per person - half those of US-born Latinos ($1,870) and less than one third those of US-born whites ($3,117). The future economic success of the United States depends on a healthy immigrant workforce. Our findings suggest an urgent need for partnerships between health organizations and community groups to improve access to care, particularly for minority immigrants. This study shows that a national health program that includes all immigrants would cost much less than is widely assumed."
For more information go to; http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/7/25/16391/7452

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

FAQ; H-4 and work permit

Free Question: can an individual on an H4 visa be able to get an employment authorization document so he can work?

Free Answer: An H-4 cannot work unless they apply for their own H-1B or the H-1B applys to adjust status for the H-1 & the H-4; then both would receive a work permit by virtue of the adjustmnent application.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2005

FAQ; H-1B extension of stay

Free Question: My H1 -B visa is expiring in 2006. I want to renew my H1 - B.I want to know about h1-b renewal process.

Free Answer; an H-1B alien; specialty occupation or fashion modeling may be authorized for an extension for a period of up to three years for a total of six years. To be approved beyond six years an application must be made for one year extensions because of a pending application for over 365 days with the Department of Labor or Customs and Immigration Services.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2005

Update on immigration reform

LATimes ran an article discussing the state of affairs on immigration reform;

WASHINGTON - Worried that the tone of the immigration debate is
pushing Latinos away from the Republican Party, the White House is
working with political strategists to create a broad coalition of
business groups and immigrant advocates to back a plan President
Bush could promote in Congress and to minority voters in the 2006
elections. By Peter Wallsten and Nicole Gaouette.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2005

Frist says Senate unlikely to get to immigration this year

In the Houston Chronicle Senator Frist stated that comprehensive immigraiton reform will not occurr this year. You can find the link at http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/politics/3267032

"WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Thursday that immigration reform is probably off the table for this year, a prediction that threw cold water on the methodical efforts of Sen. John Cornyn to pass a bill this fall.

The overall guest worker-immigration legislation will come in this Congress (whic

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:52 AM | Comments (0)

July 23, 2005

Immigration Overhaul Seen as Key to Domestic Security

In the Nation magazine Homeland Secretary Michael Chertoff lays out his plans to overhaul his agency, and urges a guest worker program to help secure borders, By Nicole Gaouette, Times Staff Writer on July 14, 2005 at latimes.com/archives.

WASHINGTON — Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, portraying immigration policy as a vital weapon against terrorism, pledged Wednesday to tighten border security but also called on Congress to approve a guest worker program that would make it easier for foreign

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2005

Deportation Case Against Students Tossed

Here is more information about the four students arrested by immigration authorities by JACQUES BILLEAUD, Associated Press Writer

"A judge on Thursday threw out the deportation case against four young people who were brought to the U.S. illegally when they were toddlers and had their immigration status discovered during a trip to a high school science competition along the Canadian border.

U.S. Immigration Judge John Richardson granted a request from the four to exclude key evidence in the case, ruling that border agents questioned the students based on their Hispanic appearance.

The government is expected to appeal the case."

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2005

USCIS Updates Count on FY2005 H-1B Usage

In a press release issued July 12, 2005, USCIS indicates that, as of June 29, 2005, it has received 8,069 petitions that will count against the 20,000 additional numbers for fiscal year 2005.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2005

DC Hill Update and ALERT

The Senate has started floor debate on the DHS Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2360) and is expected to focus on the bill for this entire week. We were told today that several immigration amendments likely will be ruled in order for floor consideration and several have been filed. The amendments were filed last night and were recently made available. We do not yet know what amendments will ultimately be brought to the floor for a vote.

