Sunday, March 31, 2013

July 2013 VB Predictions

This article was updated on May 2013. Please see the link below:

http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/05/visa-bulletin-july-2013-predictions.html



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Current State of CIR

Lots of news websites (CNN, NBC, FOX, Times, etc) are posting different articles on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Here is a quick overview of how things currently are:

Democratic Party (including President Obama): Wants citizenship for undocumented immigrants
Republican Party: Wants EAD only for undocumented immigrants (right to live and work in US). Many republicans strongly believe that these people broke the law and hence should not be rewarded. However, since republicans losts the presidential election again - their committee recommended supporting immigration reform.

As most people know that people only remembers the President who signs the bill into law. They do not remember the Congress who actually passes the bill and sends it to President to sign. You may want to read this article: How a bill becomes law.

Republicans fear that if all these undocumented immigrants are given citizenship, then two things will happen: (a) it will encourage more people to break the law and (b) Majority of these new citizens will vote for Democratic Party (since they will remember Obama as" passing the bill"). Due to these two main reasons, many republicans are hesitant to pass CIR.


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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Updated: I-94 Document Been Converted To Electronic Format

Overview Of I-94 Form:

The Form I-94 is issued by DHS to certain aliens upon arrival in the United States or when changing status in the United States. The Form I-94 is used to document arrival and departure and provides evidence of the terms of admission or parole. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of DHS, generally issues the Form I-94 to aliens at the time they lawfully enter the United States.

Aliens use the Form I-94 for various purposes such as completing employment eligibility verification (the Form I-9), applying for immigration benefits, or to present to a university to verify eligibility for enrollment. Information gathered on the Form I-94 is also used for statistical purposes.

Transitioning to an Electronic Form I-94:

The Form I-94 is currently a paper form. For aliens arriving by air or sea, the carrier distributes the Forms I-94 to the aliens required to complete the form while en route to the United States. The alien presents the completed form to the CBP Officer at primary inspection. The officer stamps the Form I-94 and the alien’s passport, detaches the bottom portion of the form, which is the departure portion, and returns it to the alien along with the alien’s passport.

The admission stamp contains the port of arrival and date of arrival and is annotated with the class of admission and admitted-to date. The top portion of the form—the arrival portion—is sent to a data entry facility where the information on the form is entered into CBP’s computer systems. The departure portion of the Form I-94 retained by the alien may be shown to government or other stakeholders when required. The alien turns in the departure portion of the Form I-94 upon departure, generally to the carrier; the carrier returns the forms to CBP.


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Monday, March 25, 2013

Green Card Processing Statistics

A legal permanent resident (LPR) or “green card” recipient is defined by immigration law as a
person who has been granted lawful permanent residence in the United States. Permanent resident status confers certain rights and responsibilities.

The annual LPR flow has exhibited an upward trend since 1945 (see Figure 1). The average annual LPR flow increased from 250,000 during the 1950s to more than 1 million between 2000 and 2012. Changes in immigration law associated with this increase included the elimination of country quotas controlling Eastern Hemisphere immigration, increases in annual limits for hemispheric and preference immigration, and the inclusion of parents of adult U.S. citizens as numerically exempt immediate relatives.

The spike in legal immigration around 1990 reflects the legalization of 2.7 million unauthorized immigrants under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986.



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Green Card Processing Statistics - Part 2

If you missed part 1, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/03/green-card-processing-statistics.html

Region and Country of Birth:
The leading regions of birth of new LPRs in 2012 were Asia (42 percent) and North America (32 percent). Together, Asia and North America accounted for 70 percent or more of the LPR flow each year from 2009 to 2012. In 2012, 14 percent of all persons granted LPR status were born in Mexico. Other prominent countries of birth were China (7.9 percent), India (6.4 percent), Philippines (5.6 percent), and the Dominican Republic (4 percent). These five countries accounted for 38 percent of all new LPRs in 2012.

Legal Permanent Resident Flow by Region & Country of Birth: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2012

