Shihab Immigration News: December 2013

Happy Holidays
Shihab Immigration News: December 2013
Gus M. Shihab
Our purpose is to bring you the latest and most relevant immigration news. Immigration law is in constant flux, and laws are constantly being revised. Congress is about to change immigration in a drastic manner. Check out our Newsletter and Blog page to stay on the cutting edge of current immigration news.

Gus M. Shihab, Esq.
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Gus M. Shihab
Gus M. Shihab, Esq.

Matthew D. Minor, Esq.

Barbara M. Fernandez, Esq.
Brittany S. Stenger, Esq.
Brittany S. Stenger, Esq.

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Follow the Shihab Immigration Blog for up-to-date analysis and interpretation of the immigration visa law issues and processes.

US Immigration laws are currently in a state of constant flux and change. Visit the Shihab Immigration Blog at least once a week to keep abreast of this complex and ever changing area.

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H1B Season
New Year's Resolution: Don't Wait until the Last Minute to File H-1B Petition 
On April 1, 2014, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service will begin accepting new cap-subject H-1B petitions for an October 1, 2014 start date. With more than 124,000 H-1B petitions filed in the first five days of the new filing period last year, the cap was reached almost instantly. Many are predicting that if USCIS does not receive your H-1B petition by April 7, it is certain that you will be rejected. Thus, if you plan on filing a new cap-subject H-1B petition this year, do not delay. Resolve to have your petition perfected and ready for filing before March 31, 2014.
What's to Come: 
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Predictions for Immigrant Visa Processing Times for 2014 
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The U.S. Department of State recently released the  January 2014 Visa Bulletin. As usual, our firm has provided a monthly and annual trend analysis of the changes reported for next month. 

Read the full analysis of the Visa Bulletin for January 2014 for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas here


For an in-depth analysis of the January 2014 Visa Bulletin, including predictions and trends for Family-Sponsored Immigrant Visas, click here

In addition, as a way to help you plan for the new year, our firm has compiled a list of future forecasts based on the recently released Visa Bulletins, the monthly and annual trends tracked by our firm, and Charles Oppenheim's predictions. 

Contributed by Brittany S. Stenger, Esq. 

H-1B Audit Defense Strategies



Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) have markedly increased their efforts in worksite enforcement.  Consequently, there has been a significant increase in H-1B site inspections resulting in audits. Some situations where these questions cannot be simply answered and the issue must be litigated.  There are several tools and strategies that can be used to build the best case for your company.

Continue reading this article here.

Contributed by Matthew D. Minor, Esq.

Detained Without Bond, Now What?

Detained Without Bond, Now What?
In recent months, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has significantly increased its issuance of RFE's on H-1B and L-1 petitions. Many of these RFE's are issued even though the petitioner has submitted some of the evidence that the RFE requests. For H-1B petitions, USCIS has been raising concerns regarding:A lawful permanent resident can be ordered removable from the United States and ultimately be deported if he or she commits certain crimes enumerated in the Immigration and Nationality Act. While some of these crimes are serious, some crimes are relatively benign in nature but could still result in an order of removal by the Immigration Judge. 
An experienced immigration attorney can help a foreign national get out of detention on bond, become eligible for relief, and maintain their lawful permanent resident status in the United States. Challenges can be made to the government and the Immigration Judge asking that the foreign national be released on bond. Ultimately it is the decision of the Immigration Judge whether or not to give a bond in any particular case. However, making these challenges early can make a huge difference down the road when applying for relief especially in cases where the foreign national is charged with having committed an aggravated felony.
Read more here
Contributed by Barbara M. Fernandez, Esq.
A Unique Opportunity for Chinese Nationals Seeking Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

 Once in a blue moon, we will witness the third preference employment-based (EB-3) immigrant visa category progress more rapidly than the second preference employment-based (EB-2) visa category. Typically, the priority date cut-off for the EB-3 visa category precedes that of the EB-2 visa category because demand for the EB-2 visa category is generally lower than demand for the EB-3 visa category. This is because the requirements for EB-2 immigrant visas are more difficult to meet than the requirements for EB-3 immigrant visas.


Apparently, a "blue moon" has been lingering over China since June of 2013 and is likely to remain there as we move into 2014. Since June 2013, the cut-off date for the EB-3 visa category has been more recent than the cut-off date for the EB-2 visa category, meaning EB-3 visa allocation is progressing more rapidly than EB-2 visa allocation. This trend, combined with a recent prediction from Charles Oppenheim of the Visa Office provides an interesting opportunity for some Chinese nationals who have already filed under EB-2 or who are planning to file for an employment based immigrant visa to accelerate their path to legal permanent residence. 

To read more, click here


Contributed by Brittany S. Stenger, Esq.

Our Promise
 Whether you are a human resource professional employing foreign professionals, a scientist, a professor, a small business owner, a multinational corporation, or a US Citizen pursuing an immigration case for a relative or loved one, our lawyers possess the legal skills and sensitivities needed to achieve your goals. It is of utmost importance that you, the client, are assured that your immigration lawyer has your best interest in mind and at heart, and that he or she will conclude your matter quickly, competently, and in an affordable manner. Gus M. Shihab, Esq. and the attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates hold these values at the forefront.