Making The American Dream Come True

Senate to Vote on Dream Act | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 10:17 AM

The Senate will be voting in the next few days (if not today) on the DREAM Act.   Please call and urge YOUR SENATORS to SUPPORT the DREAM Act!

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Solutions That Work: A Policy Manual for Immigration Reform

Posted by Karen Pollak on Wed, Dec 15, 2010 @ 12:10 PM

Solutions That Work: A Policy Manual for Immigration Reform was crafted by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to show that a solution to our nation's immigration problem does exist and can be achieved. Each section of this policy manual summarizes a key component of the existing immigration system, identifies its deficiencies and offers workable solutions that when applied together, will fix the totality of the broken, outdated, and inadequate system. AILA believes that for lasting and meaningful reform to take hold, these various components must be addressed in a comprehensive immigration reform package.

The Policy Manual explains how any effective, long-term solution to the immigration problem must: 1) require the unauthorized population to come out of the shadows, register their presence with the government, and give them the opportunity to earn legal status; 2) provide fair and lawful ways for American businesses to hire much-needed immigrant workers who help grow our economy while protecting U.S. workers from unfair competition and all workers from exploitation; 3) reduce the unreasonable and counterproductive backlogs in family-based and employment-based immigration; 4) ensure the permanent immigration system provides adequate visas to meet the needs of American families, businesses, and communities; and 5) preserve and restore the fundamental principles of due process and equal protection while protecting our national security.

Review and download AILA's newest advocacy resource, Solutions That Work: A Policy Manual for Immigration Reform.

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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.

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

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

The 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...

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Visa Bulletin for January 2011 | Immigration

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

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

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:

Region All 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:

Region All 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

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H-1B Visa Count (November 5, 2010)

Posted by Karen Pollak on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 @ 3:52 PM

The Master's exemption number for H-1B is close to the quota (less than 3,800 remaining). For the regular H-1B cap, the rate remains around 1,200 new petitions per week.  It reflects the sluggish economy, the high unemployment (9.6%) and the tax uncertainty.

The good news is that you can still apply for the fiscal year 2011! It is also possible that we can see before the hollidays and after the elections a surge in H1-B applications.

More information can be found at the USCIS H-1B Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Cap Season Page.

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DV-2012 Lottery Ends in One Week! | Immigration

Posted by Michael Pollak on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 @ 4:35 PM

Time is running out!  Only one week remains!  The DV-2012 Lottery ends at Noon EST on November 3, 2010.  Don't miss this golden opportunity to punch your ticket! 

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Visa Bulletin for November 2010 | Immigration

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

A. STATUTORY NUMBERS

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Immigration Attorney Karen Pollak Appears As Guest on SAfm

Posted by Michael Pollak on Fri, Oct 08, 2010 @ 2:02 PM

Karen-Lee Pollak was recently in Johannesburg conducting immigration consultations from September 20 to October 03, 2010. Despite a hectic schedule, she appeared as a guest on September 22 with Naye Lupondwana on his "Talk Shop" current affairs talk show for the SABC’s international radio station Channel African SAfm.

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DV-2012 Lottery Starts in Just 3 Days!!! | Immigration

Posted by Karen Pollak on Sat, Oct 02, 2010 @ 10:31 AM
Just 3 days until the DV-2012 Lottery begins.  The entry form  (electronic) will only be available for submission through Noon EST October 5, 2010, through Noon EST on November 3, 2010. Entries will not be accepted through the U.S. Postal Service.  Access the Electronic DV Entry Form DS-5501 at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.

Please note that natives of many countries are not eligible for this visa program:  "For DV-2012, natives of the following countries are NOT eligible to apply because the countries sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years:  BRAZIL, CANADA, CHINA (mainland-born), COLOMBIA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ECUADOR, EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HAITI, INDIA, JAMAICA, MEXICO, PAKISTAN, PERU, PHILIPPINES, POLAND, SOUTH KOREA, UNITED KINGDOM (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and VIETNAM.  Persons born in Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, and Taiwan are eligible..."

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