When Immigration Matters

F-1 Student Visa Seminar : From F-1 VIsa to Green Card & Beyond

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 @ 3:01 PM

F-1 visa, green cardPlano Multicultural Outreach Roundtable to Present Fall Immigration Seminar

The F-1 Student Visa and Beyond: Creating a Game Plan for Working and Maintaining Status in the United States

    
       The Plano Multicultural Outreach Roundtable and Bell Nunnally & Martin, LLP will present their Fall Immigration Seminar, The F-1 Student Visa and Beyond: Creating a Game Plan for Working and Maintaining Status in the United States. This no-charge interactive seminar provides a comprehensive overview of immigration laws as applied to F-1 students. F Visas are a type of non-immigrant student visa that allows foreigners to pursue education in the United States.
       The keynote speaker at the seminar will be Karen-Lee Pollak. Pollak chairs Bell Nunnally & Martin’s Immigration Section. She was selected to D Magazine’s “Best Lawyers in Dallas 2014” list, featured as one of Newsweek’s Leaders in Immigration Law Showcase and listed as Texas Rising Star® by Texas Monthly, she provides full-service legal immigration counsel to large corporations, small businesses and individuals.

       F-1 students, prospective F-1 students and post graduate students are invited to attend. The seminar will help students develop a plan for maintaining immigration status and working in the United States. The seminar will cover various aspects about student visa status including:

  • Working while in F-1 status-when USCIS approval is and is not required
  • VISA Options after studying-DACA, H1B Petitions, “Cap Gap” relief and beyond
  • Avoid costly and often unfixable mistakes in maintaining Immigration Status
  • Develop strategies for maintaining status in the United States during and after study
  • Understand your options to remain in the United States after studying

      The seminar will be held on September 30, between 6 and 8 p.m. at Collin College, Spring Creek Campus, Room B124, 2800 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, Texas 75074. Please RSVP to the event to [email protected]

 

AILA Urges Boehner to Act on Immigration Bill

Posted by Michael Pollak on Wed, Oct 02, 2013 @ 3:50 PM
describe the imageToday, House Democrats introduced a comprehensive reform bill based on the bill that passed the full Senate in June with a bipartisan vote of 68 to 32.

"Some might say that this isn't the time to bring up immigration reform
legislation but I disagree," said AILA President Doug Stump. He continued, "Now
is the right time because while there is disagreement around other issues,
immigration reform is something that the vast majority of Americans actually
agree on: that common sense reform is urgently needed and should include a
roadmap to legalization for the undocumented." A February Fox News
Poll
that found 72% of registered voters favor allowing illegal immigrants
to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, as long as
other requirements are met.

"This bill is not perfect, far from it. Nor was the Senate bill it drew upon.
We are talking compromise. AILA has major reservations about these bills, but no
one gets everything they want. Businesses aren't getting everything, and nor is
labor. Nor are faith groups, ethnic groups or civil rights organizations," Stump
noted.

"Like the Senate bill, this House version is tough yet also reasonably fair
and will provide enough slots to boost our economy, help American businesses,
and keep American families together," Stump said. The House bill replaces the
Senate bill's expensive "border surge" package with the bipartisan border
security bill that passed the House Homeland Security Committee earlier this
year.

"We call on Speaker Boehner to bring comprehensive immigration reform to the
House floor. By AILA's count, there are enough Democrats and Republicans who
support reform to get a bill passed in the House. He should bring everyone
together and get the job done. Put aside your differences for one moment and
allow the needs of the many to overcome the strident rhetoric that has consumed
so much of the political process. This is what Americans want and what America
needs," he concluded.

Why I Became an Immigration Attorney

Posted by Karen-Lee Pollak on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 @ 5:55 PM

immigration to the usa

Everyone in America has come here from somewhere else.  Ask anybody living in America and they will have at least one family member who moved here from another country.  Everybody has a story to tell.  For some, the story is simple.  For others the story is gut-wrenching and difficult to tell.  No matter what the story—most people leave their homelands and immigrate to the United States (or anywhere for that matter) for one or more of three reasons:

1. Adventure

2. To escape religious or political persecution

3.  Better opportunities in a new land

I fall into the third category and maybe looking back-- the first category too.  It has definitely been an adventure.  So what has this got to do with being an immigration lawyer?  Often I have been asked the question ”why did you become a lawyer?” I bet you’ve been asked the same.

