Archive for September 2013

Sep
26

Current PERM Processing Times (September 5, 2013)

September 26th, 2013 | by D.M. | Category: Articles, DOL, News, PERM

Our office handles a substantial number of ETA Form 9089 – Permanent Labor Certification (“PERM”) applications and we are closely monitoring the current PERM processing times not only for the benefit of our clients but also to be able to predict longer-term trends in PERM processing.

Read more on Current PERM Processing Times (September 5, 2013)…

Sep
19

DV-2015 Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery Opens October 1, 2013

September 19th, 2013 | by D.M. | Category: Articles, News

The Department of State will open the DV-2015 Diversity Visa (a.k.a. “green card”) lottery on Tuesday, October 1, 2013.   The entries for this year’s lottery must be submitted electronically between noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 1, 2013, and noon, Eastern Standard Time (EST) (GMT-5), Saturday, November 2, 2013.

Read more on DV-2015 Diversity Visa (Green Card) Lottery Opens October 1, 2013…

Sep
18

Government Shutdown and Immigration: (How) Will It Affect Me? (September 2013 Edition)

September 18th, 2013 | by D.M. | Category: Articles, Government Shutdown, News, Travel, Visa Processing

While we are hopeful that this is not the case, it appears that the chances of the U.S. federal government shutting down on October 1st are increasing.   We would like to provide some information as to how a possible government shutdown would affect the immigration cases pending or to be filed shortly.   Our office has been receiving an increasing number of inquiries from alarmed clients as to what would happen should the federal government close on October 1 if a deal is not reached on the federal government’s budget.   (See latest Google News)

Read more on Government Shutdown and Immigration: (How) Will It Affect Me? (September 2013 Edition)…

Sep
9

October 2013 Visa Bulletin – New Fiscal Year; No (or Very Slow) Movement for Most Categories; FB-2A Cutoff Date Introduced

September 09th, 2013 | by D.M. | Category: Articles, I-485, News, Visa Bulletin

The U.S. State Department has just released the October 2013 Visa Bulletin which is the first Visa Bulletin for the FY2014 fiscal year.   The major headline in the upcoming month’s Visa Bulletin is that despite the fact that this is the first Visa Bulletin for the new fiscal year, there is not much movement for many categories and that the FB-2A category will have a cutoff date starting October 1st.

Read more on October 2013 Visa Bulletin – New Fiscal Year; No (or Very Slow) Movement for Most Categories; FB-2A Cutoff Date Introduced…

Sep
5

Fiscal Year 2012 Visitor (B1/B2) Visa Denial Rates

September 05th, 2013 | by D.M. | Category: Articles, News, Visa Processing, Visa Waiver

The Department of State (“DOS”) routinely publishes the denial rate for B-1/B-2 visitor visas for each fiscal year (October 1 to September 30).    The fiscal year (FY) 2012 data has been published and we share it with our clients and readers.

Read more on Fiscal Year 2012 Visitor (B1/B2) Visa Denial Rates…

Sep
5

DHS OIG Report on the L-1 Visa Highlights Issues and Recommends Changes to the L-1 Visa Program

September 05th, 2013 | by D.M. | Category: Articles, L-1, News, Policy

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) has released a report on the L-1 visa program after a thorough analysis of the program, its weaknesses and opportunities for improvement.   The report makes a number of recommendations to DHS on how to strengthen the L-1 visa program by making more robust review of a number of aspects, but also, importantly, calls for a better definition and training to officers with respect to “specialized knowledge” standard, which has been one of the main issues in the L-1 program recently.

Read more on DHS OIG Report on the L-1 Visa Highlights Issues and Recommends Changes to the L-1 Visa Program…

Sep
2

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Penalties for Small Employers

September 02nd, 2013 | by A.M. | Category: Compliance, Employers, I-9, ICE

Recently published cases appear to demonstrate a distinct trend at the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (“OCAHO”)* in drastically reducing ICE’s penalty assessments, particularly when the employer is a small business and acted in good faith.  One commonality we see in decisions is the consistent cite to, “Penalties approaching the maximum permissible should be reserved for egregious violations.

Read more on OCAHO Reduces I-9 Penalties for Small Employers…

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