Shusterman's Immigration Update
Volume Ten, Number Eight
SHUSTERMAN’S IMMIGRATION UPDATE is the most popular e-mail newsletter regarding U.S. immigration laws and procedures with over 43,000 subscribers located in more than 120 countries.
Published by the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1550, Los Angeles, California, 90017. Phone: (213) 623-4592 X0
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Disclaimer: This newsletter is not intended to establish an attorney- client relationship. All information contained in this newsletter is generalized. Any reliance on information contained herein is taken at your own risk.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Legislation: Comprehensive Immigration Reform Considered
- Official Immigration Government Processing Times
- Nurses: How to Apply for an RN Residing Abroad
- Success Story: Relief from Removal – A Tale of 2 Cities
- Immigration Trivia Quiz: A Passage to India
- India: We Prepare for Our First Visit to India
- Senators Cornyn and Kyl Introduce Immigration Bill
- Schedule of Upcoming Immigration Law Seminars
- Chat Schedule, Transcripts, Audios & Videos
- Winner of the July 2005 Immigration Trivia Quiz
- Business Immigration Newsletter- Periodically, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) publishes “Connect!” a newsletter devoted to business-related immigration developments. We link to this newsletter from
http://shusterman.com/toc-busimm.html (Link is no longer operational.)
- CIS: New Acting Director- On July 25, CIS announced that its new Acting Deputy Director would be Robert Divine. He formerly served as CIS’ General Counsel. In addition, Mr. Devine is a former member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Congratulations!Mr. Divine’s initial message to the public is featured in the August 2005 issue of USCIS Today. See below.
- Extension of EADs for Certain Nicaraguans and HonduransThe CIS announced that the EADs of Nicaraguans and Hondurans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) has been automatically extended to October 5, 2005. We link to the CIS Press Release at
http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/HonduranTPS7_01_05.pdf (Link is no longer operational)
http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/HonduranTPS070105Sp.pdf (Link is no longer operational)
- PERM NewsEffective October 1, 2005, the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) will have a new Foreign Labor Certification Division Chief. Current Office of National Programs Administrator John Beverly will replace William Carlson who will become the ETA Administrator for the Boston Region. Mr. Carlson had been the chief architect of DOL’s PERM program which became effective on March 28, 2005. We have posted the DOL’s Press Release, dated July 28, 2005, online at
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) surveyed its members for 12 days in mid-July to learn how the new PERM system was operating. Although some members reported that they had received either denial or audit letters, a growing number of AILA attorneys reported receiving approvals of PERM applications:
- 2 reports of special handling cases being approved in 1 day.
- 2 applications for programmers with either 1 year or no experience required were approved.
- 6 reports of applications filed in Atlanta shown as approved for 2+ weeks, but no certification received yet.
- One report of the client having received the certification rather than the attorney.
- One report of an approved application received without the certification stamp.
- Application for dentist, no experience required, approved in 3 days.
- Application approved for network integrator, requiring bachelors or equivalent in engineering or related field or alternative of 2 additional years’ experience, plus four years of experience that includes specific skills.
- Application approved for product design engineer, requiring masters in mechanical engineering and 2 years experience. Special skills also required.
- Application for chef requiring 2 years experience and special skills filed 6/21, approved 7/8.
- Application for accountant, BA plus one year experience, midsized company, filed 7/6, approved 7/14.
- Application approved for lighting designer requiring master’s degree, no experience and special skills.
- Application approved for dental technology manager requiring 4 years of training (including some specialized training) and no experience.
- Application approved for chef requiring 2 years experience in job offered.
- Application approved for chemical technician requiring bachelor’s in chemistry, no experience and special skills.
- Application approved for sales engineer requiring master’s degree, 4 years experience and special skills.
- Application approved for database administrator requiring bachelors’ in computer science or computer engineering and 5 years experience in job offered.
- Application approved for software developer requiring master’s in computer science, no experience and special skills.
- Application approved for software engineer requiring master’s in computer science, 6 months experience and special skills.
- Application approved for software developer requiring master’s in computer science, no experience and special skills.
