The Livesay & Myers Blog

Immigration News Roundup March 12, 2010

Posted on March 12th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

Backlog in Immigration Cases Continues to Climb“Cases awaiting a hearing in the nation’s Immigration Courts reached an all-time high of 228,421 in the first months of FY 2010, according to very timely government enforcement data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). The current number of pending cases is up 23 percent just since the end of FY 2008, and 82 percent higher than it was ten years ago.” TRAC, March 2010.

USCIS Reminds Petitioners to Provide Approved Labor Condition Applications“As of March 10, 2010, USCIS will reject any H-1B petition filed without an LCA certified by DOL.” USCIS, March 10, 2010.

2009 Country Reports on Human Rights PracticesDOS, March 11, 2010.

Business owners push Obama on immigration reform“The proponents believe immigration reform will help stimulate the nation’s shaky economy, including the housing market. “The majority of Realtors … Read More »

USCIS to Accept H-1B Petitions for Fiscal Year 2011 Beginning April 1, 2010

Posted on March 9th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on March 8, 2010 that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2011 cap on April 1, 2010. Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS takes possession of a properly filed petition with the correct fee; not the date that the petition is postmarked.

The fiscal year cap (numerical limitation on H-1B petitions) for FY 2011 is 65,000. Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a U.S. master’s degree or higher are exempt from the H-1B cap.

USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and will notify the public of the date on which USCIS received the necessary number of petitions to meet the H-1B cap. If needed, USCIS will randomly select the number of petitions required to reach … Read More »

Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants

Posted on March 8th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

The National Visa Center (NVC) at Portsmouth, New Hampshire has released its Annual Report of Immigrant Visa Applicants in the Family-sponsored and Employment-based preferences Registered as of November 1, 2009.

The report shows the numberof immigrant visa applicants on the waiting list in the various preferences and subcategories subject to numerical limits, and is worth reading for anyone on the list.

Contact UsIf you or a loved one require legal assistance with an immigration law matter, contact us to schedule your initial consultation with an experienced immigration attorney today. Our immigration lawyers represent clients throughout Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The Operation of the Immigrant Numerical Control System

Posted on March 8th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

The Department of State (DOS) is responsible for administering the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) relating to the numerical limitations on immigrant visa issuances. This DOS information sheet explains the operation of the immigrant number allotment and control system.

How The System Operates

At the beginning of each month, the Visa Office (VO) receives a report from each consular post listing totals of documentarily qualified immigrant visa applicants in categories subject to numerical limitation. Cases are grouped by foreign state chargeability/preference/priority date. No names are reported. During the first week of each month, this documentarily qualified demand is tabulated.

VO subdivides the annual preference and foreign state limitations specified by the INA into monthly allotments. The totals of documentarily qualified applicants which have been reported to VO, are compared each month with the numbers available for the next regular allotment. … Read More »

Immigration News Roundup March 2, 2010

Posted on March 2nd, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

Mexican Immigrants in the United States“This spotlight focuses on Mexican immigrants residing in the United States, examining the population’s size, flow, geographic distribution, and socioeconomic characteristics using data from the US Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey (ACS) and 2000 Decennial Census, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics (OIS) for 2008.” MPI, February 2010.

Mexico: A Crucial Crossroads“A decade into the 21st century, Mexico finds itself at a crucial crossroads with its northern neighbor the United States, where about 10 percent of its citizens live.” MPI, February 2010.

Pushback Over Border Busts“After warning federal prosecutors for two years, Judge Sam Sparks was fed up with the parade of nonviolent illegal aliens in the overburdened courtrooms in his Texas division. What he did next, said lawyers across the country, was astounding and unprecedented.” Marcia Coyle, NLJ, March … Read More »

Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) and H-1B Petitions

Posted on February 8th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided detailed information regarding the Employ American Workers Act (EAWA) and H1-B petitions.

On Feb. 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (commonly known as the “stimulus bill”). The stimulus bill contained the Employ American Workers Act (“EAWA”).

EAWA took effect on February 17, 2009 and will expire on February 17, 2011. EAWA prevents a company from displacing U.S. workers when hiring H-1B specialty occupation workers if the company received funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), or under section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act (collectively referred to as “covered funding”).

EAWA affects the current Labor Condition Application (LCA) process administered by Department of Labor (DOL) and the USCIS petition process for companies seeking H-1B workers. Companies subject to EAWA will now need to make new statements regarding … Read More »

DHS Announces Humanitarian Parole Policy For Certain Haitian Orphans

Posted on January 19th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

On January 18, 2010, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, announced a humanitarian parole policy allowing orphaned children from Haiti to enter the United States temporarily on an individual basis to ensure that they receive the care they need—as part of the U.S. government’s ongoing support of international recovery efforts after last week’s earthquake.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to help reunite families in Haiti during this very difficult time,” said Secretary Napolitano. “While we remain focused on family reunification in Haiti, authorizing the use of humanitarian parole for orphans who are eligible for adoption in the United States will allow them to receive the care they need here.”

Humanitarian parole into the United States may be granted by the Secretary of Homeland Security to bring otherwise inadmissible individuals … Read More »

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Granted For Haitians

Posted on January 18th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has been granted for undocumented Haitians who have been in the United States as of January 12, 2010. The registration period will likely start next week and will last for 180 days. During that time, the law firm of Livesay & Myers, P.C. will file TPS applications for qualified applicants, including work permits. Applicants must prove their Haitian nationality with documents such as a passport or birth certificate.

Our immigration lawyers charge a flat legal fee of $250 for such TPS applications. In addition to that legal fee, the following costs apply: $50 TPS registration fee, $80 biometrics fee (no biometrics fee if applicant is under 14), and $340 work permit fee.

If you or a loved one require assistance with an application for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), or any other immigration law matter, contact us to schedule your initial consultation … Read More »

DHS Announces Streamlined Citizenship Application Process For Military

Posted on January 17th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on January 15, 2010 the publication of a rule formalizing the longstanding DHS policy to expedite and streamline the citizenship process for men and women bravely serving in America’s armed forces.

“The foundation of our national security is the patriotic service and extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Expediting the citizenship process for service members reflects our commitment to honoring those who come from all over the world to serve our country and become its newest citizens.”

The rule amends DHS regulations to conform to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2004, reducing the time requirements for naturalization through military service from three years to one year for applicants who served during peacetime, and extending benefits to members of the Selected Reserve of the … Read More »

USCIS Issues Guidance On H-1B “Employee-Employer Relationship”

Posted on January 14th, 2010, by James Livesay in Immigration Law. Comments Off


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued updated guidance to adjudication officers to clarify what constitutes a valid employer-employee relationship to qualify for the H-1B “specialty occupation” classification. The memorandum clarifies such relationships, particularly as it pertains to independent contractors, self-employed beneficiaries, and beneficiaries placed at third-party worksites. The memorandum is titled: “Determining Employer-Employee Relationship for Adjudication of H-1B Petitions, Including Third-Party Site Placements: Additions to Officer’s Field Manual (AFM) Chapter 31.3(g)(15)(AFM Update AD 10-24).” In addition to clarifying the requirements for a valid employer-employee relationship, the memorandum also discusses the types of evidence petitioners may provide to establish that an employer-employee relationship exists and will continue to exist with the beneficiary throughout the duration of the requested H-1B validity period.

Questions & Answers

Q: Does this memorandum change any of the requirements to establish eligibility … Read More »

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