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2005 News

December 2005
12/16/05

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued its latest count of available H-1B and H-2B visas, which indicates that the H-2B cap has been reached for the first half of fiscal year 2006.

   
November 2005
11/29/05

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued its latest count of available H-1B and H-2B visas.

   
11/21/05

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued its latest count of available H-1B and H-2B visas. According to the count, H-1B visas are still available to advance-degree holders.

With respect to H-2B visas, the cap has been reached for the first half of the fiscal year 2006. However, H-2B visas remain available for the second half of the fiscal year 2006 which begins on April 1, 2006. Applications may be submitted beginning on December 1, 2005 for the April 1, 2006 start date. Because H-2B labor certifications are valid for one year, an applicant who obtained an approved H-2B labor certification during the first part of the fiscal year may use it to apply for an H-2B visa during the second half of the fiscal year.

 

September 2005

9/26/05 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that effective October 26, 2005, it will increase immigration fees by approximately $10 per application. Read the USCIS press release.
   
9/23/05

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued its latest count of available H-1B visas and H-2B visas.

Also, today, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will increase filing fees by $5 to $20 per application. Further news will be posted when it becomes available.

   
9/20/05

The U.S. Department of State announced today that its Diversity Lottery Program for 2007 will begin at noon (Eastern Standard Time) on October 5, 2005 and run until noon (Eastern Standard Time) on December 4, 2005. Read the Department of State Press Release. Instructions for the Diversity Lottery can be found on the Department of State website.

   
9/6/05

Because many of the victims of Hurricaine Katrina have lost all of their personal documents, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that these hurricaine victims are not required to provide supporting documentation when completing I-9 forms (Employment Eligibility Verification) at the start of their employment. This policy is in effect for 45 days until the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can better assess the situation. Read the USCIS press release.

   
9/2/05

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced today that it was extending the Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") program for individuals from Sudan for an 18-month period until May 2, 2007 (see attached USCIS announcement). The deadline for re-registering for benefits under the program is November 1, 2005.

Additionally, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it was extending the TPS program for individuals from Burundi for a 12-month period, effective November 2, 2005 to November 2, 2006 (see attached USCIS announcement). The deadline for re-registering for benefits under the program is November 1, 2005.

   
August 2005
8/16/05 The Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") program for individuals from Liberia was due to expire on October 1, 2005. Today, however, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it was extending the TPS program for citizens of Liberia for one year, that is, until October 1, 2006 (see attached USCIS announcement). The deadline for re-registering for benefits under the program is October 17, 2005.
   
8/12/05 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has confirmed that it has reached the annual limit on H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2006. Certain exceptions do apply - for instance, renewals for current H-1B workers do not count against the cap. Please read the attached press release for further information.
   
8/11/05 The unofficial word from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is that the annual limit on H-1B visas for the fiscal year 2006 may have been reached. Check back soon for further information.
   
8/4/05 In Court news, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit announced that effective October 3, 2005, it would no longer be hearing oral argument from aliens' attorneys for all immigration cases involving a denial of asylum. Instead, a panel of judges will decide the case based on the case brief alone, without hearing the additional arguments presented during oral argument. The goal of the new practice is to reduce the Court's case load. Please read the attached press release for further information.
   
   
8/3/05 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued its latest report on the number of non-immigrant (temporary) H-1B and H-2B visas available for the remainder of 2005 and for the fiscal year 2006, which begins October 1, 2005. As is clear from the report, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is quickly reaching the maximum number of visas that it may issue under the immigration laws per fiscal year. If you plan to apply for an H-1B or H-2B visa for the upcoming fiscal year 2006 which begins October 1, 2005, you must contact us as soon as possible to submit your application.
   
July 2005
7/29/05 The Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") program for individuals from Somalia was due to expire on September 17, 2005. Today, however, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it was extending the TPS program for citizens of Somalia for one year, that is, until September 17, 2006. The deadline for re-registering for benefits under the program is September 27, 2005. All Somali citizens with current TPS status should contact us for more information on re-registering for this important benefit.
   
7/4/05 Happy 4th of July. More than 15,000 men, women and children from throughout the United States will celebrate Independence Day during special July 4th naturalization ceremonies. Read the USCIS press release.
   
7/4/05 As of 7/1/05, we are no longer able to offer free consultations to prospective clients. The consultation fee is now $150 which will be credited towards the cost of legal representation if the prospective client decides to retain the firm for his or her case. The firm is pleased to announce, however, that where a prospective client has been referred by an existing or prior client, the firm will offer a free consultation to that individual.
   
June 2005
6/25/05 At a recent immigration lawyers' conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, government officials announced that approximately 27,300 H-1B petitions are approved or in the pipleine for Fiscal Year 2006, which begins on October 1, 2005. IMPORTANT: Because there are only a limited number of H-1Bs available per fiscal year, it is important to get your application in well ahead of time.
   
6/8/05 The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released the Guide for New Immigrants (English version). The Guide is available in ten additional languages and offers a useful resource for those just arriving to the United States.

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