Immigration and Firm News

On December 9, 2010, the Senate voted to withdraw its version of the DREAM Act, S. 3992, and to take up the House version, H.R. 6497, that was passed on December 8. The Senate still needs to plow through other tough legislation before it will vote on DREAM, but it is anticipated DREAM will be voted on next week. In the meantime, supporters should continue to fax or email the Senate in the next few days because at least 60 votes are needed to pass DREAM. The House version has the two … [Read more...]

Today the House of Representatives bravely passed the DREAM Act by 216 to 198. It has taken a decade to get to this point. The bill, known as Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act of 2010, was attached to H.R. 5281 and was originally filed as H.R. 6497. This bill differs from the Senate bill S. 3992, which will be voted upon tomorrow morning. The Senate needs 60 favorable votes to pass. Keep making those calls to the Senate: 1-866-966-5161 or email. Key differences in the two … [Read more...]

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the DREAM Act later this morning. This is the first significant piece of legislation to actually help immigrants in over a decade. On Monday, over in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) filed a cloture motion to end debate to avoid a filibuster on S. 3992. Another attempt to get 60 votes is anticipated for this afternoon. Supporters should call or email Congress this morning: Representatives: 1-866-967-6018 Senators: 1-866-966-5161 Email … [Read more...]

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has launched a new website,, to help consumers of immigration services avoid becoming victims of dishonest behavior by non-lawyers who hold themselves out as providing immigration services. The site also has state-by-state guides on how to verify information about lawyers, what kinds of questions to ask when entering into an agreement, and how to file complaints against notarios and unscrupulous lawyers. The site is in … [Read more...]

In my newer role on the Board of the International Section of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), I came to learn of an invaluable resource for foreign and American investors wanting to do business in Washington State. The WSBA just released the 5th edition of Doing Business in Washington State: A Guide for Foreign Business and Investment, edited by Randy J. Aliment, with articles written by lawyers in the fields of business, tax, real estate, intellectual property, antitrust, … [Read more...]

A good mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially the mind of a motivated young person. And, I'm not talking about wasting a brain to drugs or crime. Instead, I'm talking about wasting the minds of tens of thousands of young people in the U.S. every year who have grown up here and are anxious to contribute to America, but who cannot go to college, get jobs, drive cars, or join the military simply because they lack papers to be here lawfully through no fault of their own. Most came when they … [Read more...]

The H-1B cap is getting closer to reaching annual limits. As of November 26, 2010, for FY 2011, the H-1B Cap is as follows: 50,400 of the annual 65,000 allotment of cap-eligible petitions have been approved. 18,400 of the additional 20,000 U.S. masters degree exemptions have been used. If the annual caps are reached in the next few weeks or months, then a new round of H-1B visas will not be available for jobs beginning this year and next until October 1, 2011. The application window will open … [Read more...]

On November 23, 2010 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) not only raised filing fees for some applications, lowered them in others, and instituted some new fees. It also issued several new and revised forms as follows: Revised Form I129 for H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, H-2C, H-3, E-1/E-2, E-3, L-1, O, P, Q, R and TN nonimmigrant temporary workers: The general form has changed as well as the visa specific supplemental forms. (See an earlier posting, "Revised H-1B Form and Increased Fees … [Read more...]

A new I129 Form will be introduced and published on November 23, 2010, the same date the filing fees increase from $320 to $325.00 for the base fee, and from $1000 to $1225.00 if premium expedited processing is requested. The form is used for several non-immigrant categories including E-1/E2, E-3, H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, the expired H-2C registered nurse, H-3, L-1, O, P, Q, R and TN. On top of the base fee for each of these categories there are fraud and training fees that vary by category, employer … [Read more...]

On November 23, 2010, the filing fees for many U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) forms go up on average 10%. USCIS published a detailed schedule. Applications filed with the old fees must be RECEIVED by Monday, November 22, 2010, which means they need to be express mailed by Friday, November 19. Some applications did not have a fee increase, such as the N400 for naturalization, but the biometrics fee that is filed with the N400 and with many other forms increased from $80 to … [Read more...]