So, here’s my story. I’d love to hear yours, too…

I arrived in the United States in 1995 from South Africa.  I went to law school in South Africa and got my feet wet as a commercial litigator.  I had no intention of living here and was simply coming over to visit my father and brother.  But then I met my US. Citizen husband who had no intention of moving to South Africa 

I was still paying off student loans in South Africa and could not afford nor did I want to go back to law school.  I discovered that you do not need a U.S. law degree to sit for the California Bar so I took the California Bar exam and eventually the Texas Bar exam as well.  I started my practice as a commercial litigator.  However, because I had a different accent and was an immigrant, people started asking me questions about immigration law and I started to help family and friends with their immigration cases and since then my practice has flourished.

I am passionate about my practice because I am an immigrant too.  I feel the same rush of adrenalin when each case is approved as I did when I first received the news that my own petition was granted.  I really am able to change people’s lives for the better.  I am able to reunite families, to bring the best and the brightest to the United States to share their ideas and inventions and to help people build businesses.  This country may not be perfect but it is the best country in the world.  I can say first hand that I am living the American Dream.

The United States is a place of improbable stories, of lives that never could have been realized anywhere else in the world.  I do not believe that my life as a lawyer and all the possibilities that have grown from my career would have been possible in any other country. You cannot choose the country where you are born. But a lucky few have the opportunity to choose the country where they live. I am privileged and grateful to my clients for allowing me to guide them in this choice. 

I am also privileged to belong to the American Immigration Lawyers Association and to have some of the finest immigration lawyers as my friends and mentors.  I have never seen an organization that is so collegial.  Unlike dealing with opposing counsel in a litigation setting, my fellow immigration lawyers have always been willing to answer my questions, provide me with their opinions and represent my clients’ interests before the USCIS.  I suppose it is an “us against them” mentality, but it makes my practice so much more enjoyable.  I am excited for our annual conference in June in Nashville where I will learn from the preeminent immigration experts, meet up with my colleagues and mentors and take home what I have learned to better serve my clients.   

When I was growing up, I never imagined that one day I would be an immigrant. The United States has allowed me to shape my future and to assist many others in shaping theirs. I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life, including each of you-my family, friends, colleagues, mentors and clients.  I can truly say that I enjoy my work, I am passionate about the causes I choose to fight, and I cherish the people I get to work with and for.  Thank you America for giving me this opportunity.

 

Visa Bulletin for February 2011 | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Fri, Jan 21, 2011 @ 9:00 AM

A. STATUTORY NUMBERSVisa Bulletin

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during February. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by January 11th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.

Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. Immediately that it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date which has been announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3.  Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second:  Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A.  Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B.  Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:    Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "Other Workers".  

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

4.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

5.  On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 22JAN93 01AUG94
2A 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 01APR05 01JAN08
2B 15APR03 15APR03 01JAN97 15APR03 01JUL92 01JUN99
3rd 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 22NOV92 22OCT91
4th 01JAN00 01JAN00 01JAN00 01JAN00 01JAN96 15JAN88

*NOTE:  For February, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01APR05.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01APR05 and earlier than 01JAN08.  (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C C
2nd C 01JUL06 C 08MAY06 C C
3rd 01APR05 01JAN04 01APR05 22FEB02 08JUL03 01APR05
Other Workers 01MAY03 22APR03 01MAY03 22FEB02 01MAY03 01MAY03
4th C C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C C
5th C C C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers C C C C C C
5th Pilot Programs C C C C C C

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (area code 202) 663-1541.  This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States.  The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program.  This reduction has resulted in the DV-2011 annual limit being reduced to 50,000.  DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For February, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 26,100 Except: Egypt 20,200
Ethiopia 15,000
Nigeria 12,100
ASIA 14,850  
EUROPE 17,600  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 810  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 900  

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery.  The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2011 program ends as of September 30, 2011.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2011 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2011 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2011.  DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2011 cannot be taken for granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN MARCH

For March, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 31,950 Except: Egypt 24,275
Ethiopia 18,650
Nigeria 13,100
ASIA 17,200  
EUROPE 20,450  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 900  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 1,025  

D. RETROGRESSION OF FAMILY CUT-OFF DATES

Continued heavy applicant demand for numbers in the Family Fourth preference category has required the retrogression of the Worldwide, China-mainland born, Dominican Republic, and India cut-off date for the month of February.

