Q: I have heard that H-1B petitions are being approved so quickly that there might not be any left for the coming year. Is this true?

A: In April and May, the Immigration Service approved over 16,000 H-1B petitions. At this rate, the numerical cap for next year may be reached by October or November. If this occurs, there will be no H-1B numbers available for 10-11 months next year. Our advice: Apply for your H-1B as soon as possible.

Q: Is it still possible to revalidate my temporary visa in the United States?

A: Yes. The State Department revalidates over 65,000 nonimmigrant (E, H, I, L, O, and P) visas per year in Washington, D.C. However, the State Department is ending this program soon. Unless they receive your application by July 16, you will be forced to go abroad to obtain a new visa.
Q: Can I file my application for immigration benefits over the Internet?

A: Yes. Recently, the Immigration Service expanded the number of applications that may be filed online from two to nine. Read about the procedures for “e-filing” at
http://shusterman.com/ins.html

Q: I am a physician. I heard that the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) is no longer a requirement for obtaining a visa to do a medical residency in the United States. Is my information correct?

A: Yes, it is. However, the clinical skills formerly tested by the CSA have now been incorporated into step two of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). This test was given for the first time on June 14.

Q: I am a citizen of the United States. My spouse is illegal, having overstayed his visa. How can I assist him in obtaining a green card?

A: Since your husband is married to a U.S. citizen, he is considered an “immediate relative” under the immigration law. As such, he is exempt from laws which would bar him from adjusting his status to permanent resident in the United States due to his overstay or because he has been working illegally. You should immediately submit a visa petition on his behalf. Simultaneously, he may apply for adjustment of status, and for a work card.

Q: I applied for asylum. My application was denied and now I am in deportation (removal) proceedings before an immigration judge. Is there any hope for me?

A: Yes. Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of immigration benefits that you can apply for before an immigration judge. Please see
http://shusterman.com/deport.html

Q: I am a computer professional. I have an approved labor certificate, and I submitted an I-140/I-485 in 2003. When can I change jobs?

A: Immediately. Since the Immigration Ser-vice did not approve your I-485 within 180 days (They seldom, if ever, do!), you can change jobs as long as your new job is in the same or a similar occupation.

Carl Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney and a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law. He manages a five-attorney practice based in Los Angeles. (213) 623-4592. www.shusterman.com

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