December 2015

The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates
                                                                                                                     December 2015

Our purpose here is to bring you the latest and most relevant immigration news. Immigration law is in constant flux, and we want to help you stay on the cutting edge of the field.

Gus M. Shihab

Gus M. Shihab, Esq.
Other Topics
this Month


Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook    View our profile on LinkedIn    Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on social media
Join Our Mailing List
Immigration Services
The new spending legislation which passed on December 16, 2015 during the GOP Presidential debate, including a dubious amendment that will prove to be detrimental to US employers in search of top notch talent.  The legislation will increase the filing fees by $4,000 for firms who file H-1B visas (whether initial, transfers, or extensions) for employers who have more than 50 employees AND whose workforce includes 50% or more H-1B or L-1 employees.
As history has clearly proved, H-1B visa workers are not "cheap labors" as some proclaim nor do they "steal jobs from US workers."  Study after study have proved that H-1B visa workers help the US advance ahead of other nations in technology and healthcare.  Other studies (conducted by reputable institutions) show that the population of H-1B visa workers is directly proportional to innovation in the United States. 
Yet we are very disappointed with this legislation which will certainly discourage employers from acquiring such valuable talent. Please help educate Congress by writing to your Congress Representatives.   Read more...  

Good news for those foreign nationals wishing to take advantage of investing funds in a US preapproved regional center and obtaining permanent residence.  The same spending legislation mentioned in the article above included provisions effecting a "clean extension" of the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program until September 16, 2015.  There had been rumors bouncing on the internet about Congress' desire to increase the minimum qualifying investment for EB-5 purposes from $500,000 (in rural or targeted employment areas) and $1,000,000 elsewhere to $800,000 and $1,200,000 respectively.  But the program had been extended until the end of the current federal fiscal year keeping the minimum investment amount intact.  This is significant because 90% of all EB-5 petitions filed with the US Citizenship & Immigration Service take advantage of the $500,000 investment amount.  A sixty (60%) hike in the minimum amount is certainly significant and could have a negative impact on the number of immigrants participating in this program.  Read more....

Also please read our recently published articles on this topic: Understanding Regional Centers Part I and Part II

Following its monthly release, we break down and analyze the Visa Bulletin. This document is how the State Department announces who is eligible to petition for permanent residence. We also provide other relevant case processing time information.

India's EB-2 advanced 8 months in the January 2016 issue of the Visa Bulletin, following a 10 month advance in the previous month.  This pattern is likely to continue for several more months according to Charlie Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State.  This pattern is likely to cause an EB-3 to EB-2 upgrade rush which will eventually slow down the EB-2 advancement. 

Chinese EB-2 remained stagnant without change while EB-3 moved up by two months.  Notably, China EB-3 has a slightly better cutoff date than EB-2 for two months in a row now (July 2012 for EB-3 and February 2012 for EB-3); a matter which will spur a downgrade for Chinese nationals from EB-2 to EB-3.

All Other Areas
The EB-3 date for the rest of the world had been advancing very strongly--and is now just a few months shy of the present date, at October 2015.  Having such favorable EB-3 cutoff date is very encouraging for students on OPT who wish to avoid applying for H-1B visas and fight the cap and for allied medical professionals.  Contact us for more information. 

Above is an analysis of employment based immigration categories. For our analysis of family categories, click here.