While there is still on-going negotiations, we urge you to contact your Senators using the Congressional switchboard number (202-224-3121) and urge them to oppose the following amendments:

1. S.A. 1163: This amendment from Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Sessions (R-AL) seeks to expand the types of passport and document related offenses that constitute an “aggravated felony.” For example, it makes conviction for use of any false document to gain entry into the United States an aggravated felony, regardless of whether any prison sentence is imposed. Perhaps more broadly, the amendment would make convictions (state or federal) for fraudulent use of documents to establish immigration status or employment authorization aggravated felonies. Given the incredibly harsh consequences of the aggravated felony classification (including mandatory detention and removal, and disqualification for any type of relief), the pernicious effect of this amendment would be to render true refugees ineligible for asylum or other protection if the government prosecutes them for false statements or use of a fraudulent document. It also would expose potentially millions of undocumented workers to aggravated felony liability if they are prosecuted for using false social security cards or EADs

2. S.A. 1204: This amendment filed by Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Kyl (R-AZ) includes enforcement measures that would, among other things, require the expansion of expedited removal to all border areas; set minimum bond amounts ($5,000) for aliens from noncontiguous countries; require minimum deny admissions to nationals of a country whose government has denied or unreasoable delayed accepting return of an alien; and other provisions. We oppose consideration of this menu of enforcement proposals absent concomitant reform of our immigration laws and believe many are wrong-headed.

3. S.A. 1139: This amendment filed by Senators Sessions (R-AL) and Hatch (R-UT) would require a broad array of immigration status information to be entered into the National Crime Information Center database, including: individuals with final removal orders, individuals who have executed voluntary departure agreements, individuals who have overstayed their authorized period of status, and individuals whose visas have been revoked. This information must be entered regardless of whether the individual received notice of the order or has already been removed. These mandates ignore the fact that most of the violations in question are civil in nature and inappropriate for inclusion in a national law enforcement database. Given the lack of accuracy controls over information put in this database (DOJ recently exempted such data from the Privacy Act's accuracy requirements) and the numerous quasi-statuses (pending extensions, changes, etc.), these mandates are sure to lead to many mistakes and serious abuses.

To counter these measures, our Hill supporters have filed several pro-immigration amendments. When you contact your Senators, please urge them to support these measures if they are offered. Our supporters intend to proceed with these measures if the negative amendments highlighted above are brought to the floor. These amendments include the McCain/Kennedy Secure America comprehensive immigration reform bill, the bipartisan AgJobs bill, and AgJobs with some of the enforcement measures included in the Secure America Act .

Judith Golub
Senior Director, Advocacy & Public Affairs
American Immigration Lawyers Association
(202) 216-2403

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

Reward for excelling may be deportation

There is an article in the Miami Herald which discusses the danger of crossing the border if you are unsure of your immigration status. The article also states the need for immigration reform to help prevent cases like this one. You can find the rest of the article at; http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/12173725.htm
The article was written by Nicolas Ricardi of the Los Angeles Times Service;

"Four young people whose academic achievement earned them a class trip ran afoul of immigration officials. Now they must fight off efforts to have them deported. PHOENIX - The federal officer standing over Yuliana Huicochea fired off a question that no one had asked the high-school honors student before: What was her immigration status?"

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2005

PERM, approval, green card, changing jobs

Free Question: Hi, my employer is currently applying for my PERM status. After receiving the PERM status, roughly how long would it take to get my greencard? Usually how long does it take to physically receive my greencard through the mail? After getting notification of my greencard, can I change jobs even if I haven't physically received my greencard? Thanks so much for you advice.

Free Answer: PERM is a new system which is taking longer than expected for approval to be issued by the Department of Labor. The waiting period for a green card depends on where you live in the U.S. Each immigration office has different waiting periods. Once you recieve approval of permanent residency either by a stamp in your passport or the physical card you may change employers. If you are seeking to change jobs you should consider having 2nd employer file for you instead of having to wait during the process.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2005

FAQ; K3 y no estamos claros en que debemos hacer ahora

Free Question: buen dia. necesito informacion del proceso a seguir para cambiar mi status a residente en usa. Yo tengo visa k3 y llevo 3 meses en usa, pero mi esposo y yo no estamos muy claros en que debemos hacer ahora, para yo poder trabajar y estudiar. gracias

Free Answer: Tienes que aplicar por su residencia permanente con inmigración. Mientras que el proceso está pendiente, usted puede aplicar por un permiso de trabajo. Usted recibirá su aprobación de Residente Permanente dentro de Estados Unidos.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2005

FAQ; getting job offer

Free Question: hello i m not getting any jobs from any websites. Could u please help me in getting a secretary job in USA.

