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Carl Shusterman's Immigration Update

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  1. JUNE VISA BULLETIN: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY

    http://shusterman.com/images/visa.png The June 2015 Visa Bulletin contains a bit of good news for persons in certain employment-based (EB) categories. However, for others, like Chinese investors, the news is mostly bad. For Filipino professionals and Mexicans and Filipinos in some of the family-based (FB) categories, the news is downright ugly.

    The Good
    The worldwide EB-3 category (professionals, skilled and unskilled workers) advances 6 weeks creating the shortest backlog in this category in several years.

    For persons born in China, the EB-2 numbers (for advanced-degree professionals) jump ahead by an entire year! EB-3 China advances by 4 months.

    For persons born in India, the EB-2 category leaps ahead by 5 months while the EB-3 numbers inch forward by a single week.

    The Bad
    The worldwide family-based categories barely advance while the FB-2B (unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents) and FB-3 (married sons and daughters of US citizens) numbers remain frozen.

    For persons born in Mexico, most of the family-based categories advance either 1 week or not at all. In some of these categories, the waiting times exceed 20 years. The same is true for persons born in the Philippines.

    The EB-5 investor category for persons born in China, which retrogressed 2 years in May, fails to move forward in June.

    The Ugly
    For persons born in Mexico who were sponsored by their US citizen brothers and sisters 18 years ago, the wait lengthens by 4 months. This is a good example of how our legal immigration system is broken.

    But what is much worse is the Philippines FB-1 category for unmarried adult sons and daughters of US citizens. In June, the present 10-year wait will lengthen to 15 years!

    And finally, have pity for Filipinos in the EB-3 category (nurses, accountants, engineers, etc.). In May, their waiting times increased from 7 months to 7 years. (No, this is not a typo!). And in June, their waiting times will increase again, this time to 10 years.

    Coming Attractions
    Remember that as the federal fiscal year (October 1 to September 30) approaches its end, waiting times have a tendency to increase. This year, there are increasing earlier than usual.

    However, do not despair. When the October Visa Bulletin is released, the outlook is bound to improve, at least to an extent.

    If only Congress would take action to fix our broken immigration system, but that would probably be asking too much…

    Updated 05-26-2015 at 03:15 PM by CShusterman (Visa Bulletin, Priority Date, Family-Based, Employment-Based)

  2. EB-3 CATEGORY GREAT NEWS IN FEBRUARY VISA BULLETIN!

    http://shusterman.com/images/eb3-workers.jpg Fantastic news for those in the EB-3 category in the February 2015 Visa Bulletin!

    Two years ago, the wait for those in the EB-3 category was almost 6 years to get a green card, even more for persons born in the Philippines (as well as China and India, which is a problem yet to be resolved by Congress). During the past 2 years, the wait has been shrinking and shrinking.


    Now, in the February 2015 Visa Bulletin, the wait has fallen to 13 months, and the State Department predicts even faster waiting times in the months ahead.


    This is an opportunity which you cannot afford to miss. If you qualify for a green card in the EB-3 category (Professionals and Skilled Workers), make sure your employer submits a PERM application for you immediately!


    If you are a Registered Nurse or a Physical Therapist, no PERM application is required. Your employer should submit an I-140 visa petition on your behalf as soon as possible. As soon as your priority date becomes current, apply for a green card using form I-485.


    EB-3 vs. H-1B

    This is especially great news for foreign-born students studying in the US. Once you graduate, you can apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT). OPT is a work permit which is valid for at least 12 months, or for some STEM jobs, up to 29 months.


    Since getting an H-1B temporary work visa is a 50-50 lottery these days, if your employer submits a PERM application or an I-140 petition at the beginning of your OPT period, you may be able to go directly from OPT to Green Card, and bypass H-1B altogether.


    This is great news for employers as well given the costs and uncertainty of obtaining H-1B status for essential employees.


    Don't hesitate, apply immediately!
  3. September 2013 Brings Good News

    The September 2013 Visa Bulletin is like an early Christmas gift come early for thousands of family-based and employment-based immigrants.

    On the family side, the 2A category (spouses and children of permanent residents) remains current (no backlogs) for a second month in a row. The retrogression is bound to start come October so the time to apply is now.

    The biggest advance on worldwide numbers is the 2B category (unmarried adult sons and daughter of permanent residents) which moves forward 10 weeks. For Filipino unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, the numbers advance over 4 months.

    FAMILY CATEGORIES

    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
    1st 9-15-06 9-15-06 9-8-93 5-8-01
    2A Current Current Current Current
    2B 2-15-06 2-15-06 2-22-94 1-22-03
    3rd 1-22-03 1-22-03 5-15-93 12-22-92
    4th 7-22-01 7-22-01 10-8-96 2-15-90

    The worldwide EB-3 category (professionals, skilled and unskilled workers) jumps ahead by 1 1/2 years to July 10, 2010. And, at last, there is some good news for persons born in India. EB-2 (advance degreed workers) advances 5 1/2 months and EB-3 a full 8 months.


    EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
    1st Current Current Current Current Current
    2nd Current 8-8-08 6-15-08 Current Current
    3rd 7-1-10 7-1-10 9-22-03 7-1-10 12-1-06
    Unskilled 7-1-10 6-15-04 9-22-03 7-1-10 12-1-06
    4th Current Current Current Current Current
    Religious Current Current Current Current Current
    5th Current Current Current Current Current

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

    Updated 11-20-2013 at 11:17 AM by CShusterman

  4. Family 2A Goes Current in August

    The August 2013 Visa Bulletin contains great news for both spouses and children of permanent residents. As of August 1, the Family 2A category will be current for all countries.

    If you have a green card, and your spouse (and/or children) are lawfully present in the U.S., they should get ready to file their I-485 packets in August. Even if the category retrogresses later on, they will be able to remain in the U.S. together with you. In 90 days, they will receive their work and travel permits. Your spouse will be able to get a drivers license. Your kids will be able to enroll in school.

    If the I-130 petition is pending, they can file their I-485s. If you have not filed anything for them, get ready to file I-130s and I-485s in August.

    If you were waiting to naturalize before you sponsored them for green cards, or before you got married, wait no longer. Sponsor them in August, or marry your boyfriend or girlfriend in July, and get the paperwork ready to file in August.

    And given the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down section 3 of DOMA, remember that the above advice applies to same-sex couples as well.

    If your spouse is abroad or entered the U.S. unlawfully, things are a bit more complex. The time to see your immigration lawyer is now!

    Below are the dates for the family-based categories in the August 2013 Visa Bulletin:

    FAMILY CATEGORIES

    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
    1st 9-1-06 9-1-06 9-1-93 1-1-01
    2A Current Current Current Current
    2B 12-1-05 12-1-05 2-1-94 12-22-02
    3rd 12-8-02 12-8-02 5-1-93 12-1-92
    4th 6-22-01 6-22-01 9-22-96 1-8-90

    The big news in employment-based numbers is that India EB-2 advances from 2004 to 2008. If this affects you, be sure to file your I-485 in August.

    EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
    1st Current Current Current Current Current
    2nd Current 8-8-08 1-1-08 Current Current
    3rd 1-1-09 1-1-09 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-22-06
    Unskilled 1-1-09 3-22-04 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-22-06
    4th Current Current Current Current Current
    Religious Current Current Current Current Current
    5th Current Current Current Current Current

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
  5. Great News for Spouses/Children of Green Card Holders

    The August 2013 Visa Bulletin contains great news for both spouses and children of permanent residents. As of August 1, the family-based 2A category will be current for all countries.

    If you have a green card, and your spouse (and/or children) are lawfully present in the U.S., they should get ready to file their I-485 packets in August. Even if the category retrogresses later on, they will be able to remain in the U.S. together with you. In 90 days, they will receive their work and travel permits. Your spouse will be able to get a drivers license. Your kids will be able to enroll in school.

    If the I-130 petition is pending, they can file their I-485s. If you have not filed anything for them, get ready to file I-130s and I-485s in August.

    If you were waiting to naturalize before you sponsored them for green cards, or before you got married, wait no longer. Sponsor them in August, or marry your boyfriend or girlfriend in July, and get the paperwork ready to file in August.

    And given the Supreme Court's recent decision striking down section 3 of DOMA, remember that the above advice applies to same-sex couples as well.

    If your spouse is abroad or entered the U.S. unlawfully, things are a bit more complex. The time to see your immigration lawyer is now!


    Below are the dates for the family-based categories in the August 2013 Visa Bulletin:


    FAMILY CATEGORIES


    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) Mexico Philippines
    1st 9-1-06 9-1-06 9-1-93 1-1-01
    2A Current Current Current Current
    2B 12-1-05 12-1-05 2-1-94 12-22-02
    3rd 12-8-02 12-8-02 5-1-93 12-1-92
    4th 6-22-01 6-22-01 9-22-96 1-8-90



    The big news in employment-based numbers is that India EB-2 advances from 2004 to 2008. If this affects you, be sure to file your I-485s in August.


    EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES


    Categories Worldwide China (PRC) India Mexico Philippines
    1st Current Current Current Current Current
    2nd Current 8-8-08 1-1-08 Current Current
    3rd 1-1-09 1-1-09 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-22-06
    Unskilled 1-1-09 3-22-04 1-22-03 1-1-09 10-22-06
    4th Current Current Current Current Current
    Religious Current Current Current Current Current
    5th Current Current Current Current Current

    Subscribe to our free, monthly e-mail newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.
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