Region and country of birth 2012 2011 2010
Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
REGION
Total 1,031,631 100 .0 1,062,040 100  .0 1,042,625 100  .0
  Africa 107,241 10.4 100,374 9 .5 101,355 9 .7
Asia 429,599 41.6 451,593 42 .5 422,063 40 .5
Europe 81,671 7 .9 83,850 7 .9 88,801 8 .5
North America 327,771 31 .8 333,902 31 .4 336,553 32 .3
  (a) Caribbean 127,477 12 .4 133,680 12 .6 139,951 13 .4
  (b) Central America 40,675 3 .9 43,707 4 .1 43,951 4 .2
  (c) Other North America 159,619 15 .5 156,515 14 .7 152,651 14 .6
Oceania 4,742 0 .5 4,980 0 .5 5,345 0 .5
South America 79,401 7 .7 86,096 8 .1 87,178 8 .4
Unknown 1,206 0 .1 1,245 0 .1 1,330 0 .1
COUNTRY
Total 1,031,631 100  .0 1,062,040 100  .0 1,042,625 100  .0
Mexico 146,406 14 .2 143,446 13 .5 139,120 13 .3
China, People’s Republic 81,784 7 .9 87,016 8 .2 70,863 6 .8
India 66,434 6 .4 69,013 6 .5 69,162 6 .6
Philippines 57,327 5 .6 57,011 5 .4 58,173 5 .6
Dominican Republic 41,566 4 .0 46,109 4 .3 53,870 5 .2
Cuba 32,820 3 .2 36,452 3 .4 33,573 3 .2
Vietnam 28,304 2 .7 34,157 3 .2 30,632 2 .9
Haiti 22,818 2 .2 22,111 2 .1 22,582 2 .2
Colombia 20,931 2 .0 22,635 2 .1 22,406 2 .1
Korea, South 20,846 2 .0 22,824 2 .1 22,227 2 .1
Jamaica 20,705 2 .0 19,662 1 .9 19,825 1 .9
Iraq 20,369 2 .0 21,133 2 .0 19,855 1 .9
Burma 17,383 1 .7 16,518 1 .6 12,925 1 .2
El Salvador 16,256 1 .6 18,667 1 .8 18,806 1 .8
Pakistan 14,740 1 .4 15,546 1 .5 18,258 1 .8
Bangladesh 14,705 1 .4 16,707 1 .6 14,819 1 .4
Ethiopia 14,544 1 .4 13,793 1 .3 14,266 1 .4
Nigeria 13,575 1 .3 11,824 1 .1 13,376 1 .3
Canada 12,932 1 .3 12,800 1 .2 13,328 1 .3
Iran 12,916 1 .3 14,822 1 .4 14,182 1 .4
All other countries 354,270 34 .3 359,794 33 .9 360,377 34 .6



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Green Card Processing Statistics - Part 3

If you missed part 1, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/03/green-card-processing-statistics.html

Age, Sex, and Marital Status:

New LPRs have historically been younger than the native population of the United States. In 2012, the median age for persons becoming LPRs was 31 years; in contrast, the median age of the U.S. native population was 35 years 

New LPRs are more likely to be female than the native U.S. population. In 2012, females accounted for 55 percent of persons granted LPR status compared with 51 percent for the U.S. native population. The majority (58 percent) of new LPRs were married compared with 38 percent of the native population.


Legal Permanent Resident Flow by Age: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2012 :





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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

S. 600: The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley introduced S.600 "The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013" in the Senate to reform and reduce fraud and abuse in certain visa programs for aliens working temporarily in the United States. Following is the summary of this bill:
  • Requires all companies to make a good faith effort to hire Americans first.
  • Requires prospective H-1B employers to list available positions on a Department of Labor sponsored website for a period of 30 days prior to petitioning for foreign labor.
  • Prohibits employers from advertising only to H-1B visa holders.
  • Prohibits companies from outsourcing visa holders to other companies. A waiver is provided for companies that can attest that they have not displaced a U.S. worker, and if it is not a “labor for hire” arrangement.
  • Provides that the wages paid to H-1B visaholders must be the highest of (1) the locally-determined prevailing wage for the occupational classification in the area of employment; (2) the median average wage for all workers in the occupational classification in the area of employment; or (3) the median wage for skill level 2 in the occupational classification found in the most recent occupational employment statistics survey.
  • Increases the ability of the departments of Labor and Homeland Security to enforce worker protections by allowing random audits, and removes burdensome requirements for initiating Department of Labor investigations.
  • Ensures that an H-1B application filed by an employer that employs 50 or more U.S. workers will not be accepted unless the employer attests that less than 50 percent of the employer’s workforce are H-1B and L visa holders.
  • Requires Department of Labor employees to share information about H-1B petitions with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • Requires that each employer filing an application for an H-1B visa holder must submit to the Department of Labor the W-2 tax form for each H-1B visa holder employed during the previous period.
  • Increases administrative fines per violation from $1000 to $2000 and from $5000 to $10,000 for willful misrepresentation and restricts the ability of these companies to participate in the future recruiting of H-1B and L-1 employees.
  • Requires State Department consular officers to provide a brochure to visa holders about their rights under the H-1B and L visa programs. The employee would also get copies of his immigration paperwork, and a list of employer obligations (including wage and working condition requirements).
  • Requires an L visa holder to prove that a legitimate business is being set up in the United States, modifies the wage requirements and outplacement rules, provides L visa holders with a brochure about their rights, and requires a report on the blanket petition application process.