- Application on behalf of a copywriter was immediately denied. Attorney noted that the Inc. at the end of the company name had been omitted, and refiledg with that filled in. There also was a recruitment step within the past 30 days, which should be accepted under the regulations but which had been a decision logic problem. The second application was subsequently approved, and the first one is in “final review.” The attorney would like to withdraw the first one, but so far there is no known process for this.
- Filed a PERM on June 21, 2005 and it was certified on July 1, 2005.
- Application filed 6/10; approved 6/15 in time to get the I-140/485 filed before the June 30 EB-3 cutoff.
- “I have received two approvals. One was approved in two days…One approved about a week after submission.”
- Two approvals received in about 5 days.
- “I filed my very first PERM case online on 6/23/2005. I received the certified application [on] 7/11/05 so processing time was exactly 2 weeks. After I submitted the case online, my client employer received an email from DOL asking them to confirm that the application had been filed for them by their agent. Then DOL followed it up with a telephone call asking the same question, to confirm the filing. No other questions were asked.”
- TPS Extended for Certain SomalisOn July 28, the DHS announced that the Temporary Protected Status of certain Somalis would be extended to September 17, 2006. We link to the CIS Press Release at
http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/SomaliaRelease07_29_05.pdf (Link is no longer operational)
and to a five-page FAQ on the subject at
http://uscis.gov/graphics/publicaffairs/newsrels/SomaliaRelease07_29_05.pdf (Link is no longer operational)
- USCIS Today- The CIS has launched an informative e-mail newsletter. We link to the August 2005 issue of “USCIS Today” from our “CIS” page at
- Washington Update- Periodically, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) publishes its “Washington Update” which brings readers the most up-to-date news about legislation, regulations, congressional hearings and other immigration-related developments from inside the Beltway. We link to “Washington Update” from
http://shusterman.com/toc-advocacy.html (Link is no longer operational.)
During the past few months, both Congress and the President have turned their attention to immigration reform. In May, the bipartisan McCain-Kennedy bill was introduced in both Houses in Congress. See
More recently, on July 20, the Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Kyl (R-AZ) introduced the “Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005″ (“CEIRA”) (S. 1438) in the Senate. See Topic #7 below.
While both the McCain-Kennedy and the Cornyn-Kyl bills attempt to balance immigration enforcement with the needs of U.S. employers to hire “guest workers”, the Cornyn-Kyl bill’s emphasis is clearly on enforcement.
The bill would provide billions of dollars for increasing the size of the border patrol, hiring hundreds of new agents to conduct additional interior enforcement of the immigration laws and dramatically increasing the number of beds available in immigration detention facilities.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a legislative hearing on “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” on July 26. We link to the testimony of the witnesses from our “Immigration Legislation” page at
Unfortunately, both of the Administration’s representatives, DHS Secretary Chertoff and DOL Secretary Chao, cancelled their scheduled appearances before the Committee, leaving the Administration’s position on both the McCain-Kennedy and the Cornyn-Kyl bills a mystery.
The Committee Chairman, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), clearly annoyed, stated that “the absence of the administration officials is not going to slow us down. We, of course, would rather have their input, but we are going to proceed to move here with legislation. When the administration wants to chime in, we’ll be ready to listen.”
The Cornyn-Kyl bill requires persons presently residing illegally in the U.S. to either leave the U.S. within five years or be ineligible to immigrate to the U.S. for ten years. Senator McCain, testifying at the hearing, called this requirement “totally impractical”.
After the hearing, Senators McCain and Cornyn met with White House senior advisor Karl Rove.
I have been keenly observing the immigration debate for nearly 30 years, first as an INS Attorney (1976-82) and, since 1982, as a private immigration attorney.
I remember the prevailing wisdom when President Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Simply put, it was believed that the flow of illegal workers into the U.S. could be stopped by (1) granting amnesty to those undocumented workers who had already put down roots in the U.S. and by (2) placing the burden of immigration enforcement on U.S. employers who would complete an “I-9″ form for each newly-hired employee.
