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Rachel Huan Kao's Archived Articles

Immigration News
May 2005

H-1B Cap 2005
As of this morning, we are still waiting for proposed regulation to clear OMB releasing the 20,000 FY2005 H-1B’s. When these become available, they will make 20,000 H-1B visas available for immediate employment start dates. USCIS has not clarified if they will be available to all H-1B beneficiaries, or only those who have earned graduate degrees in the US. Cases where a FY2005 start date is necessary should prepare all preliminary processing so that they will be ready to file as soon as the announcement is made.

Frequently Asked Questions
This past month I have received so many questions about PERM and the H-1B cap that I am devoting a section to these questions. If you have any other questions, please feel free to email them to my attention and I can address them in future articles.

1. Is PERM a new amnesty program? No, PERM is a new method to process labor certification applications. As of March 28, 2005, all new labor certification applications will be processed using PERM. PERM requires more direct employer involvement than the previous labor certification method, and employers who do not have internet access will be greatly disadvantaged. All previously filed labor certification applications in Illinois have been forwarded to the Backlog Reduction Center in Dallas for processing. They will be processed along with other states.
2. Are there any new amnesty programs? There are several pieces of legislation pending which may offer a way for individuals who are out of status or who entered without inspection to legalize their status. We expect some activity very soon on these issues, and any news will be released as soon as we have it. We have very high hopes for the Dream Act, which will be a great help to children living in the US.
3. Will PERM delay processing of my labor certification case? PERM is supposed to speed up the labor certification application process. Theoretically, it is supposed to take less than 60 days from application to get an approval, if the case is approved. However the reality we have seen is that there have only been denials, and some of them have been issued the same day. There are significant problems with the online form, and they are generating immediate denials. Anyone who has an old labor certification application, filed prior to March 28, 2005 should try to keep that case going. Pre-PERM cases have been consolidated at the Backlog Reduction Centers. Their priority is to process the cases that were at the Department of Labor first, then to process those that were at the State Workforce Agencies (IDES). For most Illinois applicants, this appears to be slowing down processing.

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