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USCIS Prediction For FY2014 H1B Cap

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 cap on Monday, April 1, 2013. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS receives a properly filed petition for which the correct fee has been submitted; not the date that the petition is postmarked.

The cap (the numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2014 is 65,000. In addition, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals with U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap of 65,000.

Based on feedback from a number of stakeholders, USCIS anticipates that it may receive more petitions than the H-1B cap between April 1, 2013 and April 5, 2013.  USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and notify the public of the date on which the numerical limit of the H-1B cap has been met. This date is known as the final receipt date.  If USCIS receives more petitions than it can accept, USCIS will use a lottery system to randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit.

USCIS will reject petitions that are subject to the cap and are not selected, as well as petitions received after it has the necessary number of petitions needed to meet the cap.  The lottery for the H-1B cap was last used in April 2008.


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Saturday, March 16, 2013

H.R. 1227: Green Card Bill For STEM Ph.D. Degree Earner Introduced in the House

Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03) and Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05) introduced the Stopping Trained in America Ph.D.s from Leaving the Economy Act (STAPLE Act) which would exempt foreign-born individuals who have earned an American Ph.D. in science, technology, mathematics, or engineering from the limits on the number of employment-based green cards and H-1B visas awarded annually

Rep. Jim Renacci (OH-10) and John Delany (MD-06) joined Rep. Paulsen and Rep. Quigley as original co-sponsors of the legislation.

“Approximately 36% of all international students in the U.S. were in STEM fields, yet, we send an estimated 50,000 educated workers out of the country every year because of visa caps. These highly educated students take their talents back home to compete against us in the global marketplace and other countries reap the benefits of their education,” said Andy Halataei, Director of Government Relations at the Information Technology Industry Council. “The Staple Act would stop our domestic brain drain by keeping our most vital resource – highly educated STEM students here in the US to innovate and grow our economy.”


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How to File H-1B Visa

U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, including but not limited to: scientists, engineers, or computer programmers. If you are interested in submitting a petition for an H-1B visa, the (FY) 2014 Cap season begins on April 1, 2013.

For more information about the H-1B program, see this link: H-1B Specialty Occupations and Fashion Models.

 

FY 2014 H-1B Cap

 

Cap Type Cap Amount Cap Eligible PetitionsDate of Last Count
H-1B Regular Cap 65,000 
H-1B Master's Exemption 20,000

 

Cap Eligible Petitions

This is the number of petitions that USCIS has accepted for this particular type of cap. It includes cases that have been approved or are still pending. It does not include petitions that have been denied.

 

Cap Amounts

The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B nonimmigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas are set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Unused numbers in this pool are made available for H-1B use for the next fiscal year.


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USCIS Update of DACA Processing Statistics as of 03/15/2013

The following show total receipts and approvals as of 03/15/2013. This update also shows the applicants by country.
  • Total Received: 469,530
  • Approvals: 245,493
The following is the trend. Total applications show a slow-down; however in last 2.5 month, the USCIS approved nearly 120,000 applications.

Top 10 Countries of Origin
Received to Date
Mexico
338,334
El Salvador
18,449
Honduras
12,183
Guatemala
11,395
Peru
6,495
South Korea
5,599
Brazil
5,487
Colombia
4,875
Ecuador
4,733
Philippines
3,241
Top 10 States of Residence
Received to Date
California
128,412
Texas
73,258
New York
25,735
Illinois
23,602
Florida
20,245
North Carolina
16,554
Arizona
16,009
Georgia
14,861
New Jersey
14,050
Colorado
9,658


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Friday, March 15, 2013

Immigration Update This Week (3/10 - 3/15)

CIR Bill: It looks like the Gang of 8 would not be able to complete the bill writing by end of March. The Senator will leave Washington for Easter break and return back on April 2 till April 13. They will leave again on break and return back on Apr 30. Hopefully the CIR bill will be written and agreed by "Gang of 8" by then.

Impact Of Sequester cuts: Parts of the DHS that are affected by the sequestion are immigration law enforcement directorates, according to the DHS Secretary's report to the Congress. USCIS will not be affected because the funds for USCIS operation are coming from immigration filing fees. The State Department that includes visa posts is reportedly not hit by any massive furloughs until June 2013 and visa processing may be minimally affected by the sequestion, at least for now.

The story is different for the U.S. Department of Labor. The acting Secretary of U.S. Department of Labor released a news that 4,700 employees are hit by furloughs. There is no information available about at this time as to the number of employees of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification that are or will be hit by furlough. Since the operation of the OFLC  rely on fee revenue, it is likely that the OFLC will be affected by this sequestration.


