Showing posts from November, 2018

New H1B Pre-Registration Rule Announced!

Today the USCIS finally announced a much anticipated rule regarding next year's H1B visa (specialty occupation worker) application process.  At the moment, a computer-aided lottery is required to simply choose which applications may go forward for simple consideration.  This is because the law requires an annual cap on new H1B visas to be issued every year, about 65,000.  Recently, American companies have submitted about 3 to 4 times that number for their potential foreign employees, resulting in some sort of system to pick which applications to even consider.   H1B applications are complicated, requiring multiple steps to even assemble an application to submit to the government.  Also, the fees are quite high, several thousand dollars for small companies and even more for the larger ones.  For a basic run down on the H1B visa, read my previous run down:  H1B Visas Explained . This is an immigration application. So then why go through all the rigamarole to interview

What’s the Deal with the Mexican Caravan?

It’s hard to sift through the rhetoric on both sides regarding the Mexican caravan. With good reason, there’s a lot of exaggerations and mistruths on both sides of the immigration issue. I have to admit, the politicization has kept me from commenting on the the caravan till now. Now that the election hubbub is over, however, I’d like you to read a direct account from my immigration colleague and law school classmate, who recently spent time with caravan members in Mexico. She’s has provided a fairly clinical account of she did and saw. For big picture consideration, at the end is a link to a recent Time magazine article, tracing back some of the current problem to the Obama administration. At the end of this post are incredible photos that Charlene took of the caravan. Whatever one’s opinion about what should happen when these folks arrive at the US border, I myself feel an emotional pull to the humanity that can, on an impromptu level, organize such a movement, literally and figur

Passport Home

Today I toured the Minneapolis Passport Agency, along with a group of immigration attorneys from the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Immigration section. It was a wonderful tour and I did not think I would learn as much as I did about obtaining a U.S. passport. It was interesting to see the internal workings of the passport application, approval, denial, and creation processes, as well as some of the new initiatives being planned. Just to be clear, the passport agency is for U.S. passports only, for U.S. citizens and soon to be citizens.  Passport agencies are divisions of the United States Department of State,  which is America’s primary foreign policy representative and runs U.S. embassies around the world.   There is a U.S. Embassy in every country of the world except North Korea and Iran. Of course, my very first question was: why can’t you get passport photos at a U.S. Passport Agency?? Well it turns out that our tour guide, the customer service manager and 26 year passport