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Spring Immigration Updates

April 28, 2010

Despite some spring cold weather across the country and a harsher government climate in adjudications, we wanted to share some positive immigration updates on visa availability and our firm's immigration advocacy efforts.

H-1B "Cap Subject" Visas Remain Available for October 1 Start Dates. We are now seeing what we have been hearing: economic recovery is translating into an increase in employee hires, both laterally and for entry level positions. Nevertheless, the demand for new H-1B visas is still low – perhaps due to recent restrictive interpretations of the law impacting H-1B visa petitions for certain employers. H-1B visas remain available for employers whose employees are subject to the annual quota, for start dates of October 1, 2010. So far, the government reports receiving about 16,000 FY 2011 H-1B cases for Bachelor's level positions against the annual 65,000 quota and about 6700 petitions against the additional 20,000 visa set aside for holders of U.S. advanced degrees. The government provides updates on H-1B numbers periodically.

Northern California Citizenship Efforts. Our national trade organization, the American Immigration Lawyer's Association (AILA), has for many years organized and provided free citizenship education days for immigrants eligible to become naturalized citizens. Our Senior Associate Attorney, Lisa Baker, led the organization of a San Francisco Citizenship Day event on April 24, 2010 at U.C. Hastings School of the Law. Through her leadership efforts, and those of the many attorney and law student volunteers, the group assisted nearly 100 lower income applicants in their quest for U.S. citizenship. The pro bono event received favorable coverage by several local news stations. Organizers have been lauded for their successful community outreach efforts.

American Immigration Council Outreach Efforts. The American Immigration Council (AIC) provides immigration education and advocacy and is recognized and respected as a powerful resource and voice for shaping immigration policy in the U.S. On the education front, each year AIC sponsors a national 5th grade writing contest on immigration. Our partner, Kirsten Schlenger, has consistently participated through the years in judging essays and has been instrumental in the growth and organization of Bay Area writing contests. As she gets ready to step into the role of the Chair of the Board of Trustees the AIC in June, Kirsten has been raising funds in the Bay Area to be used in educating elementary children about the benefits of immigration. Later this spring, Kirsten will focus her fundraising efforts towards the AIC's annual gala taking place in early July in which it will honor women immigrants.

Happy Spring. Please contact us if you need any immigration legal assistance.

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