Free Answer: My firm limits its work to helping you with your immigration visa once you have located a job offer in the U.S. Here are various U.S. job websites; http://www.webjobsusa.com/ http://www.job-hunt.org; http://www.monster.com; http:/www.dice.com; http://whohasjobs.com; http://www.latpro.com; http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/; http://www.nashvillechamber.com/

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2005

Family celebration

Today we had a family dinner where we cooked on the grill and enjoyed the summer. Two of my aunts flew in from Columbia. My friend Peter Frielinghausen and his wife Tannia dropped by from Germany. My parents, brother Fred, uncle Paul and wife Leonor joined us. My wife and her sister Alma baked a chessecake. A great time was had by all.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2005

Laptop and wireless network

Today I ordered a laptop computer from Dell. With this computer I will be able to manage my web based immigration office from any where in the world. This will improve my response to questions as now I will be able to respond from anywhere. The more my practice has developed on the web the broader my client base has become. Now I deal with a variety of time zones. This means that my workday is no longer the traditional eight hour day. The need to communicate has pushed me to explore new methods.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:25 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2005

FAQ; Need a green card

Free Question: I'm here 4years. i don't have a green card or any type of permanent status. Will i be able to get a green card? If yes, how long will it take?

Free Answer: We need President Bush's immigration proposal to be made into law. There are millions of persons here paying taxes support our country. To see if you qualify by family, employment or another method contact me.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2005

FAQ; TPS and adjustment of status

Free Question: I am a African from West Africa (Liberia) which was devastated by 14 yrs. civil war. I am presently on a temporary protected status (tps) and is presently a father of a USA citizen and have lived in the United State for 3 three and a half year .I would like to know if my tps is terminated can I still be able to live in the US or change my status to permanent status through legal means?

Free Answer: TPS does not allow you to apply for permanent residency. You need to seek to apply for LPR status independently. Unless you have applied for status before you may not be able to apply for status at this time. Did you apply for asylum? Before applying you should contact an attorney.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 01:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2005

Border control does not fix the problem

There was a good article in the LATimes discussing the myth of border control. Napoleon tried to prevent trade with Great Britan and he failed. The penalty was death and it was not able stop trade. Here is quote and link to the article: Tougher enforcement at the border means little if the system
doesn't also meet the nation's labor needs. By Tamar Jacoby.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

FAQ; U.S. immigration law or U.S. immigration law advocacy

Free Question: Dear Sir, I have no more question. But I have only a question- What is your views about the socially discriminated people (esp. due to his/her poor economic condition)? If you are positive to them. Plz. provide me a chance to be there; and help me to serve the human and humanity. Do you have the courage to help a poor?

Free Answer: I give of my time helping by answering immigration questions such as yours. However I limit my answers to immigration issues. My blog is a business blog which combines immigration law and the advocacy of immigration law. If you ask an immigration question concerning immigration law in the U.S. or immigration advocacy in the U.S. I will send you a response.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2005

FAQ; Green card holder out of USA last 3 countinus years

Free Question: Your webside is very informative for me...I have a Q. My friend is Green card holder but he is out of USA from last 3 countinus years. His green card is valid till 2010. Is there any time limit (period) for Green card holders to come back USA?

Free Answer: If a Green card holder is outside of the U.S. for more than one year and is returning to the U.S., they usually must have a re-entry documentation from USCIS or an immigrant visa from the Department of State. IF your friend does not have these documents he will have to document why he was unable to return to the U.S.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2005

FAQ; work permit

Free Question: I would like to know how i get a work permit. I already worked in USA, in WDW in Orlando as a cultural representativ of a European Country. I have a social security number and also a bank account in suntrust but I dont' have the work permit, how can i get it? I am looking to work in tourism as a rental sales agent.

Free Answer: To obtain a work permit from an employer in the U.S. first you need an offer of employment. If you have a four year university degree or similar work experience you may qualify for an H-1B visa which become available on October 1, 2005. You need to apply as soon as possible to reserve your visa.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2005

FAQ; Is everybody able to get the PERM??