Unfortunately, the prevailing wisdom turned out to be wrong. First, the “legalization” program was only available to persons who had continuously resided in the U.S. in illegal status since prior to January 1, 1981. This limitation left millions of undocumented workers in the U.S. unable to legalize their immigration status. Second, the “employer sanctions” program was a non- starter. The law failed to provide any mechanism to allow employers to check with the government to determine whether a particular document was genuine. IRCA spurred the growth of multi-billion dollar false documents industry. Today, the “employer sanctions” provisions of the law are rarely used by the federal government.
Since 1986, the government has spent billions of dollars in our tax money to double and then triple the size of the border patrol. Yet, the number of undocumented workers in the U.S. dwarfs the number present in 1986.
As the saying goes “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
What should we learn from the failed efforts of the past 20 years?
First, we won’t solve the problem simply by increasing the size of the border patrol or adding thousands of new detention beds. There is no way to spend ourselves out of the problem. We cannot construct a moat around the U.S. and pull up the drawbridge.
Second, the government must provide U.S. employers with a simple, easy-to-use system to verify the immigration status of workers before they are hired. Biometrics must be a part of this system in order to prevent document fraud.
Third, as Senator Cornyn states on his website: “The vast majority of immigrants, documented or undocumented, are here because they want a piece of the American dream. Many of them risk everything they have to come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Neither blanket amnesty nor turning a blind-eye to our immigration problem will suffice. We must use common sense policies to address the need for better border security while acknowledging the important contributions that immigrants make to our economy, our culture and our society.”
Common sense means that we must create an avenue for undocumented workers to obtain work permits, and eventually earn the right to reside permanently in the U.S. Those persons who have been waiting in line to become permanent residents for many years should be permitted to achieve their goal within a reasonable period of time.
What are the chances that a comprehensive immigration reform plan will be enacted into law anytime soon?
The Administration is forming a coalition to be called “Americans for Border and Economic Security”. However, President Bush is planning to promote immigration reform not now, but in time for the 2006 elections.
The leader of this new coalition, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, acknowledges that the Republicans are a split party when it comes to immigration: “There’s two voices right now, and the noisy one is what I call the slam-the-borders crowd… To me, Tancredo appeals to the more prurient character of our nature. We want to talk to the better angels of our nature.”
For the record, Representative Tancredo (R-COLO) has introduced an immigration bill which emphasizes enforcement to the virtual exclusion of immigration benefits. He calls it the “REAL GUEST Act of 2005″.
We link to the McCain-Kennedy, the Cornyn-Kyl and the Tancredo bills from our “Immigration Legislation” page at
We will continue to update our readers on this important subject.
* Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS)
The Immigration Service (CIS) lists its processing times for immigration petitions and applications on their web site.
Most immigration applications and petitions must be submitted to one of the following USCIS Service Centers: (1) Laguna Niguel, California; (2) Lincoln, Nebraska; (3) Mesquite, Texas; and (4) St. Albans, Vermont and (5) the National Benefits Center in Missouri.
These service centers periodically issue lists of their processing times for various types of petitions and applications. We link to the latest list issued by each service center.
Warning: Processing times may appear faster on the official lists than they are in reality.
To see how fast (or slow) your service center is processing a particular type of petition or application, see our Government Processing Times Page at
Processing times at CIS local offices may be accessed at
Administrative appeals of most types of petitions denied by the USCIS are adjudicated by the agency’s Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in Washington, DC.
The AAO’s most recent published processing times (June 14, 2005) may be found at
* Department of Labor
To check the Official Processing Times of your Department of Labor Regional Office and your State Workforce Agency (SWA), see
and scroll down to “Labor Certification and LCA Processing Times”.
* Department of State
The State Department web site contains a “Visa Wait List” page which permits readers to choose a particular U.S. consular post and learn how long it takes the post to process temporary, nonimmigrant visas. See
I have been practicing immigration law for so long (almost 30 years) that I remember when immigrating a registered nurse to the U.S. used to be fast and easy! Hospitals and recruiters obtained temporary work visas in a matter of weeks for RNs who had passed certain required examinations.
