BIA Says: Travel Under Parole Not a Departure

Aggie Hoffman

On April 17, 2012, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), in Matter of Arrabally and Yerrabelly, ruled that one travelling on advance parole may not be barred from returning to the U.S. after a temporary absence. This is important because parole is permission to travel while an Application for Permanent Residence (I-485) is pending; departure without parole causes the abandonment of the I-485, making it impossible to return to the U.S. This is a welcomed ruling because for years the USCIS engaged in a bait… [ Continue reading ]

Fiscal Year 2013: H-1B Visa Quota Filled

Aggie Hoffman

UPDATE! USCIS announced that on June 11, 2012, it received a sufficient number of H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 for fiscal year (FY) 2013. USCIS will consider properly filed cases as received on the date that USCIS physically receives the petition; not the date that the petition was postmarked. USCIS will reject cap-subject petitions for new H-1B specialty occupation workers if they arrive after June 11, 2012 and seek an employment start date in FY 2013. As of June 7, 2012, USCIS… [ Continue reading ]

Fiscal Year 2014 : H-1B Visa Opportunity

Aggie Hoffman

The 2014 fiscal year begins on October 1, 2013. However, as has been the practice, the USCIS is likely to begin accepting visa petitions on April 1, 2013. It will continue to do so until it reaches the annual visa limit of 65,000. This year (and the prior year), the visa numbers were exhausted in June. Therefore, advance planning is definitely a must. It is definitely a numbers game.

U.S. Supreme Court Says ‘No’ To Immigrants Challenging Removal Proceedings

Aggie Hoffman

In a unanimous decision penned on May 21, 2012 by Justice Elena Kagan, the U.S. Supreme Court addressed whether a person in removal proceedings must qualify for the benefit of cancellation of removal by meeting the statutory requirements on his own, or whether some of the requirements may be imputed to him through those acquired by a parent. The decision turned on the interpretation of a statute that enables the Immigration Judge (IJ) to grant the request based on evidence of years of lawful permanent… [ Continue reading ]

Provisional Waiver (I-601)

Aggie Hoffman

In March 2012 the USCIS announced a form of relief soon to become vailable to many families who either entered the U.S. unlawfully, overstayed their visas, or violated the status of their entry visas. Many such visa hopefuls are not protected by 245(i) and therefore must exit the U.S. to obtain their immigrant visas (green cards). However, when they leave for their consular interview, they become subject to the penalty of unlawful U.S. presence; they face a 3 or 10 bar to returning to the… [ Continue reading ]

Prosecutorial Discretion

Aggie Hoffman

On June 17, 2011, John Morton, Director, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a memo that directs ICE attorneys to review cases pending in Immigration Courts and exercise discretion as to whom to remove from the U.S. Early in 2012 more specific guidelines were released, explaining who will be targeted for removal and who may benefit from discretionary action, allowing the person to remain in the U.S. Not eligible for discretion are those with felony or multiple misdemeanor violations, crimes of violence, including spousal abuse, sexual abuse… [ Continue reading ]

Fiscal Year 2011: H-1B Visa Opportunity

Aggie Hoffman

The annual visa limit of 65,000 continues to be open and available. The filing and consequently the count for fiscal year 2011 began on April 1, 2010. On May 21, it has reached only 19,600, so ample slots remain to be claimed. Keep in mind though that because these are for the next fiscal year, the visa applicant must be aware that these H-1Bs will not be usable until October 1, 2011. Nevertheless, one should not delay the application process because the numbers game can… [ Continue reading ]