Free Question: Hello. Is everybody able to get the PERM?? I live in USA 4 months, i have tourist VISA and i am in regular time to stay here that is 6 months. Is my situacion good to have perm??If yes, someday can it become a Green Card?? How much costs to get this Perm?? Thanks.. i'm waiting the answer...Thanks again..

Free Answer: PERM is the process whereby the U.S. Department of Labor approves an offer of employment for labor certification. There are various job categories advance degree, professionals, university degree, skilled worker and unskilled workers. The process with PERM involves an offer of employment from a U.S. business. Then if the employer will apply you may begin the immigration process. If your job skills are of a national interest to the U.S. or you have national or internation expertise or awards you may skip the PERM process.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 08:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2005

FAQ; Lost Passport

FREE QUESTION: I'm working on H-1. Well i need your help.I lost my passport in last december and as a requirement i filed the police report and i got another passport from here in chicago pakistan consulate.Well obviously it doesnt have the H-1 stsamp.I have also informed the american consulate in pakistan on behalf of my company..

FREE ANSWER: You need to contact the consulate to ask if they will re-stamp your passport. If not then when you seek to re-enter the U.S. you will have to go a consular interview.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 09:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2005


PREGUNTA: lea en univision.com "imigracion" ,hablan de un plan llamado SOLVE calificamos en ese? porfavor no nos olvide tenemos fe en usted

REPUESTA: SOLVE es una petición y no es ley todavía. El congreso de los estados unidos tener este petición como en su agenda. No se puede aplicar a este momento por SOLVE.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

July 06, 2005

Honduran/Nicaraguan TPS EAD Extension Announcement

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will announce in the Federal Register a 90-day auto-extension of employment authorization documents (EADs) for Hondurans and Nicaraguans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) valid until October 5, 2005. This Federal Register Notice will be published the week of July 5. The auto-extension applies to all TPS-related EADs (Form I-766 or Form I-688B) with an expiration date on the card of January 5, 2005 and a "category" of "A-12" or "C-19." This notice contains guidance for affected employees and employers and will be posted online at www.uscis.gov.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

The Center for Continuous Family Improvement

July 5, 2005
Contact: Melinda Lewis, 913-677-0100 x.119, mlewis@elcentroinc.com

Agency Celebrates Victory for Immigrant Students
El Centro, Inc. Celebrates Dismissal of Lawsuit Challenging HB2145

Kansas City, KS--El Centro, Inc., one of the driving forces behind the legislative and organizing effort that resulted in the passage of HB2145 in Kansas, celebrates today’s decision by Judge Richard Rogers to dismiss the legal challenge to it. “We were saddened and outraged by the Federation for American Immigration Reform’s mean-spirited, baseless attack on Kansas kids, and we are heartened by the court’s sound decision that FAIR does not have standing to bring suit just because they disagree with a policy of the Kansas Legislature,” declared Ian Bautista, President/CEO of El Centro, Inc. “While we celebrate most enthusiastically for the immigrant students whose dreams would have been dashed with an adverse decision, all Kansans should claim today’s ruling as a victory,” Bautista explained. “Our entire state will be more prosperous, our schools more successful, and our future more secure as a greater percentage of Kansas young people pursue and attain college degrees as a result of this forward-thinking legislation.”

“The plaintiffs in this case had a fundamental problem, even greater than their far-fetched claims that HB2145 would interfere with international trade or that Admissions Directors are committing felonies by enticing ‘aliens’ to the U.S. Their biggest problem was that they are simply not negatively affected at all by HB2145 and, therefore, do not have recourse through the courts,” explained Melinda Lewis, Director of Policy Advocacy and Research. “We are confident that, in the inevitable appeal process, this decision will be upheld. In the meantime, we will continue our work educating parents, students, and educators at both the secondary and post-secondary levels about HB2145, its requirements, and strategies to make sure that all Kansas high school graduates succeed in college and in the workplace.”

“Our next step is to pass the DREAM Act in Congress, to ensure that all of these young people can work in their chosen careers upon graduating from college and that every child in the nation, not just those lucky enough to be Kansans, have a chance to realize their dreams. This takes us one step closer to that goal, and we are more committed than ever to reaching it,” vowed Bautista.