Now, after successfully immigrating 5,000 RNs, here’s an outline of the current, cumbersome 10-step program used to immigrate RNs who are residing abroad:
(1) Submit Form I-140 to appropriate CIS Service Center – Remember to do the proper posting (or serve the bargaining representative if the RNs are unionized), obtain a prevailing wage determination from the state workforce agency. Also, remember that the RN must have “a full and unrestricted license” in the state of intended employment, or have a CGFNS Certificate or have passed the NCLEX-RN examination.
(2) After the I-140 is approved (possibly after responding to a couple of RFEs) in 3-6 months, wait another month or two, and you will receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire asking you to pay the appropriate filing fees for the RN and her family members to a P.O. Box, not in New Hampshire, but in Missouri. No checks are accepted, only money orders or cashiers checks.
(3) FedEx the money to the NVC ASAP.
(4) Wait another month, and you will receive another missive from the NVC in New Hampshire containing applications for immigrant visas and alien registration, part I & II (Form DS-230), a barcode sheet and a list of documents that the RN and her family will need to produce.
(5) FedEx the DS-230 (Part I only) and the barcode sheet to NVC (New Hampshire) ASAP.
(6) Wait another 2-3 months, and you will receive still another letter from the NVC in New Hampshire requesting all of the original documents required for the immigrant visa interview in Manila, New Delhi or wherever. Also, NVC will request a copy of the biographic data page of the applicant’s passport, including the expiration date of the passport for each IV applicant. (This is not how it works for London and most European posts. You will get a letter from NVC stating that the case has been transferred to the proper consulate and then a letter from the U.S. Embassy with the visa instruction package. You do not send anything to NVC.)
(7) FedEx all of the above documents to the NVC.
(8) Wait another month, and you will receive another letter from the NVC (I am NOT kidding you!) containing an immigrant visa appointment at the U.S. Consulate abroad, instructions for the medical exam, and a request for two color photographs.
(9) Appear at your interview with your passports and your VisaScreen Certificate.
(10) A week or so following your interview, you will receive a packet. Buy your plane tickets to fly to the U.S.
We wonder whether, considering the huge shortage of RNs in U.S. hospitals, the NVC could not streamline the system described above by consolidating some of the steps. The only beneficiary of the present system is FedEx!
National Public Radio ran a story on July 20 mistitled “Nursing Shortage May Be Easing”. In fact, the story predicts that the nurse shortage in the U.S. may quadruple by 2012 with 800,000 vacancies for RN positions. We link to the audio file from our “NPR” page at
For comprehensive information about how to immigrate RNs to the U.S., see our “Nurse” page at
Why should it be easier to qualify for relief from removal if one lives in Northern California than if one lives in Southern California?
This July, we represented a man in a removal proceeding before an Immigration Judge in San Francisco. The man had a good case for cancellation of removal.
He entered the U.S. from the Philippines in 1990, and had resided in this country continuously for 15 years. He is a person of good moral character. He and his wife, who is also residing in the U.S. without papers, have four children born in the U.S. ranging in age from 13 to less than one year. The two oldest children are honor students who are active in numerous extracurricular activities, some of which they participate in together with their father. Our client gave direct testimony for about 40 minutes. The ICE Trial Attorney asked a couple of questions. The Immigration Judge found that our client had met both the continuous physical presence and good moral character requirements, and finally, that his citizen children would suffer “exceptional and extremely unusual hardship” if their father were forced to return to the Philippines. The government declined to appeal the Judge’s decision. The entire proceeding lasted less than an hour.
Although the facts in this case were very strong, they pale before those of Benjamin and Londy Cabrera, a couple whose applications for cancellation of removal we have been pursuing in Los Angeles for over three years.
