Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has just introduced HR 3012, The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act. The bill, if passed into law, would eliminate the per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants. The Immigration and Nationality Act generally provides that the total number of employment-based immigrant visas made available to natives of any foreign country in a year cannot exceed 7% of the total number of such visas made available in that year. The bill eliminates this per country percentage cap.

If passed, the Act greatly improves the processing times for Indian and Chinese green card applicants. An unintended consequence of the Act likely would be the slowing of processing for natives of all countries.

The Act is supported by the US Chamber of Commerce, Compete America (a coalition of high tech companies (Microsoft, Google, Oracle, etc.) and various trade groups. The Act has been the primary motivation behind Immigration Voice.

The Act is co-sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill also adjusts family based visa limits from 7% per country to 15% per country.

Before the Act can become law, it will have to attract more co-sponsors and be recommended for a vote in the US House of Representatives. Once it passes the House, the Act will have to be passed by the US Senate. President Obama almost certainly would sign the Act into law.

Monday, September 26, 2011


The US public television network, PBS, has been airing the documentary, The Learning, on local PBS stations around the country. The Learning tells the tale of four Philippine elementary school teachers as they migrate from their Philippine homeland and into inner-city Baltimore. The teachers laugh, cry, dance, and sing their way through their adventure, all the while balancing their love of their homeland with classrooms of unruly children in one of America’s gravest inner cities.

The compelling nature of the quest would make for a tight 90 minutes of viewing regardless of the subject-immigrants, but the radiance of these women raises the documentary to compelling viewing.

Their desire to help family and friends through remittance payments underscores the entire film. The most gripping scene occurs when one of the teachers, Angel, returns to her homeland and has to explain to her family that the American money “does not grow on trees,” as only a beloved schoolteacher can explain. Angel, like her three colleagues, never stops teaching – the children, her family, and we the viewers.

The film is streaming for free through October 20 on PBS’ website – unfortunately the streaming is only available in America. MU Law highly recommends The Learning for any reader of this Blog and anyone interested in first-person accounts of the modern immigrant experience.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


The NPTE announces these test dates for the next several dates. In order to schedule for one of the two upcoming exams, please click:

October 26, 2011 (Updated 9/19/2011)
December 5, 2011 (Updated 9/19/2011)

NPTE Test Dates
Test DateRegistration DeadlineJurisdiction DeadlineScores Reported

Oct 26, 2011Sept 26, 2011Oct 10, 2011Nov 2, 2011

Dec 5, 2011Nov 5, 2011Nov 21, 2011Dec 12, 2011

Future dates in 2012 are available at the FSBPT webpage.

Monday, September 19, 2011

H-1B CAP COUNT: 32,200

The Fiscal Year 2012 (FY2012) H-1B cap season began on April 1, 2011. Since April 1, a mere 32,200 H-1B cap-subject Petitions have been receipted by USCIS as of September 9, 2011. This is much lower than in recent years and likely reflects the fact that US employers are not hiring workers, including foreign-national workers.

To put this in perspective, in FY 2011, which began April 1, 2010, the USCIS has receipted about 38,000 H-1Bs through September 17, 2010. Many healthcare professions ordinarily qualify for H-1B status, including Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Therapists, and some Registered Nursing positions.

For three years the H-1B demand has decreased. This is compelling evidence that H-1B workers are not used to drive down US worker’s wages. If H-1B workers were used to drive down wages, H-1B demand would remain consistent in a decreasing economy, since US employers would still want to save money on salary expenses.

Monday, September 12, 2011


The Department of State has just released the October 2011 Visa Bulletin. The October Visa Bulletin is the first Visa Bulletin of US Fiscal Year 2012.

As recently has been the case, the dates moved up slowly but steadily, averaging a one month improvement.

Oct 2011 Visa Bulletin
All Other CountriesChina IndiaMexico
EB-2Current 15JUL0715JUL07Current

The Visa Bulletin included this prediction on future movement of dates:

Employment Second:

Worldwide: Current

China and India: The current cut-off date is approaching the most favorable date previously reached for applicants from China and India. The rapid forward movement is intended to generate demand based on new filings for adjustment of status at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices, which currently accounts for over 85% of all Employment-based number use. Once the level of demand increases sufficiently, it may be necessary to slow or stop the cut-off movement, and a retrogression of the cut-offs at some point during the year is a distinct possibility.

Mexico: Current
Philippines: Current

Employment Third:

Worldwide: up to one month
China: one to three weeks
India: up to two weeks
Mexico: up to one month
Philippines: up to one month