November 2011 Archives

November 23, 2011

H-1B Quota Filled: November 22, 2011

empty_gas_tank.pngThe day has come. The fiscal year 2012 H-1B quota was reached yesterday, Tuesday, November 22, 2011. While this comes as no surprise to those who've been following our blog, it is remarkable that the final 15,800 applications were received by USCIS in just the last three weeks.

So what does this mean for those who didn't make the cap this year? Most of my clients, who did not make the quota this year are fortunately in F-1 status, with most of having some time left on their OPT period of stay. FY 2013 H-1B hopefuls will now have to make a decision of whether to return to their home countries and enter next fall on an H-1B filed next Spring or perhaps extend their F-1 study.

Many students are calling their campus international student officers to see about extending their I-20s so they can continue their studies. As long as a student is a bona fide, full-time student, s/he can remain in lawful F-1 status. But remember, while staying in the US on an extended I-20 is lawful, keep in mind that anyone wishing to travel will still need to check whether their F-1 visas are still valid.

If you must wait for next year's H-1B filing window to open on April 1, 2012, please give the attorneys at the Law Offices of J Craig Fong a call to set up a consultation so we can ensure that your petition is one of the first ones received next year. ---ecf

November 3, 2011

Same-Sex Immigrant Couples May Benefit if DOMA Overturned

DOMA Letters.pngThe immigration law offices of J Craig Fong has a very long history of serving the gay and lesbian community, and communities with non-traditional family structures. At our offices in Los Angeles and in Palm Springs, we are constantly asked about whether the US citizen in a married, same-sex couple can petition the alien spouse. Alas, as of today, the answer is still NO, based on the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which is still the law of the land.

The good news is that the Judiciary Committee of the US Senate today began a debate that is a first step in an attempt to repeal DOMA. After today's hearings, many people with experience on Capitol Hill believe the votes are there on the committee to send the bill to overturn DOMA to the Senate floor. However, in the Senate, there must be 60 senators -- the so-called "supermajority" -- willing to bring the question to the floor, before the measure can actually be voted on. Finally, if it passes the Senate, most experts feel the measure would die a quiet death on a committee in the House of Representatives.

There is movement in the Congress. It is important for all those for whom this is an important issue -- for their own families, for their friends, or for a fundamental fairness principle -- to contact their US Senators and Representatives to voice their support for the repeal of DOMA! --jcf

November 1, 2011

H-1B Quota Filling Fast - Only 15,800 Remain

USCIS has released updated H-1B quota numbers as of October 28, 2011:

  • 49,200 petitions have been receipted out of the 65,000 petitions allotted for the regular cap
The advanced degree cap has been met. Those seeking to file during this last phase of the H-1B season should move quickly. Call the immigration attorneys at Law Offices of J Craig Fong if you would like a free consultation on an H-1B application. --ecf