Mr. and Mrs. Cabrera are from two different countries, Mexico and Guatemala. They have been physically present in the U.S. for years longer than our San Francisco client, and the government concedes that they are both persons of good moral character. Their two U.S. daughters are both honor students. Mrs. Cabrera has worked as a teacher’s aide at their school. Their older daughter is completing her third summer on scholarship from Johns Hopkins University, and she is presently studying in Rhode Island. Unlike the children in our San Francisco case, the second daughter has experienced medical problems as a result of her parents’ immigration status. Finally, unlike our San Francisco client whose parents, brothers and sisters all reside in his native country, most of the Cabreras’ parents, brothers and sisters, and their children, reside lawfully in the U.S. Family separation is a strong factor in evaluating the hardship to the Cabrera’s daughters and their parents.
In addition, Mr. Cabrera’s mother suffers from severe diabetes and has had several of her toes amputated. She stayed with the Cabreras while she recuperated from surgery and they contribute to her emotional and financial support.
All in all, the Cabreras, with five qualifying relatives who would suffer hardship if Mr. and Mrs. Cabrera were forced to leave the U.S. have one of the strongest cases for relief that I have seen during my almost 30 years of practicing immigration law both for the INS (1976-82) and in private practice.
Based on the above facts, Immigration Judge Bruce Einhorn granted the Cabreras applications for cancellation of removal in March 2002.
Why didn’t the matter end when Judge Einhorn issued his decision?
Only because government Trial Attorneys in Los Angeles seem to challenge the hardship determinations of Immigration Judges simply as a matter of course.
In September 2003, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), in a brief decision, reversed the decision of Judge Einhorn and ordered the Cabreras to return to their countries. The BIA failed to consider the hardship to the Cabrera’s second daughter and to all three of their permanent resident parents in violation of the BIA’s own precedent decisions which require them to consider hardship “in the aggregate”.
The Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press and numerous television and radio stations brought the plight of the Cabreras to the attention of the public. This prompted Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Lucile Roybal-Allard to introduce private bills on behalf of the Cabreras in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Senator Feinstein even took the time to write to the agency and ask why the BIA often reverses Judges’ rulings in cancellation of removal case, and why, when the law permits the courts to approve 4,000 cancellation of removal applications yearly, the actual number of such cases which are approved is only about one-third of this number.
Our law firm appealed the BIA’s ruling to the Federal Appeals Court. At first, the government challenged our right to do so. Nonetheless, the Court granted the Cabreras a stay of removal. Ultimately, the government asked the Court, on narrow legal grounds, to return the case to the BIA and then to Judge Einhorn. We did not oppose the government’s request. We expect that sometime in the next few months, the Cabreras will be granted another hearing before Judge Einhorn.
During the past three years, the Cabreras’ case has only gotten stronger and the hardships that their children and parents would face have become more extreme. We are ready to present their case again before Judge Einhorn. Assuming that the Judge again grants the Cabreras’ applications for cancellation of removal, the government has the power to bring this long-drawn out case to a speedy conclusion.
Simply do what the Trial Attorney did in our recent case in San Francisco. If the Judge again rules in favor of the Cabreras, the government could simply accept his decision.
For a complete record of the Cabreras’ case, see
In light of my upcoming visit to India (See Topic #6 below.), I have decided to devote this month’s immigration trivia quiz to the subject of India.
The quiz consists of three seemingly unrelated images. The winner will be the first person to explain what these images have in common. See
http://shusterman.com/indiaquiz.html (Link no longer operational.)
The winner is entitled to a free legal consultation with me before the end of August 2005.
In the summer of 2001, my wife and I booked flights for what would have been our first visit to India later that year.
However, due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we decided to cancel our travel plans.
Now, in December 2005 and January 2006, we plan to spend three weeks touring the Indian subcontinent. We are looking forward to exploring Delhi, Mumbai, Goa, the “Pink City” of Jaipur, enjoy lunching at the Lake Palace in Udaipur, visiting the majestic Taj Majal and the mysterious caves at Ajanta and Ellora.
Since 2001, I have spoken at dozens of recruitment conferences across the U.S. A few of the recruiters have asked me if I would consider presenting immigration seminars in India for physicians, nurses and computer professionals. Some even offered to provide round-trip business-class airfare and luxury hotel accommodations for my wife and me if I would consent to conducting such seminars.
