Now that the Department of Labor has centralized Prevailing Wage Determinations using its iCERT program, the wait is much longer than when state agencies made the determinations.  Lawyers are reporting about a six week wait for prevailing wage determinations.  Of course, if one wants to appeal the determination, it is unclear how long the additional wait would be.

Therefore, if you are an employer planning on filing a PERM application, and the beneficiary is approaching his or her fifth year in H-1B status, advance planning is imperative.

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The following is not legal advice.  Please contact a qualified immigration lawyer for specific advice pertaining to your unique legal matter.

We have been getting many inquiries lately about the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.  This is an attractive option for individuals who have at least $500,000 to invest and are interested in living in the United States on a permanent basis.  In particular, the Regional Center Pilot Program is available to those who prefer a more hands-off approach to the investment as it is handled by the Regional Center chosen by the foreign national.  Dependents may also join the main applicant and are also entitled to live and work in the US.

In the coming weeks, our law firm will have a site specifically devoted to immigration through investment that will provide in-depth information on available options.  Stay tuned as I will update this blog when the new site is launched.

A consultation with a qualified immigration lawyer and an international tax specialist is recommended prior to applying under this program.

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April 1, 2010 is the first day the USCIS will accept cap-subject H-1B petitions for FY-2011 where workers can begin employment on October 1, 2010 the first day of the USCIS fiscal year.  A couple of things worth keeping in mind:  (1)  LCAs currently take about a week to be certified; and (2) an official prevailing wage determination from the Department of Labor also takes several weeks.

The time to start planning for FY-2010 H-1Bs is therefore now.  As the US economy improves, demand for H-1B numbers is expected to increase which could lead to cap-subject petitions being unavailable.  There are 65,000 general cap H-1Bs that can be filed in a fiscal year and 20,000 reserved for beneficiaries possessing at least a Master degree from a US college or university.

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According to an article on, assistant secretary of homeland security for US ICE, John Morton, acknowledges that the current detention system needs improvement  and vows to move the agency in the right direction.

Deficient medical care for immigrants sometimes resulting in death is the number one issue that needs to be addressed.  Revamping the detention system is one step that can be taken imminently while we await other necessary reforms to this country’s broken immigration system.  The chances of CIR being enacted this year are very slim given that even the President’s health care reform effort is on the rocks.

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