It has also been necessary to retrogress the Dominican Republic F2B category for the month of February.

Further retrogressions cannot be ruled out should demand continue at the current levels for some categories and countries. 

Please Note:   Applicants entitled to immigrant status become documentarily qualified at their own initiative and convenience. By no means has every applicant with a priority date earlier than a prevailing cut-off date been processed for final visa action.  On the contrary, visa allotments are made only on the basis of the total applicants reported documentarily qualified each month, compared with the amount of available numbers.  For example, during the past month, over 17,300 of the applicants who have become documentarily qualified in the Family preference categories have priority dates earlier than the cut-off dates established for January.  Demand for visa numbers can fluctuate from one month to another, with the inevitable impact on cut-off dates.  

Following are examples of possible cut-off date actions based on demand:

Numbers
Available 
Demand with Priority Dates
Prior to the Current Cut-off
Next Month’s
Cut-off Date Will

3,000
3,000
3,000

1,000
3,000
5,000
Advance
Remain the same
Retrogress

 

Immigration questions?  We have answers.  Free consultation available | 800-969-5529

Living and Working in the United States | Basics of US Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Sat, Jan 08, 2011 @ 11:34 AM

This is part of a four part series on immigrating to the United States that will be appearing in BusinessBrief Magazine. BusinessBrief is a South African business management Magazine that provides the decision makers in business with the information they need to make better business decisions.

Living and Working in the United States--the Basics of U.S. Immigration

Since the birth of the United States, immigrants have been integral factors in the country’s growth and prosperity. Through pioneering spirit, innovative science, advanced intellect and exceptional art, immigrants have helped drive the nation’s future successes and forward advancement.

Immigrants are defined by U.S. immigration law as persons lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.  Depending on a foreign national’s residence, there are two paths that can be taken to attain lawful permanent residency.  bbrief cover dec 2010 resized 600Foreign nationals living outside the U.S. apply for an immigration visa at a consular office of the Department of State (DOS). When approved for admission at a port of entry, they become legal immigrants.  Foreign nationals already living in the U.S., including temporary workers, foreign students and refugees, file an application for adjustment of status from temporary to lawful permanent residence with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). At the time they apply for adjustment of status, they may also apply for work permits. Adjustment of status applicants receive lawful permanent residence when their applications are approved. New legal immigrants are automatically authorized to work and receive permanent resident cards, which are commonly referred to as green cards.

In order to obtain permanent residency, a prospective immigrant generally needs to have a sponsor.  That is a U.S. citizen or entity that will file a visa application on their behalf.  That sponsor can either be an employer or a family member.  The Immigration Act of 1990 specifies annual limits for certain immigration categories.  For example, visas are immediately available for the spouse, parent or child of a U.S. citizen.  However, there is a back-log in visa applications for siblings of U.S. citizens and the current wait time for visas based on sibling sponsorship is at least ten years.  In addition to obtaining permanent residency through employment or a family member, one can enter the DV Lottery and win one of the 55,000 visas allocated to the lottery annually.  Additionally one may invest $1 million U.S. dollars in a U.S. business or $500,000 U.S. dollars in certain regional centers and purchase a green card. 

While the U.S. welcomes a notable number of immigrants every year, the U.S. welcomes an even larger number of nonimmigrants.  Nonimmigrants are defined as persons admitted to the U.S. for a temporary period for a specified purpose but not for permanent residence. 

There are numerous categories of nonimmigrants; although, the great majority of them are tourists.  Second in volume to tourists are business people coming to the U.S. to engage in commercial transactions. Other categories include foreign students, treaty traders, treaty investors, visitors connected with a foreign government and representatives of international organizations.  Temporary workers also fall under the nonimmigrant classification, and this category includes workers in specialty occupations; workers performing temporary services; exchange visitors who enter to study, teach or conduct research; intracompany transferees; entertainers; athletes; and industrial trainees. Generally, temporary work visas such as the H-1B visa for professionals can be issued for up to three years and can be renewed for three years.  There is no annual limit for the total number of nonimmigrant admissions; however, there are limits imposed on the number of certain types of temporary visas issued annually. 

