Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Last night, as expected, President Obama signaled the end of S.744 and the beginning of a new version of Comprehensive Immigration Reform in his State of the Union address.  Less than 2 percent of the President’s lengthy speech was about immigration reform.  While some pro-immigration forces may see this as a bad thing, there are others who think that this is the correct approach in the complex game of politics.

The President and the Senate learned last year that nothing can get done without Republican-led House approval.  Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has taken some quiet steps signaling that he may be serious about immigration reform, including the hiring of Becky Tallent in December 2013.  Ms. Tallent is a long-time advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has repeatedly made reform the United States’ immigration laws a priority.

By not aggressively pushing immigration reform in the State of the Union, the President is allowing Rep. Boehner the breathing room to line up House Republicans on the issue.  The Republicans are not interested in handing the President a political win.  They will only allow an immigration bill to move if they can get the press to report that an immigration bill is Republican driven.  That would never have happened if the President had demanded that Congress put a bill on his desk.

The odds are still long.  Immigration reform is tough.  But the President’s lack of discussion on the issue in last night’s address is yet another move in a long game.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


In anticipation of the H-1B cap filing date of April 1, 2014, MU Law will be holding a free teleconference for our clients on February 12, 2014 at 2PM / 11AM PT.  Interested clients should email MU’s Lauren Gramke, who can register you for the teleconference.

Last year the H-1B cap was reached in the first week; we expect that the demand will be greater this year.  It is imperative that all H-1B cap-subject Petitions are filled on April 1, 2014 in order to insure that the H-1B Petition qualifies under this year’s H-1B cap.

H-1B cap-subject petitions include:

* International students working on an EAD card under an OPT or CPT program after having attended a U.S. school

* International employees working on a TN may need an H-1B filed for them in order for them to pursue a permanent residency (green card) case

* Prospective international employees in another visa status e.g. H-4, L-2, J-1, F-1

* H-1B workers with a cap exempt organization

* Prospective international employees currently living abroad

In addition to the H-1B cap discussion, MU lawyers will also provide an employment-based immigration legislation update.

Monday, January 20, 2014


MU's Chris Musillo is a featured speaker on the Continuing Legal Education panel, Consular Processing for Experts.  Interested attorneys can register for the session at  Discussion topics include: nonimmigrant intent, visa eligibility, preparation for the visa interview, and post-interview issues. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014


The internet is abuzz with reports that John Boehner and the House Republicans are in the process of drafting their “principles of immigration reform.”  A document that purports to outline the GOP’s position on all facets of the immigration debate: border security, legalization of the undocumented, modernization of quotas and caps, enforcement, and employment verification. 

The release of the “principles” is the eulogy for last summer’s Senate Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, Senate Bill 744.  That bill was the result of brokering by Senate leadership from both Republicans and Democrats.  Despite the bipartisan nature of the bill it never was seriously considered by the House – mainly because conservative and tea party House members thought that S.744 was too lenient on punishment for the undocumented.  The Senate Bill called for a minimum of 13 years before citizenship. 

Conservative Republicans other problem with S.77 was they wanted a secure southern border before any material legalization program.  It seems that fully securing the 2,000 southern border is an impossibility without a massive expenditure.

House Maj. Leader Boehner (R-OH) is expected to release the “principles of immigration reform” in advance of the President’s January 28, 2014 State of the Union address.  These two issues – security on the southern border and legalization -- are the key ones to look for in the Republicans “principles of immigration reform” release.  If the GOP really wants immigration reform in 2014 these two issues will be raised in a way that allows for a compromise with Democrats.  On the other hand if the “principles of immigration reform” contains unrealistic security aims and onerous legalization pathways, then prospects of immigration reform in 2014 will suffer the same fate as S.744.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


With the New Year upon us, MU Law reminds readers to schedule their 2014 Physical Therapy NPTE exams.  

Keep in mind that the FSBPT uses a fixed-date testing process.  The FSBPT approach is different than other healthcare occupation's examination processes, which allows for rolling testing dates. FSBPT believes that their fixed-date testing system provides the most secure exam for their industry.

Be sure to register well in advance in order to insure that your seat is reserved.

Test Date
Registration Payment Deadline
Jurisdiction Approval Deadline
Seats are reserved for PT candidates until:
Scores Reported to Jurisdictions
January 29, 2014
December 23, 2013
Jan. 2, 2014
January 15, 2014
February 5, 2014
April 30, 2014
March 26, 2014
April 2, 2014
April 16, 2014
May 7, 2014
July 22&23, 2014
June 17, 2014
June 24, 2014
July 8, 2014
July 30, 2014
October 29, 2014
Sept. 24, 2014
Oct. 1, 2014
Oct. 15, 2014
Nov. 5, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014


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

The All Other Countries EB-3 date jumped yet again.  It has now moved almost two years in the last few Visa Bulletins.   

The Chinese EB-2 and EB-3 continued to be flipped: the Chinese EB-2 is worse than the Chinese EB-3, which means that Chinese EB-3s are processing faster than Chinese EB-2s.  Chinese nationals who are EB-2 may be able to file an EB-3.  Chinese EB-3s should check with their attorneys to effect this change.

Unfortunately India EB-2 and India EB-3 remained stuck.  India EB-2 and EB-3 have not moved in several months.

The Philippine EB-3 did advance another 8 weeks.  This is the second notable movement for Philippine EB-3 in the last two Visa Bulletins.

Here is this month's complete chart:

February 2014 Visa Bulletin 

All Other Countries

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


The USCIS has announced a free teleconference to provide feedback on H-1B nonimmigrant workers and Schedule A immigrant workers, specifically nurses.
The teleconference is designed to allow a newly assembled team of USCIS government immigration experts to explore how it can “enhance clarity and consistency in health care adjudications, focusing on the nursing industry.” 
The team of USCIS government immigration experts is modeled on the USCIS’ Entrepreneurs in Residence program.  The EIR program brought together private sector entrepreneurs together with USCIS immigration experts with the goal of producing clear policies that are consistent with business realities.
To register the session, visit USCIS’ registration page.

Monday, January 6, 2014


The best chance for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in many years was squandered in 2013.  An exciting spring led to a successful bipartisan Senate Bill 744 in June.  That bill was never seriously considered by the House.  Tea Party Republicans effectively held control of the Republican Party’s majority power and refused to allow CIR to come to a vote in spite of Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) interest in an immigration bill.

The Tea Party wing may have overplayed its hand in October’s budget battle that shut down the federal government.  After several weeks both parties’ centrists wrestled control back from the extremists and compromised on a bill to end the government shut-down.  The wrestling back of control may have signaled that the centrists are ready to lead.  If so, Comprehensive Immigration Reform may once again be targeted as the type of policy that both parties can get behind. 

Most significantly, Maj. Leader Boehner hired Becky Tallent in December 2013.  Ms. Tallent is a long-time advisor to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who has repeatedly made reform the United States’ immigration laws a priority.  Reportedly, Ms. Tallent’s hire was made because of Rep. Boehner’s desire for an immigration bill.