I politely declined since, at that time, I had no intention of visiting India. However, now that we have decided to spend some time in India, I am open to the possibility of conducting a limited number of seminars as long as this would not interfere with our vacation plans.
We will finalize our travel plans within the next few days and weeks. Persons and organizations wishing to contact me regarding conducting seminars for health care and computer professionals in India may do so by e-mail.
As we stated in Topic #1, on July 20, Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Kyl (R-AZ) introduced the “Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005″ (“CEIRA”) (S. 1438) in the Senate.
What follows is a summary of the provisions of the proposed legislation:
Border Enforcement and Visa Security
- Authorizes sufficient resources, including 10,000 Border Patrol Agents (same figure as Intelligence progress made in hiring and deploying the agents) and 1,250 new Customs and Border Protection Officers (working at ports of entry). Authorizes $5 billion over 5 years for accompanying technology (e.g. cameras and sensors) and infrastructure (e.g. stations and checkpoints), to stop illegal border crossing
- Expands and improves Expedited Removal, which provides a streamlined means of removing aliens who are clearly ineligible to enter the U.S. Authorizes $50 million over 5 years
- Strengthens US-VISIT entry-exit system to better track and identify aliens who enter the country and those who fail to depart
- Increases the bond amount for aliens from noncontiguous countries
- Cancels all visas in the possession of an alien if he or she fails to depart U.S. at end of stay
- Authorizes $50 million over 5 years in grants for American Indian Tribes on border adversely affected by illegal immigration
Strengthening Interior Enforcement and Leveraging State and Local Law Resources
- Provides the Department of Homeland Security with 10,000 detention beds over 5 years to eliminate the release of illegal aliens into the country
- Clarifies State and local authority to enforce federal immigration laws
- Expands Institutional Removal Program to identify criminal aliens in federal and state correctional facilities and remove them upon completion of their sentences
- Authorizes $4.45 billion to reimburse states and counties for costs related to the incarceration of criminal illegal aliens and $200 million each year for the costs of processing criminal illegal immigrants through local criminal justice systems
- Authorizes 1,000 smuggling and status violations investigators over 5 years (200 more per year than Intelligence Reform bill)
- Authorizes 250 additional DOJ immigration judges and 500 DHS trial attorneys over 5 years
- Allows the Department of Homeland Security to expeditiously remove aliens who were previously deported and then reentered illegally
- Increases penalties for alien smuggling, document fraud, drug trafficking and gang violence
- Establishes new Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice to oversee immigration enforcement and litigation, to ensure high level DOJ attention and accountability
- Authorizes 10,000 additional agents over 5 years to investigate employers who hire illegal aliens. Also 1,000 new investigators over 5 years to detect fraud in application process
- Increases the penalties for unauthorized employment of aliens, social security fraud and false claims to citizenship
- Requires within one year, issuance of secure machine-readable, tamper- resistant Social Security cards
- Closes loopholes in identity theft by establishing minimum standards for state-issued birth certificates
- Requires within one year that all new hires participate in a Social Security-based electronic employment eligibility verification system
- Assists employers by reducing the number of documents that workers may present to establish identity and employment authorization
Obligations of Participating Countries
- Requires countries to enter into bilateral agreement with U.S. government before the nationals of the country are allowed to participate in a temporary worker visa program or Mandatory Departure status
- Requires aliens to have a minimum level of health coverage, which can be provided by the participating country, the alien or the employer
- Encourages countries to provide housing incentives for returning workers
- Requires participating country to:
- Cooperate in efforts to control illegal immigration
- Immediately accept return of nationals who are ordered removed from the U.S.
- Work with U.S. to reduce gang violence, human trafficking and smuggling
- Provide access to databases and information on criminal aliens and terrorists
Temporary Worker Program
- Establishes new visa category that allows aliens to enter the U.S. to work temporarily when there are no available U.S. workers
- Limits the period of visa to two years, after which the alien must return home for one year. Alien may participate up to three times (for a total of 6 years of employment in the U.S.)