Keep posted for part two in this immigration series....

Immigration questions?  We have answers.  Free consultation available | 800-969-5529

 

THE NATURALIZED Premieres Tomorrow on History Channel | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Tue, Dec 14, 2010 @ 3:57 PM

Feature Documentary about “Americans by Choice” Premieres Tomorrow on History Channel. The History Channel will premiere the documentary THE NATURALIZED tomorrow, December 15th at 10am & 4pm EST, and on December 18th at 8pm EST.

Ellis IslandThe Naturalized resized 600THE NATURALIZED weaves together the lives of different people from different countries who all share a quest for American citizenship by choice, not birthright. This documentary travels from a citizenship class in San Jose to a naturalization ceremony in Iraq. Along the way, there's unprecedented access to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, revealing the complex process up-close, including a marriage interview and the one-on-one Citizenship Exam. How many amendments are in the Constitution? To become American, not knowing is not an option.

 

Contemporary stories of struggle and success are combined with insightful interviews from notable naturalized citizens like Fareed Zakaria, Alan Cumming, David Rakoff and Isabel Allende. THE NATURALIZED was directed by Emmy® award-winning documentary filmmaker Aaron Lubarsky and produced by Flicker Flacker Films, in association with Jon Stewart’s Busboy Productions and A&E IndieFilms. Flicker Flacker Films is a Brooklyn-based production company specializing in documentary film and television production. Aaron Lubarsky co-directed and edited the HBO documentary JOURNEYS WITH GEORGE and the duPont award-winning documentary SEOUL TRAIN.  

New Report Describes Peril Immigrant Women Face in U.S. Food Industry

Posted by Karen Pollak on Mon, Dec 13, 2010 @ 8:54 AM

SPLCThe Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) released a new report called Injustice on our Plates:  Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry which looks at the conditions under which immigrant women work.  It documents and personalizes the stories of women who have made the dangerous journey to the U.S. seeking a better life for themselves and their families, only to end up working long hours under extremely difficult and dangerous conditions. Read more...

Immigration questions?  We have answers.  Free consultation available | 800-969-5529

Visa Bulletin for January 2011 | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 @ 8:23 AM

A. STATUTORY NUMBERSVisa Bulletin

1.  This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during January. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by December 8th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits.

Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number. Immediately that it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date which has been announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000. Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3.  Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second:  Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent
Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A.  Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B.  Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First:    Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third:  Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "Other Workers".  

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

4.  INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

5.  On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 01JAN05 08JAN93 01JUN94
2A 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 01JAN08 01APR05 01JAN08
2B 15APR03 15APR03 01MAR02 15APR03 22JUN92 15MAY99
3rd 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 01JAN01 22OCT92 22OCT91
4th 01JAN02 01JAN02 01JAN02 01JAN02 22DEC95 01JAN88

*NOTE:  For January, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01APR05.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01APR05 and earlier than 01JAN08.  (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born DOMINICAN REPUBLIC INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C C
2nd C 22JUN06 C 08MAY06 C C
3rd 22MAR05 15DEC03 22MAR05 01FEB02 15APR03 22MAR05
Other Workers 22APR03 22APR03 22APR03 01FEB02 15APR03 22APR03
4th C C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C C
5th C C C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers C C C C C C
5th Pilot Programs C C C C C C

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (area code 202) 663-1541.  This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States.  The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program.  This reduction has resulted in the DV-2011 annual limit being reduced to 50,000.  DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For January, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 20,900 Except: Egypt 16,000
Ethiopia 13,200
Nigeria 12,100
ASIA 13,300  
EUROPE 15,400  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 6  
OCEANIA 775  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 900  

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery.  The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2011 program ends as of September 30, 2011.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2011 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2011 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2011.  DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2011 cannot be taken for granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN FEBRUARY

For February, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 26,100 Except: Egypt 20,200
Ethiopia 15,000
Nigeria 12,100
ASIA 14,850  
EUROPE 17,600  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 7  
OCEANIA 810  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 900  

D. RETROGRESSION OF FAMILY CUT-OFF DATES

As reported in the December Visa Bulletin (number 27), the cut-off dates for most Family preference categories advanced at a very rapid pace during the past two years.  Those movements have resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of applicant demand received in recent months.   This has required the retrogression of many Family preference cut-off dates for January in an effort to hold number use within the various numerical limits.  Further retrogressions cannot be ruled out should demand continue at the current levels.

