DOL Announces Modernization of PERM Program’s Recruitment and Application Requirements

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced it will initiate a review of the permanent labor certification process (PERM) in an effort to modernize recruitment and application requirements.  DOL’s announcement comes in conjunction with the Obama administration’s efforts to fix the nation’s broken immigration system. 

Several significant factors contribute to the PERM program’s critical need for modification including an increased demand for labor, surplus of various types of workers, and advances in technology and information dissemination that have altered common recruitment practices.  In addition, DOL has received consistent feedback that existing regulatory requirements governing the PERM process often do not align with worker or industry needs and practices.  Thus, DOL seeks to evaluate the PERM application process in order to make it more responsive to changes in the national workforce.  This will be the first comprehensive examination of the permanent labor certification requirements by the DOL since their inception ten years ago. 

For more information, please see the Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet.

Jenna is an Intern with the firm and is not a practicing attorney.

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Visa Bulletin for January 2015 Issued

The Visa Bulletin for January 2015 has been issued and can be found here.  The cutoff date for the EB-2 India category has not changed, however the worldwide EB-3 cutoff date advanced by seven months.

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USCIS Issues Outdated & Erroneous Case Status Emails

Lately we have been receiving outdated and/or erroneous USCIS case status emails for pending applications and adjudicated petitions.  Some, but not all, emails were followed by an email confirming that the first email was in error and should be disregarded.  Double check the status of your case online at uscis.gov.

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17 States Sue Over President Obama’s Immigration Order

On December 3rd, seventeen states sued the U.S. in a Texas federal court over President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration.  The states claim the President’s order is an unconstitutional exercise of power and seek to prevent the government from allowing millions of undocumented immigrants to stay in the U.S.

While President Obama and other White House officials have expressed confidence in their legal authority for releasing the new measures, the states’ lawsuit argues the President failed to comply with requirements the federal government must follow in issuing new rules and violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

The states currently taking action against the immigration initiatives, announced November 20th, are Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Maine.

For more information, please see the full text of the Complaint here

 Jenna is an Intern with the firm and is not a practicing attorney.

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Details on President Obama’s Immigration Executive Orders

On November 20, 2014, the President announced a series of executive actions dealing with immigration. These initiatives have not been implemented, and USCIS is not accepting any requests or applications at this time.  Be careful if someone offers to help you submit an application or a request for any of these actions because they are not available at this time. You could become a victim of an immigration scam.

We have been informed that over the next few months, USCIS will produce detailed explanations, instructions, regulations and forms as necessary. While USCIS is not accepting requests or applications at this time, it recommends that if you believe you may be eligible for one of the immigration initiatives, you can prepare by gathering documents that establish your:

Identity;

Relationship to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident; and

Continuous residence in the United States over the last five years or more.

The following is a summary of the President’s Executive Actions:

Read more ›

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December State Bulletin Issued

The December State Bulletin has been issued.  Both the family-based and employment-based categories have moved slightly.

For more information on the availability of immigrant numbers during December, please see the December State Bulletin.

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TIPS Extended For Nationals of Honduras and Nicaragua

DHS has extended the Temporary Protected Status (TIPS) for 18 months for Honduras and Nicaragua. The extension is from January 5, 2015 through July 5, 2016.   TIPS was first designated for these countries in 1999, and has been extended 9 times.   TIPS protected status includes temporary protection against removal from the US and employment authorization.  Nationals of these countries must register or reregister by submitting form I-821 and Form I-765 for word authorization.  Please submit these forms as soon as possible within the 60-day registration period.

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November 2014 Visa Bulletin Issued

Although there was a slight forward movement in most categories, the EB-2 for Indian nationals regressed significantly from May 1, 2009 to February 15, 2005.

For more information, please read the November 2014 Visa Bulletin here.  Note predictions on future visa availability on last page of the Visa Bulletin.

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DIVERSITY LOTTERY OPENS TODAY (October 1, 2014)

The 2016 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2016) opened at noon today October 1, 2014, and will close at noon (EST) on November 3, 2014 (see details above).  Applicants must submit entries electronically during the registration period at https://www.dvlottery.state.gov/.  Don’t wait until the last week of the registration period to enter, normally heavy demand at that time causes website crashes/delays.  We have had clients that won the lottery.  Good Luck!

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2016 Diversity Immigrant Visa Program

The Diversity Immigrant Visa Program permits natives from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States to apply for one of 50,000 diversity visas for fiscal year 2016.  Applicants must meet strict eligibility requirements in order to qualify for the program and, if met, applicants will then be entered into a lottery.  The randomly-selected computer drawing selects applications among six geographic regions, with no single country receiving more than seven percent of the visas.

For 2016, people born in the following countries are ineligible to apply, due to over 50,000 natives immigrating to the United States within the last five years:

- Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Read more ›

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About ABCs of Immigration Law
The global economy has become increasingly transactional and transcontinental. Since 9/11, there have been many amendments to immigration laws in the United States that have largely affected both individuals and businesses. Cozen O'Connor's immigration law blog, ABC's of Immigration Law, focuses on the interests and the challenges faced by those individuals and business impacted by immigration laws.
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