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Monday, March 11, 2013

Predictions: Visa Bulletin May 2013

For official May 2013 Visa Bulletin please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/04/visa-bulletin-may-2013.html

Please see below prediction for May 2013 Visa Bulletin (for both Family Based and Employment Based):

Quick Summary:
  • EB1, EB4, EB 5: Current
  • EB2 Rest Of World: Current
    EB2 China: 6 weeks
    EB2 India: 0 week. See article: EB2 India Analysis & Prediction
  • EB3: 1 week to 2 months
  • F1 to F4: 1 week to 4 months

Please Note: These numbers includes the 18,000 additional visas (spillovers) from FB category to EB category. USCIS seems to have started slowly applying these spillovers to EB categories.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 08APR06 08APR06 08APR06 08AUG93 15JUN99
F2A 15JAN11 15JAN11 15JAN11 01JAN11 15JAN11
F2B 15MAY05 15MAY05 15MAY05 22MAR93 15AUG02
F3 01AUG02 01AUG02 01AUG02 01APR93 22OCT92
F4 08MAY01 08MAY01 08MAY01 15SEP96 15SEP89

Employment Based: 


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Friday, March 8, 2013

Visa Bulletin April 2013

April 2013 Visa bulletin has been released (valid from April 1 to April 30 only). Please see below for more details.

Family Based:

Family-Sponsored All Charge-ability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
F1 08MAR06  08MAR06 08MAR06 01AUG93 15FEB99
F2A 15DEC10  15DEC10 15DEC10 01DEC10 15DEC10
F2B 08APR05 08APR05 08APR05 22FEB93 15JUL02
F3 22JUL02 22JUL02 22JUL02 22MAR93 01OCT92
F4 01MAY01 01MAY01 01MAY01 01SEP96 15AUG89


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Analysis: Demand Data For April 2013 Visa Bulletin

For April 2013 Demand Data, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/03/demand-data-for-april-2013-visa-bulletin.html

Demand Data Analysis:

Every month each country in each category is eligible to get 233 visas (7% * 28.6% * 140,000)/12. This does not include the 18,000 additional spillover from FB category to EB category.

EB2 India: Till Jan 2005, the numbers went up from 300 to 375. This means there was 375-300+233=308 cases ported. The porting rate is remaining constant around 300 cases per month in EB2 India category. However till Jan 2007, the porting cases increased by 2050-1650+233=633 cases. So we are seeing a big increase in this period. However if you look at dates till Jan 2012, the number decreased by 425 cases. This could be either due to (a) EB2 India porting to EB1 category or (b) those cases were withdrawn/abandoned/rejected or (c) USCIS is doing "spring cleaning" and making the data more accurate (based on the available and updated information each month).

Also this "demand destruction" could be due to multiple things: People changing jobs and filing the PERM again (not porting but starting the entire process again), people getting laid off and going back home, people abandoning their GC process because of frustration, people going back home due to better opportunities, multiple PERMs like husband and wife both have PERMs filed, people updating to EB1, people getting married to EB2ROW candidates (or GC holders, US citizens etc).

EB2 China:  The demand prior to Jan 2009 has decreased  by 475 (3,450 to 2,975). Since there is no demand in EB2 China before Jan 2009, all of FB/EB spillover should be applied to EB2 India category (which is backlogged till Sept 2004).


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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Demand Data For April 2013 Visa Bulletin


Update: For analysis of April 2013 Demand Data, please click here: http://blog.mygcvisa.com/2013/03/analysis-demand-data-for-april-2013.html

EB Demand Data For April 2013 Visa Bulletin has been released. Please see details below:




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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

USCIS Forms

USCIS FORMS ARE FREE: Download them from link below (forms can be filled out using the latest version of Adobe Reader), or order by mail or phone at 1-800-870-3676. Don't pay anyone for copies of these forms.

Don't forget to sign your forms! Failure to sign will result in rejection.

Looking for "DS" forms? - see the Department of State website.

E-Notification: When filing at Lockbox facilities in Chicago, Phoenix, or Lewisville, TX, you may file Form G-1145 to receive an email and/or text notification that your application has been accepted.


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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Collection Of Top Immigration News Stories

This post will include top immigration news stories from other websites and will be updated frequently.

For latest immigration news updated every 15 minutes, please see: http://www.mygcvisa.com/News/

You can also follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MyGCVisa

March 7: Democrats promise tech industry reform in exchange for broader CIR lobbying efforts

March 6: Sen. John McCain says revamping visa programs is one of the toughest issues facing immigration reform talks

March 4: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush supports path to permanent residency, not path to citizenship, for undocumented people

Feb 21: White House Proposes 8-Year Path to Green Card

Feb 14: List Of Top H-1B Users

Feb 14: Effort to change immigration law sparks internal battle within GOP


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