Immigration questions?  We have answers.  Free consultation available | 800-969-5529

Senate Makes Strategic Moves to Pass DREAM Act | Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Dec 10, 2010 @ 8:16 AM

DREAMACTToday the Senate leadership made several strategic and unprecedented moves to make sure the DREAM Act has the greatest possible chance of passage. On Wednesday, the Senate delayed its initially scheduled cloture vote on S. 3992. That delay enabled the House to take its vote and win last night. Today, Thursday, the Senate withdrew its bill on the "table" vote. Now the way is cleared for the House bill to move forward in the Senate.

Visa Bulletin for November 2010 | Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Sat, Oct 16, 2010 @ 8:15 AM

A. STATUTORY NUMBERSVisa Bulletin

1. This bulletin summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during November. Consular officers are required to report to the Department of State documentarily qualified applicants for numerically limited visas; the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security reports applicants for adjustment of status.  Allocations were made, to the extent possible under the numerical limitations, for the demand received by October 8th in the chronological order of the reported priority dates. If the demand could not be satisfied within the statutory or regulatory limits, the category or foreign state in which demand was excessive was deemed oversubscribed.  The cut-off date for an oversubscribed category is the priority date of the first applicant who could not be reached within the numerical limits. Only applicants who have a priority date earlier than the cut-off date may be allotted a number.  Immediately that it becomes necessary during the monthly allocation process to retrogress a cut-off date, supplemental requests for numbers will be honored only if the priority date falls within the new cut-off date which has been announced in this bulletin.

2. Section 201 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) sets an annual minimum family-sponsored preference limit of 226,000.  The worldwide level for annual employment-based preference immigrants is at least 140,000.  Section 202 prescribes that the per-country limit for preference immigrants is set at 7% of the total annual family-sponsored and employment-based preference limits, i.e., 25,620.  The dependent area limit is set at 2%, or 7,320.

3. Section 203 of the INA prescribes preference classes for allotment of immigrant visas as follows:

FAMILY-SPONSORED PREFERENCES

First:  Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.

Second:  Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents:  114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, and any unused first preference numbers:

A.  Spouses and Children:  77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;

B.  Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older):  23% of the overall second preference limitation.

Third:  Married Sons and Daughters of Citizens:  23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.

Fourth:  Brothers and Sisters of Adult Citizens:  65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.

EMPLOYMENT-BASED PREFERENCES

First   Priority Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required for fourth and fifth preferences.

Second:  Members of the Professions Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability:  28.6% of the worldwide employment-based preference level, plus any numbers not required by first preference.

Third Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers:  28.6% of the worldwide level, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences, not more than 10,000 of which to "Other Workers".  

Fourth:  Certain Special Immigrants:  7.1% of the worldwide level.

Fifth:  Employment Creation:  7.1% of the worldwide level, not less than 3,000 of which reserved for investors in a targeted rural or high-unemployment area, and 3,000 set aside for investors in regional centers by Sec. 610 of P.L. 102-395.

4. INA Section 203(e) provides that family-sponsored and employment-based preference visas be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each has been filed.  Section 203(d) provides that spouses and children of preference immigrants are entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the principal.  The visa prorating provisions of Section 202(e) apply to allocations for a foreign state or dependent area when visa demand exceeds the per-country limit.  These provisions apply at present to the following oversubscribed chargeability areas:  CHINA-mainland born, INDIA, MEXICO, and PHILIPPINES.

5. On the chart below, the listing of a date for any class indicates that the class is oversubscribed (see paragraph 1); "C" means current, i.e., numbers are available for all qualified applicants; and "U" means unavailable, i.e., no numbers are available.  (NOTE:  Numbers are available only for applicants whose priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed below.)