- Requires completion of background checks, health screening and issuance of biometric documentation to participating aliens
- Establishes a Temporary Worker Task Force to prepare a report on the effect of the temporary worker program on wages and employment of U.S. workers, which would then form basis of cap
- Family members may visit principal worker in the U.S. for no longer than 30 days within a given year
Mandatory Departure and Reentry in Legal Status
- Allows aliens who are present in the U.S. illegally to apply for Mandatory Departure, which enables them time to depart the United States voluntarily and reenter the country through normal legal channels (e.g. as temporary worker)
- Aliens granted Mandatory Departure status are ineligible to obtain permanent resident status (i.e. green card) while in the U.S. – they must depart and reenter through normal legal channels
- Aliens are registered, fingerprinted, and checked against all available criminal/terrorist lists
- Aliens are issued secure, biometric identity documentation. The documents will function as identity documents and employers will use document readers to verify identity and employment authorization
- Provides incentives for aliens to depart the United States immediately, but all aliens are required to depart prior to five years
- Aliens who return to home country within a short period of time may quickly reenter through legal channels as a temporary worker and are not required to spend up to 10 years outside of the country
- Aliens who fail to depart are ineligible for any other immigration benefit for a period of ten years
Circular Migration and Visa Backlog Reduction
- Creates temporary worker investment funds to encourage aliens to return home
- Reduces visa backlog waiting times by allowing the recapture of unused visa numbers and terminating the Diversity Visa Program
We link to the complete text of the Cornyn-Kyl bill as well as to a two-page summary of the bill and an 11-page section-by-section analysis of the proposed law from our “Immigration Legislation” page at
- August 23 – AILA Teleconference
2:00 – 3:30pm (ET)Topic – Allied Health Care Workers
- Licensing; Visa Screen; CGFNS
- NIV and IV Options for Nurses
- NIV and IV Options for Therapists
Co-Panelists: Naveen Rahman, Maria Mercedes Badia-Tavas
For program and registration information (AILA members only), please see
- September 15 – Los Angeles, California
8:30 – 9:30amTopic: Introduction to Immigrant VisasLos Angeles County Bar Association, Immigrant Legal Assistance ProjectFor more information, see
- September 15 – Audio Conference: Kennedy Information
10:00 – 11:30am (PT)Topic: Recruiting the Foreign-Born Healthcare Candidate: New Legislation and StrategiesFor program and registration information, please see
- September 23 - San Antonio, TexasTopic: Immigration Research on the InternetUniversity of Texas School of LawCo-Panelist: Eugene Flynn For program and registration information, please see
- October 11 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
3:30 – 4:30pm Orlando, FLTopic – Immigration and Foreign Nurses
Breakout Session 324Nursing Management Congress 2005For program and registration information, please see
- November 17 – San Francisco, California
9:00 – 10:00amTopic – Return to the Virtual Border: Update from the Department of State and the Department of Homeland SecurityPractising Law Institute’s 38th Annual Immigration and Naturalization InstituteFor program and registration information, see
http://www.pli.edu/product/program_detail.asp?ptid=511&stid=3&id=EN00000000021724 (Link is no longer operational.)
Since 1999, we have served as the official immigration experts for About.com. We have participated in dozens of free chats since then. Our chats always focus on a particular subject.
Links to the transcripts of all of our chats are posted online on our “Chat” page at
Are your eyes getting tired from reading all of our information about immigration laws and procedures? Then sit back, close your eyes, and listen to any (or all!) of the following immigration audios:
- Welcome To Our Web Site!
- Understanding the H-1B Cap Law: AC-21
- Temporary Visas to Visit, Study or Work in the U.S.
- Obtaining A Green Card To Live and Work in the U.S.
- How to Become a Citizen of the U.S.
- IMG’s and Canadian Physicians
National Public Radio (NPR) Audio Programs
We link to selected audio programs regarding immigration produced by National Public Radio at
See our videos and accompanying power point presentations:
- Physicians: J Waivers, H-1B and O-1 Visas
- Physicians: Obtaining Permanent Residence
- Physicians: Questions and Answers
See my testimony before the Senate Subcommittee On Immigration on May 22, 2001 regarding “Immigration Policy: Urban And Rural Health Care Needs” at
or read the complete transcript of my testimony at
Also, see a video and an audio of President Bush announcing his new temporary worker program on January 7, 2004 at
Remember, you will need to download a free copy of RealPlayer which you can find at
in order to hear the audios or to view the videos.
