Friday, May 1, 2015

I am delighted to announce that I have opened a new immigration practice: Martin Immigration Law.  We have a new website and blog and are no longer updating this blog or accepting comments on these older posts.

The new website is

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Changes to E-Verify coming on June 13.

USCIS is rolling out changes to E-Verify, including a redesigned web page, on June 13. In the words of CIS
Big changes are coming to E-Verify in June that will enhance its usability, security, accuracy and efficiency. The newly redesigned E-Verify features a clean and modern design, easy and intuitive navigation, and clear and simple language. A new home page, a reimagined case alerts feature, improved case management and a streamlined tutorial are among the dozens of improvements coming to E-Verify.
Check out the new E-Verify Redesign section of the E-Verify website at to learn more about what’s coming and how to prepare. The new section highlights several of the exciting new features and offers information on how to get a sneak preview in June before the site launches.
Although not clear from the CIS website, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) advises that employer MUST attend one of the free webinars before they can use E-Verify for new employees.

CIS feels that the new E-Verify has the following advantages:
  • Simplified case management.
  • Easier employment verification.
  • New case results and case alert (for cases needing attention) features.
  • Improved procedures for closing a case.
  • Ability to see the memorandum of Understanding (MOU) online.
  • Simplified terms.
For more information on E-Verify, see my prior blog postings here.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Department of State issues travel alert for World Cup fans

The U.S. Department of State has published an alert (here) for U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in South Africa to safety and security issues related to the FIFA World Cup taking place in nine cities across the country from June 11 to July 11, 2010. 

The U.S. Mission to South Africa also has a dedicated World Cup website here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

New consular visa fees to start June 4, 2010

The US Department of State announced new fees for visa applications, starting on June 4, 2010. The rule establishes a tiered structure with separate fees for different nonimmigrant visa categories. Examples of the new fees include:
  • $140 fee for applicants for all visas that are not petition-based, including B1/B2 tourist and business visitor visas and all student and exchange visitor (F, M and J) visas, will pay a fee of $140.
  • $150 fee for petition-based visas, including L, H, O, P, Q and R visas
  • $350 for K-1 (fiancee) visas
  • $390 for E visas.
See the web link here and press release here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fact Sheet for Military Naturalization Issed

USCIS has published a Fact Sheet about naturalization for members of the US military here.  The sheet reminds people that some requirements for citizenship are waived for members of the military, including the residence and physical presence requirements. Service members do not need to pay an application fee or a biometrics fee to apply for naturalization. In addition, service members who serve during specifically designated periods of hostilities may not need to be lawful permanent residents.

For more information about naturalization as a current of former member of the military, see my prior blog postings here 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

H-1B cap count for FY 2011 updated

As of May 14, 2010, USCIS had received 19,000 cases against the regular H-1B cap and 8,100 cases against the Master's degree cap. 

USCIS provides regular updates on the processing of FY2011 H-1B petitions. The updates can be found on the USCIS’ website here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

June 2010 Visa Bulletin Released

The US Department of State has released the Visa Bulletin for June 2010. The biggest news is that the Dominican Republic is now added as a separate country in Family and Employment preference categories.

Other major changes (or not):

* Family 2A preference dates for all countries, advance by over a year.
* India EB-2 is unchanged from last month. This means that it has moved only one week since October 2009.  In that month, the current date was 1/22/05, and now it is 2/1/05. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Information flyer for new citizens

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Green card to be green again in redesign.

USCIS has announced that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card (green card) with enhanced security features - and a "new" color.  For many years the card has been white, pink before that, and green a long time ago.

The new security features are described as follows:
Secure optical media will store biometrics for rapid and reliable identification of the card holder. Holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, and high resolution micro-images will make the card nearly impossible to reproduce. Tighter integration of the card design with personalized elements will make it difficult to alter the card if stolen. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) capability will allow Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to read the card from a distance and compare it immediately to file data. Finally, a preprinted return address will enable the easy return of a lost card to USCIS.

Existing card holders don't need to do anything. They will get new cards as they apply for renewals or replacements in the normal course.

For more information, see the USCIS press release and the fact sheet.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Five Myths About Immigration

The Washington Post has an article  that dispels 5 mythis about immigration. The myths are:

1. Immigrants take jobs from American workers.  

The article notes that immigrants form a higher percentage of the workforce than of the overall population, i.e. more immigrants work than US workers. The article also quotes economists saying that
immigration also stimulates growth by creating new consumers, entrepreneurs and investors. As a result of this growth, economists estimate that wages for the vast majority of American workers are slightly higher than they would be without immigration. U.S. workers without a high school degree experience wage declines as a result of competition from immigrants, but these losses are modest, at just over 1 percent. Economists also estimate that for each job an immigrant fills, an additional job is created. 

2. Immigration is at an all-time high, and most new immigrants came illegally.

The article notes that the historic high was in about 1980, when about 14.8% of the population were immigrants. Now the figure is about 12.5%. About 2/3 of these are here lawfully.

3. Today's immigrants are not integrating into American life like past waves did.

The same charge was levied at  prior influxes of immigrants, according to the article. As with previous immigrants, integration takes a generation and evidence shows that current immigrants are as keen as prior ones to integrate.

4. Cracking down on illegal border crossings will make us safer.

The article discusses the extremely difficult task that the government faces in securing
7,500 miles of land borders, 12,380 miles of coastline and a vast network of sea ports, international airports, ports of entry along the Mexican and Canadian borders and visa-issuing consulates abroad. 

5. Immigration reform cannot happen in an election year.

Immigration is a controversial issue, however all major immigration acts that have passed in recent decades have passed in elections years.

For the full text of the article, see here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

TN occupations list

See here: North American Free Trade Agreement

2011 H-1B cap count updated

As of April 27, 2010, USCIS had received just over 16,500 cases against the regular H-1B cap and 6,900 cases against the Master's degree cap. 

USCIS provides regular updates on the processing of FY2011 H-1B petitions. The updates can be found on the USCIS’ website here.