Family All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed CHINA-mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st 15FEB06 15FEB06 15FEB06 22DEC92 01APR97
2A 01JUN10 01JUN10 01JUN10 01MAR10 01JUN10
2B 01JUN05 01JUN05 01JUN05 22JUN92 01SEP02
3rd 01JUN02 01JUN02 01JUN02 22OCT92 01MAR95
4th 01JAN02 01JAN02 01JAN02 15DEC95 01APR91

*NOTE: For November, 2A numbers EXEMPT from per-country limit are available to applicants from all countries with priority dates earlier than 01MAR10.  2A numbers SUBJECT to per-country limit are available to applicants chargeable to all countries EXCEPT MEXICO with priority dates beginning 01MAR10 and earlier than 01JUN10.  (All 2A numbers provided for MEXICO are exempt from the per-country limit; there are no 2A numbers for MEXICO subject to per-country limit.)

Employment- Based

All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

CHINA- mainland born INDIA MEXICO PHILIPPINES
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01JUN06 08MAY06 C C
3rd 22JAN05 22NOV03 22JAN02 01MAY01 22JAN05
Other Workers 01APR03 01APR03 22JAN02 01MAY01 01APR03
4th C C C C C
Certain Religious Workers C C C C C
5th C C C C C
Targeted Employment Areas/ Regional Centers C C C C C
5th Pilot Programs C C C C C

The Department of State has available a recorded message with visa availability information which can be heard at:  (area code 202) 663-1541.  This recording will be updated in the middle of each month with information on cut-off dates for the following month.

Employment Third Preference Other Workers Category:  Section 203(e) of the NACARA, as amended by Section 1(e) of Pub. L. 105-139, provides that once the Employment Third Preference Other Worker (EW) cut-off date has reached the priority date of the latest EW petition approved prior to November 19, 1997, the 10,000 EW numbers available for a fiscal year are to be reduced by up to 5,000 annually beginning in the following fiscal year.  This reduction is to be made for as long as necessary to offset adjustments under the NACARA program.  Since the EW cut-off date reached November 19, 1997 during Fiscal Year 2001, the reduction in the EW annual limit to 5,000 began in Fiscal Year 2002.

B. DIVERSITY IMMIGRANT (DV) CATEGORY

Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act provides a maximum of up to 55,000 immigrant visas each fiscal year to permit immigration opportunities for persons from countries other than the principal sources of current immigration to the United States.  The Nicaraguan and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) passed by Congress in November 1997 stipulates that beginning with DV-99, and for as long as necessary, up to 5,000 of the 55,000 annually-allocated diversity visas will be made available for use under the NACARA program.  This reduction has resulted in the DV-2011 annual limit being reduced to 50,000.  DV visas are divided among six geographic regions.  No one country can receive more than seven percent of the available diversity visas in any one year.

For November, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 12,000 Except: Egypt  9,300
Ethiopia  11,000
Nigeria 10,000
ASIA 10,750  
EUROPE 12,500  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 2  
OCEANIA 650  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 675  

Entitlement to immigrant status in the DV category lasts only through the end of the fiscal (visa) year for which the applicant is selected in the lottery.  The year of entitlement for all applicants registered for the DV-2011 program ends as of September 30, 2011.  DV visas may not be issued to DV-2011 applicants after that date.  Similarly, spouses and children accompanying or following to join DV-2011 principals are only entitled to derivative DV status until September 30, 2011.  DV visa availability through the very end of FY-2011 cannot be taken for granted.  Numbers could be exhausted prior to September 30.

C. ADVANCE NOTIFICATION OF THE DIVERSITY (DV) IMMIGRANT CATEGORY RANK CUT-OFFS WHICH WILL APPLY IN DECEMBER

For December, immigrant numbers in the DV category are available to qualified DV-2011 applicants chargeable to all regions/eligible countries as follows. When an allocation cut-off number is shown, visas are available only for applicants with DV regional lottery rank numbers BELOW the specified allocation cut-off number:

RegionAll DV Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed Separately 
AFRICA 15,650 Except: Egypt  12,600
Ethiopia  12,250
Nigeria 10,850
ASIA 11,600  
EUROPE 13,600  
NORTH AMERICA (BAHAMAS) 4  
OCEANIA 700  
SOUTH AMERICA, and the CARIBBEAN 675  

Immigration questions?  We have answers.  Free consultation available | 800-969-5529

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