About El Centro, Inc.; El Centro, Inc. was founded in Wyandotte County in 1976, with the purpose of creating and sustaining educational, social and economic opportunities for families. Today, the agency's 10 locations comprise a strong, diverse, entrepreneurial, asset-building social enterprise that works to improve the lives of families in Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas. El Centro seeks to improve the quality of life of those in need by providing programs and services in the areas of education and literacy, employment, housing, advocacy, community outreach, and referrals. El Centro creates an environment where families can develop their skills, establish realistic plans and make progress towards the attainment of their goals. El Centro is a United Way agency, a member of the NeighborWorks® network and an affiliate of the National Council of La Raza.

El Centro, Inc. 650 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101 www.ElCentroInc.com (913) 677-0100 Mlewis@ElCentroInc.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 05, 2005

Web practice

In June 2004 I began my plan to develope my website. Since this date my office has switched all its systems to web based ones. This has required a lot of learning as each system has to be implemented. My legal and web team has done a great job working together. This past 4th of July weekend was a good example of the ever present web allowing business without the limitations of time and geography. On Tuesday I answered the e-mails seeking immigration help. The web allows for non-stop business.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 05:16 PM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2005

Fourth of July, the U.S. independence day

The 4th of July is the national independence day for the U.S. The U.S. celebrates this holiday every year on the 4th. Almost all businesses close for the holiday. My wife was born in Honduras and now is a U.S. citizen. She enjoys celebrating the 4th as a new citizen of the U.S.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

July 03, 2005

Family dinner with Jackie Triggs

Today my family and I had a dinner with my wife' s cousin. It is fun to see a gathering of Hondurans in the U.S. At the dinner was the my wife's mother, her sister, two of her cousins and others. Latins have large extended families and eating together is part of our socializing. Tomorrow the U.S. celebrates its national independence. The U.S. is a country built by immigrants. Each new wave adds to the strenght of the country. As we ate you could hear fireworks from people celebrating early.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 02, 2005

World Press Fits Villaraigosa Into the Big Picture

A story in the LA Times by Jessica Garrison and Daniel Hernandez, Times tells the classic American success story of immigrants in the U.S. The story talks about the rise of a Mexican immigrant's son for lessons on assimilation and diversity. Here is a quote from the story "Here is an example of a Latino young man, who worked his way hard, and the system accepted him. America accepted him…. This is an example of a perfect integration of foreigners into the system. This is the man who could rally everybody:

Posted by VisaLawyer at 07:02 AM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2005

USCIS Chief Counsel Robert Divine will become the Acting Director of USCIS

I am happy to learn that my friend Robert Devine will become on July 25 the acting director of USCIS. USCIS Director Eduardo Aguirre has resigned to become Ambassador to Spain. After July 25, 2005, USCIS Chief Counsel Robert Divine will become the Acting Director of USCIS until a new Director has been nominated and confirmed. In the meantime, Michael Petrucelli, who also is departing USCIS, is serving as Acting Director.

17 years ago when I first began practicing immigration law in Nashville I would call Robert for advice or use his book "Immigration Practice" a practical treatise addressing U.S. immigration law. Robert was always helpful and enjoyed teaching young attorney like me on how to win a case. This is great news for immigrants in the U.S. USCIS needs a leader of Robert’s experience and knowledge. For years Robert was the head of the Mid-South Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Robert was the leader of a team of immigration lawyers and paralegals at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Robert received his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law, Nashville Tennessee and Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Posted by VisaLawyer at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

Brazilians Streaming Into U.S. Through Mexican Border

In the LA Times there is a story By Larry Rohter published on June 30, 2005 about how pay trafficking rings for door-to-door transport to Boston, the preferred destination of illegal Brazilian immigrants, is about $10,500. This fee is to be smuggled illegally into the U.S. This is an example of the broken immigration system where it is difficult to obtain a visa and the delay in the system.
You can find the rest of the story at; http://www.latimes.com

Posted by VisaLawyer at 06:38 AM | Comments (0)