Our July 2005 Immigration Trivia Quiz, entitled “Alphabet Soup” tested the knowledge of our subscribers regarding various aspects of “nonimmigrant visa categories”. See
http://shusterman.com/nivquiz.html (Link no longer operational.)
Here is the winning answer:
Dear Mr. DeDomenico,
Here are my answers to this month’s quiz. I have been involved with immigration law as an amateur for nearly ten years, starting with my own H-1B and Green Card case, and now I am in the middle of applying for my citizenship – I just had my fingerprints taken.
Should I be the first to answer your questions, please feel free to donate the free consultation to the second person; I’m just participating for the fun of it.
Categories with numerical limits: H-1B and H-2.
Categories that allow spouses to work: L-1, E-1, E-2 and J-1 allow spouses to work. Also, family members of G and A visa holders (i.e., diplomats) are allowed to work.
Countries whose citizens do not need a visa: there are quite a few programs that all allow entry to the USA for various classes of people without a visa, and under various different conditions.
Non-immigrants from Canada almost never need visas nor even passports (they only need visas for E and K classifications). Mexican citizens can use a border-crossing card in place of both a passport and visa as long as they enter as B visitors for no more than 72 hours, and stay within the border zone (I believe 25 miles).
Non-immigrants can enter the US in B-1 or B-2 status (with some additional restrictions, such as a limit of 90 days and no extension permitted) without a visa from Andorra, Iceland, Norway, Australia, Ireland, Portugal, Austria, Italy, San Marino, Belgium, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Denmark, Luxembourg, Spain, Finland, Monaco, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, United Kingdom. There has been some talk about removing France and Italy from the program, ostensibly because they do not have biometric passports.
In addition, US nationals (i.e., citizens of Western Samoa and Swains Island) can enter the USA without a visa. Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands can also enter the USA without a visa and are permitted to work in the USA. I believe this also applies to Palau. This is a special right under a Compact of Free Association.
British Virgin Island nationals can enter the US Virgin Islands without a visa.
Citizens of the following countries can enter Guam – but not the rest of the USA – without a visa for up to 15 days: Australia, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan (residents thereof who begin their travel in Taiwan and who travel on direct flights from Taiwan to Guam without an intermediate layover or stop except for stops in a U.S. territory enroute), the U.K. (British National Overseas, British Dependent Territory passports), Vanuatu and Western Samoa
Persons involved with the construction of border security projects can enter the USA in the course of their work without a visa (and without inspection).
Finally, any person, regardless of nationality, can be paroled into the USA without a visa, usually either with Advance Parole, or as humanitarian parole.
And of course, US citizens can always enter the USA without a visa.
In all honesty, I don’t think I covered all classes of such people yet…
Editor’s Note: Ingo has won our immigration trivia quiz before. While his answer was not perfect (e.g., Persons born in Western Samoa are not “nationals” of the U.S. Persons born in American Samoa are, and therefore, do not need visas to be admitted to the U.S. Bermudans also are except for obtaining nonimmigrant visas to be admitted to the U.S.), it is quite impressive and is, by far, the best entry that we received.
Certified Specialist in Immigration Law, State Bar of California
Former U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board of Governors, American Immigration Lawyers Association (1988-97)
Phone: (213) 623-4592 Fax: (213) 623-3720
Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, 600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, California 90017
“We can’t reward lawbreakers, but we also have to deal with the reality of our enormous undocumented population. We have a national interest in identifying these individuals, providing them with incentives to come out of the shadows, go through security background checks, pay back taxes, pay penalties for breaking the law, learn to speak English and regularize their status.”
- Senator John McCain (R-AZ) – July 2005
“The vast majority of immigrants, documented or undocumented, are here because they want a piece of the American dream. Many of them risk everything they have to come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their families.”
- Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) – July 2005
August 1, 2005
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