Wednesday, November 27, 2013


File this blog entry under the category of “of no value to anyone but historians and regulatory completists”. 

The H-1A was a nurse-specific nonimmigrant visa category in the 1990s.  Congress failed to extend the H-1A in 1997 and the last H-1A nurse visa expired in 2000.  The H-1A law was formally repealed by Congress in 1999 in Sec. 2(c) of the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999, Public Law 106-095, 113 Stat. 1312, 1316.

For reasons that must be clear to someone but are lost on me, the Department of Labor formally rescinded some of the underlying H-1A regulations on November 20, 2013.  To give you an idea of how far the H-1A has fallen on everyone’s radar screen, the H-1A was not even considered in this June Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


AILA TSC Liaison Committee is seeking examples of healthcare worker adjustment of status cases denied on the grounds that no visa screen was included at the time the adjustment was filed. Please send a brief description of the case along with a copy of the denial to, with "Visa Screen Denial" in the subject line.

Monday, November 18, 2013


The USCIS has announced that Filipino nationals who are impacted by Typhoon Haiyan may be eligible for certain immigration relief measures:
1.  Change or extension of nonimmigrant status for an individual currently in the United States, even when the request is filed after the authorized period of admission has expired;
2.  Extension of certain grants of parole made by USCIS;
3.  Extension of certain grants of advance parole, and expedited processing of advance parole requests;
4.  Expedited adjudication and approval, where possible, of requests for off-campus employment authorization for F-1 students experiencing severe economic hardship;
5.  Expedited processing of immigrant petitions for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs);
6.  Expedited adjudication of employment authorization applications, where appropriate; and
7.  Assistance to LPRs stranded overseas without immigration or travel documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards (Green Cards). USCIS and the Department of State will coordinate on these matters when the LPR is stranded in a place that has no local USCIS office.

Philippine nationals should note that these provisions do not grant any extra rights or paths to those in the Philippines who may have been harmed as a result of the Typhoon.  These relief measures are limited to the seven situations described above. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines) was devastating to the Philippines.  Thousands are feared dead and countless others have been injured.  By any measure Typhon Haiyan was one of the worst natural disasters in human history.  If you would like to donate to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan here are organizations that are helping.  Please take a minute and consider donating.

Doctors Without Borders: DWB’s work is based on the humanitarian principles of medical ethics and impartiality. The organization is committed to bringing quality medical care to people in crisis regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation. 

Oxfam: Oxfam aid teams are on the ground in the Philippines and reporting urgent needs of food, clean water, medicine and shelter.

Global Red Cross: The global Red Cross network is responding to emergency needs in the Philippines with food, water, and relief supplies, and the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this massive effort.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The Department of State has just released the December 2013 Visa Bulletin.  This is the third Visa Bulletin of the 2014 US Fiscal Year, which began on October 1, 2013.  

The All Other Countries EB-3 date jumped a full year to October 1, 2011.  The Chinese EB-2 and EB-3 continued to be flipped: the Chinese EB-2 is worse than the Chinese EB-3.  Chinese nationals who are BE-2 may be able to file an EB-3.  Chinese EB-3s should check with their attorneys to effect this change.

Unfortunately the Philippine EB-2 and EB-3 barely moved.   Philippine EB-3 did get into 2007.India EB-3 actually retrogressed further back a few weeks. India EB-2 dropped all the way back to Nov 15, 2004. 

The Visa Bulletin contained these projections for the next few months: 

Visa Availability in the next coming months.

Employment First:  Current

Employment Second:
Worldwide:  Current
China:  Three to five weeks 
India:  No forward movement

Employment Third:
Worldwide:  This cut-off date has been advanced extremely rapidly during the past seven months in an effort to generate new demand.  As the rate of applicants who are able to have action on their cases finalized increases, it could have a significant impact on the cut-off date situation.  The rapid forward movement of this cut-off date should not be expected to continue beyond February.
China:        Expected to remain at the worldwide date
India:        No forward movement
Mexico:       Expected to remain at the worldwide date
Philippines:  Three to six weeks

Here is this month's complete chart:

December 2013 Visa Bulletin
All Other CountriesChina IndiaPhilippines

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


AILA has just reported that the Department of State’s Charlie Oppenheim spoke to the AILA Washington D.C. Chapter dinner. While his statements are not official, Mr. Oppenheim is often correct with his predictions.   
  • The India EB-2 cutoff date is expected to retrogress from June 2008 (which is what it is in the November 2013 Visa Bulletin) to 2004 or 2005 in December 2013. This is due in large part to Indian nationals "upgrading" from EB-3 to EB-2.
  • India EB-3 will continue to move very slowly.
  • Worldwide EB-2 is expected to remain current.
  • Worldwide EB-3 could move up to 2011 in the December Visa Bulletin.
  • Worldwide EB-1 is expected to remain current.
  • China EB-2 will continue to move slowly.
  • China EB-3 is expected to continue to be ahead of a China's EB-2 priority date.  

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last month’s government shutdown made it impossible to file PERM Applications.  The problem has continued into November, as the iCert portal has been inundated with a large volume of filings.  The Department of Labor fortunately has issued a blog posting explaining that Employers and Employees will not be prejudiced.

According the blog posting, any PERM filing on or before November 14, 2013 will be considered timely filed even if the PWD or recruitment has nominally expired.  The iCert system will warn the user that the application contains information that will cause the application to be denied, but such an application will not be denied for this reason.  This accommodation applies only to PERM applications that had timely recruitment or prevailing wage determinations during the shutdown period and are now unsuitable for filing due to expired recruitment or prevailing wage determinations.

Similarly, any response due to the DOL between October 1 -18, 2014 will be deemed timely filed if received at the DOL prior to November 14, 2013.

The DOL blog posting also notes that any document that was filed with their office between October 1 – 18, 2013 will be given a receipt date of October 18, 2013.  Since October 18, 2013 is before November 14, all of these documents are also timely.