Vol. VIII, Issue 30 - August 30, 2010
The EB I-485 Email Pilot Special Notification Initiative was
created to allow applicants a process by which they can facilitate the
processing of certain EB I-485 applications. Inquiries related to
processing may be e-mailed to:
. An automatic reply will be sent by TSC stating
that the request was received and providing information on how to send a
follow-up inquiry. A follow up inquiry may be sent if a response
is not received within 90 days.
For more information
related to this program: USCIS Texas Service Center Email Pilot
Initiative: Employment-Based 1-485 Special Notification
Special Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visa Holders Who Want to Enroll in School
of a B-1 Temporary Business Visitor Visa and B-2 Tourist Visa are not
permitted to enroll in school in the U.S. In order to do so,
foreign individuals in B-1/B-2 status must change to either an F-1
(academic student) or M-1 (vocational student) status prior to enrolling
in a course. Enrolling in courses before changing to F-1/M-1 status
will result in a violation of visa status and will preclude that
individual from extending his or her B-1/B-2 status and from obtaining
For more information regarding these
instructions, please visit the following USCIS website: Special
Instructions for B-1/B-2 Visitors Who Want to Enroll in School.
USCIS Implements H-1B & L-1 Fee Increase
August 13, 2010, President Obama signed a law that increased the filing
fees for H-1B and L-1 visa petitions. The law requires that an
additional $2,000 fee for certain H-1B petition and an additional $2,250
fee for certain L-1A
and L-1B petitions submitted on or after August 14, 2010. These
fees apply to petitioners who meet the following criteria:
• Employs 50 or more employees in the U.S.
• More than 50 percent of those employees are in H-1B, L-1A, L-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status
meeting these criteria must submit the additional fee in two different
circumstances: (1) when filing to obtain initial nonimmigrant status for
a foreign worker or (2) when filing to obtain authorization to have a
foreign worker with nonimmigrant status change employers. The law
will remain effective through September 20, 2014.
information on how to submit petitions that are not subject to this fee,
please visit the following USCIS website: USCIS Implements H-1B and L-1
Fee Increase According to Public Law 111-230.
ICE Releases Guidance Memo Regarding the Handling of Removal Proceedings of Aliens with Pending Applications or Petitions
ICE memo establishes a procedure by which the U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) will request expedited adjudication of
applications and petitions pending before the USCIS for aliens in
removal proceedings. It also provides that detained aliens with
pending applications before the USCIS may be entitled to dismissal
without prejudice if the ICE, in its discretion, determines that the
alien is eligible for relief from removal. Please note that this
policy only applies to applications and petitions that the USCIS has
legal jurisdiction to adjudicate during a removal proceeding.
detailed information on this new ICE policy, please visit the following
website: Guidance Regarding the Handling of Removal Proceedings
of Aliens with Pending or Approved Applications or Petitions
H-1B Program Cap Count Update (August 20, 2010)
The H-1B program
allows U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers to perform services in
specialty occupations that require technical expertise in specialized
fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.
FY 2011 cap amount for the regular H-1B visa category is 65,000.
However, not all H-1B petitions are subject to this cap. Up to
20,000 H-1B petitions are exempt under the H-1B advanced degree
exemption. This exemption applies to petition beneficiaries who
have obtained a U.S. master’s degree or higher. According to the
August 20, 2010 USCIS cap count for FY 2011, 33,900 regular H-1B
petitions and 12,600 advanced degree H-1B petitions have been accepted
or are still pending.
For more information on the H-1B program,
eligibility and filing requirements, please visit the following USCIS
websites: H-1B Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and
Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models and H-1B Fiscal Year
(FY) 2011 Cap Season.
H-2B Program Cap Count Update (August 23, 2010)
The H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Workers Program
permits U.S. employers to fill temporary nonagricultural jobs by
bringing foreign workers to the United States. The current
statutory cap on the H-2B visa category is 66,000 employments per fiscal
year. This cap amount is divided equally between the two halves
of the fiscal year; 33,000 visas are reserved for the first half of the
fiscal year (October 1 to March 31) and another 33,000 are reserved for
the second half (April 1 to September 30). Although there is no
carry-over of unused employment spots from one fiscal year to another,
unused cap numbers from the first half of the fiscal year can be filled
during the second half of the fiscal year.
Not all H-2B
petitions are subject to the statutory cap amount. In general,
H-2B workers who apply to extend their stay are exempt from the
cap. Likewise, the spouse and children of H-2B workers who qualify
under the H-4 nonimmigrant classification are exempt from the
cap. Further, H-2B workers who apply for the employment as fish
roe processors, fish roe technicians and/or fish roe processing
supervisors, or perform labor or services in the Commonwealth of
Northern Mariana Islands and/or Guam between November 28, 2009 until
December 31, 2014 are exempt from the statutory cap.
USCIS is accepting H-2B petitions for both FY-2010 and FY-2011.
The August 23, 2010 USCIS cap count shows that 29,523 petitions have
been approved and 437 petitions are pending for the second half of
FY-2010. For the first half of FY-2011, 3,654 petitions have been
approved and 1,187 petitions are pending.
For more information
on the H-2B Program, eligibility and filing requirements, please visit
the following USCIS websites: H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
and Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants.