Archives for March 2009

USCIS Announces Acceptance of H-1B Applications for FY2010 starting April 1, 2009

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year 2010 (FY 2010) cap on April 1, 2009.  Cases will be considered accepted on the date that USCIS takes possession of the petition; not the date that the petition is postmarked.

The numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2010 is 65,000.  Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens who have earned a U.S. masters’ degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap.


USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received and will notify the public of the date USCIS has received the necessary number of petitions to meet the H-1B cap, known as the “final receipt date.”  The date USCIS publishes information that the cap has been reached does not control the final receipt date. To ensure a fair system, USCIS will, if needed, randomly select the number of petitions required to reach the numerical limit from the petitions received on the final receipt date.  USCIS will reject cap subject petitions that are not selected, as well as those received after the final receipt date.


H-1B petitions cannot be filed more than six months in advance of the requested start date.  Petitions seeking an H-1B worker for an Oct. 1, 2009 start date can be filed no earlier than April 1, 2009. 


Petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the beneficiaries will work at institutions of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entities, or at nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations.  Thus, employers may continue to file petitions for these exempt H-1B categories seeking work dates starting in FY 2009 or 2010.
 
Petitions filed on behalf of current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap also do not count towards the congressionally mandated H-1B cap. Accordingly, USCIS will continue to process petitions filed to:




  • Extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States. 


  • Change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers. 


  • Allow current H-1B workers to change employers. 


  • Allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.

H-1B petitioners should follow all regulatory requirements (8 CFR §214.2) as they prepare petitions to avoid delays in processing and possible requests for evidence.  USCIS has developed detailed information, including a processing worksheet, to assist in the completion and submission of a FY2010 H-1B petition.  Those documents are available from the Related Links section of this page.


U.S. businesses use the H-1B program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

If you have a question about obtaining an H-1B Visa or any question related to immigration law, call me at 616-233-9300 or email me at info@mirquelaw.com

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The Basics of Deportation/Removal

When an alien is placed into removal proceedings the wheels of uncertainty begin to spin. Family members are often left in a state of panic, confusion, depression and financial despair and often don’t know who to turn to for help. Getting information or simply trying to locate an alien who has been taken into custody can become time consuming and frustrating.

I have successfully represented many clients placed in removal proceedings. I only take on cases that I believe have a chance of winning. Generally, my clients are informed at the initial consultation if I can help them with their removal case. Before I agree to represent a client in removal proceedings, I evaluate the client’s case to determine whether immigration relief is available to the client and the chances of getting that relief granted by the immigration judge. I also determine whether the client can be released on bond and whether the case, if located in another city or state can be moved to an immigration court closer to the client’s home.

The Department of Homeland Security can transfer aliens in removal proceedings within Michigan and even out of State. Usually, the government house aliens in leased jail space such as th Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek, Michigan or the Monroe County Jail in Monroe, Michigan.

If necessary, I  will order a client’s immigration file from the Department of Homeland Security and their criminal histories from the FBI and State Police to assist me in evaluating their removal case.

An alien may be placed into removal proceedings for many reasons. These reasons are referred to as grounds of inadmissibility and grounds of deportability. In many instances, aliens are placed in removal proceeding because of their criminal history and/or illegal status.

For aliens placed into removal proceedings because of a criminal conviction, I determine the effect that a conviction or convictions will have on an alien’s immigration status. In addition, I will explore the possibility of vacating, expunging or reducing a criminal conviction when it is beneficial to the alien’s removal case to do so.

Immigration court proceedings generally consist of a bond hearing and removal hearings. At a Bond hearing, the immigration judge will decide whether the alien should be released on bond while removal proceedings are pending. At the Master Calendar hearing, an alien will admit or deny the allegations in the charging document called the Notice to Appear, concede or deny removability and inform the immigration judge of the immigration relief that the alien will be applying for to avoid being removed from the United States.

At the Merits hearing, (also referred to as the Individual hearing), the immigration judge will make determine if the alien gets to stay in the United States or will have to leave after hearing all the hearing presented by the attorney for the alien and the U.S. government’s attorney. At the hearing, the alien’s attorney will present documents, take testimony on direct examination from the alien, the alien’s family members and any expert witnesses. The government attorney will also be given an opportunity to cross-exam any witnesses presented by the alien’s attorney.

I represent clients at all hearings, including the bond, master and merit’s hearings in Michigan, Ilinois and any other State. Aliens placed in removal proceedings or their family members can contact the The Law Office of Robert F. Mirque, Jr. at (616) 233-9300  or email me at 
info@mirquelaw.com

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First Child Naturalized Overseas

Martin Miles Ulsano, age 7, the child of a member of the U.S. Navy, today recited the Oath of Allegiance at a naturalization ceremony held here in the Chapel of Hope. In doing so, he became the newest citizen of the United States, and the first child naturalized overseas.

Martin, who was born and raised in Japan, is the son of Eugeline and Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Caesar Ulsano. Caesar, who is originally from the Philippines, became a naturalized citizen in 2004 in Hawaii. 


“The successful first naturalization of a child overseas reflects the exemplary work of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees in Korea and the military unit at our Nebraska Service Center,” said Mike Aytes, USCIS Acting Deputy Director. This also reflects the great teamwork between USCIS’ domestic and international operations divisions.


James Zumwalt, the Charge D’Affaires from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, delivered the keynote speech.  Kenneth Sherman, Director of USCIS’ field office in Seoul, Korea, presided over the ceremony and administered the Oath of Allegiance to Ulsano and the 62 active duty service members and nine military spouses stationed in the Pacific, who also became new citizens. 


The new citizens come from diverse backgrounds, hailing from China, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, France, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, Philippines, Romania, and Vietnam. 


The National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2008 permits children of U.S service members to receive their citizenship overseas where their parent is stationed even though the child may never have been in the United States.  Previous immigration law required these children to be physically present within the United States to naturalize. 

If you have a question about naturalization or any aspect of immigration, call me at 616-233-9300 to schedule an appointment.

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