USCIS Updates H-1B Count as of June 19, 2009

June 25th, 2009

As of June 19, 2009, USCIS has received approximately 44,500 H-1B petitions subject to the bachelor’s degree cap, of which there are 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Also, USCIS announced that it has received approximately 20,000 petitions subject to the advanced degree cap exemption. Even though the limit is 20,000 for this cap, USCIS states that it will continue to accept advanced degree petitions, noting that not all petitions received are approvable. 

This is great news for those seeking H-1B status.  The numbers have barely moved since the last count (approximately 100).  F-1 students just starting in OPT status should consider filing this year, since next year, if the economy heats up, it could become another lottery without any guarantee of an H-1B number.

USCIS Updates H-1B Count as of June 3, 2009

June 11th, 2009

As of June 3, 2009, USCIS has received approximately 44,400 H-1B petitions subject to the bachelor’s degree cap, of which there are 65,000 visas each fiscal year. Also, USCIS announced that it has received approximately 20,000 petitions subject to the advanced degree cap exemption. Even though the limit is 20,000 for this cap, USCIS states that it will continue to accept advanced degree petitions, noting that not all petitions received are approvable. 

This is great news for those seeking H-1B status.  The numbers have essentially not moved since April 2009 and have actually been reduced (due to processing by USCIS of ineligible petitions).  F-1 students just starting in OPT status should consider filing this year, since next year, if the economy heats up, it could become another lottery without any guarantee of an H-1B number.

Victory for Immigrants: Matter of Compean Vacated

June 3rd, 2009

Today, Attorney General Eric Holder vacated the decision issued in Matter of Compean, Bangaly & J-E-C-, 24 I&N Dec. 710 (A.G. 2009), by outgoing Attorney General Michael Mukasey and instructed the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Immigration Judges to apply the previously established standards for reviewing motions to reopen based on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel.” Int. Dec. No. 3643, 25 I&N Dec. 1 (A.G. 2009).  AG Holder’s withdrawal of this dangerous decision is welcome news. 

The decision in Matter of Compean upended decades of legal precedent regarding the right to effective counsel in immigration proceedings and severely restricted the right of immigrants to reopen immigration cases lost because of their attorneys’ mistakes. Mukasey in Matter of Compean held that immigrants in deportation proceedings have no legal or constitutional right to representation by a lawyer. Therefore, he concluded they have no right to challenge their deportation orders if their rights were violated because of incompetent legal representation.

AG Holder also stated that he will review the problem of ineffective assistance of counsel in immigration proceedings to ascertain what additional protective measures may be implemented to resolve the problem. This is unequivocally a welcome decision in support of due process rights and the integrity of the US immigration courts.