November 2011 Newsletter

 Am Flag

November 2011 Newsletter                               1-877-479-4USA

H-1B Visa Cap to Reach by Thanksgiving?


We urge our clients who wish to file cap-subject H-1B visas to take action, as our statistical analysis shows the cap will be reached by the end of this month. 


Our firm tracks the progress of H-1B consumption each year.  Since 2009, the H-1B visa consumption has drastically slowed when compared to prior years, indicating a sluggish economy and an abundance of US workers to fill highly skilled jobs.  This year, however, there is a definite acceleration of the H-1B usage indicating a much hoped for economic recovery.  


One of the more confusing concepts of H-1B visa science is the manner in which "new" H-1B (or as we refer to them, "cap-subject") visas are used up each year.  So, I thought it might be a good idea to do a short refresher article on how H-1B visas are issued annually and how they are consumed. 


The Federal Fiscal Year and Cap


October 1st marks the begriming of the federal fiscal year when, among other things, the US government makes available to employers 65,000 new H-1B visas to employ foreign nationals in "Specialty Occupations" who possess at least a bachelor's degree or higher.  In addition, 20,000 new H-1B visas are also simultaneously made available and reserved for those foreign nationals who possess a master's degree from an accredited US institution of higher learning.  Hence, we are now in federal fiscal year 2012 which began on October 1, 2011 and we had 85,000 new H-1B visas for the picking.


According to regulations, employers can begin to file H-1B visa petitions for employees no sooner than 6 months prior to the effective date of their H-1B visa.  On that basis, April 1 of each year is the first opportunity that employers may file H-1B visa petitions for foreign national employees who would begin their new status on October 1 of the same year.  Employers were able to start petitioning on April 1, 2011, but were slow to consume all 85,000 available visas, in contrast to years prior to 2009.  As of July 2011, however, there was a marked acceleration in the consumption of H-1B visas.

Read more
Shihab Assists in Facilitating Naturalization Ceremony at the 2011 Columbus International Festival.


The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates was contacted by executives from the Columbus International Festival and asked to communicate with the appropriate governmental agencies and tribunals in order to hold a naturalization "swearing-in" ceremony at the upcoColumbus International Festivalming Festival on November 5th and 6th in Vets Memorial , Columbus, Ohio.  Attorney Gus Shihab, having been the Chair of the Ohio Chapter for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, contacted key officials at the US Citizenship & Immigration Service and the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and

was able to facilitate the swearing in ceremony for almost 200 foreign nationals on Saturday November 6, 2011.  Come and visit the Columbus International Festival and to witness this historic event. 

To register online please click here

New Immigration Legislation: Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act 

Eliminating Employment Based Petition Backlogs


In September 2011, Representative Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced H.R. 3012, and bill that would eliminate the per-country quota currently built into the employment based immigration system by federal fiscal year 2015. The bill would also raise the family sponsored per-country quota from 7% to 15%.  If passed, this legislation would cause the employment based preference categories to become "current" for all foreign nationals later in 2014.  In other words, there would be no different permanent residence processing times depending on nationality. For example, Indian nationals would be processed at the same time as a British National, or anyone else.  In addition, this legislation would also more than double the number of visas currently available in the family based preference category.  When introduced, this bill was viewed as "pie in the sky" legislation. However, it has recently gotten some traction. 


On October 27, 2011, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup and H.R. 3012 was reported favorably out of committee by a voice vote. An amendment from Rep. Lofgren (D-CA) that would make adjustments to the three year phase-in period was accepted. H.R. 3012 must next be scheduled for House floor debate which may occur in the next few weeks. Read more.

EB-3 to EB-2 Conversion Update.

What is "Interfiling?" 

We are seeing a large influx of permanent residence applications from clients wanting to convert their EB-3 case to an EB-2.  We are hosting a webinar on this topic, as we consider right now the ideal time to process such conversions.  If you currently have an approved I-140 with a priority date which would cause an EB-2 petition to become current, you should pursue a new permanent residence application based in PERM. 


If you currently have an application for adjustment of status pending, there is no need to file a new I-485 with the new EB-2 petition thanks to a novel procedure known as interfiling.  Interfiling means that you would utilize your current adjustment application which was previously filed on the basis of a lower preference category to continue to be processed on the basis of a new I-140 with a higher preference category.  This is a significant cost saving for families who may have 3 or more applications for adjustment of status pending based on a prior EB-3 petition.  Interfiling would allow you to process your EB-2 PERM and I-140 then "interfile" your pending I-485 to the newly approved EB-2.  Please call us to discuss this matter more or attend our upcoming webinar.  To register for the webinar click here

Gus Shihab, Esq.
In This Issue
Analysis: Is the H-1B Visa Cap Reaching Soon?
New Immigration Legislation Welcomed
EB-3 to EB-2 Conversion Update
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Shihab Immigration Blog

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


US Immigration laws are currently in 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.  
Call our law firm today for a free in depth analysis of your immigration law issue.

1-877-479-4USA (4872)
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Shihab Webinar Series


Converting Your EB-3 Green Card to EB-2

New Hot Topics



USCIS Announces Plan to Streamline Filing of Citizenship Forms


Ohio's Proposed Mandatory E-Verify Law - Bad For Ohio's Employers - Bad for Ohio's Economy


Ohio Business Investors Offer Help to Immigrants who Create Jobs 


Fear of Crackdown on Undocumented Immigrant Hits Ohio Farms  


Significant Delays Experienced in Processing Prevailing Wage Determination Requests for PERM Applications 


Meet Our Legal Team

Gus Shihab, Esq.
The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA
877-479-4USA (4872)

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