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Gunster – Immigration Alert, September 25, 2006

On September 22, 2006 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) announced an expansion ofits Premium Processing Service, which allows U.S. employers to pay a $1,000 premium processing fee in exchange for a 2-week processing of their case. Starting September 25, 2006, CIS will begin accepting Premium Processingrequests for I-140 immigrant petitions involving the following categories: EB-1 outstanding professor andresearcher, EB-2 members of professions with advanced degrees, and EB-3 workers other than skilled workers and professionals (i.e. unskilled labor requiring les that two years of training or experience). Please note that CIS hasnot yet indicated that premium processing is available for EB-1 extraordinary ability petitions or petitions requesting a labor certification substitution.

In August CIS began to accept I-140 immigrant visa petitions for foreign nationals that qualify under two of the sub-categories within the third employment-based category (EB-3). As a result, companies that have approved labor certifications that qualify under the EB-3 categories of “skilled workers” and “professionals” have been able to process their I-140 petitions on a fast track basis by paying an additional filing fee of $1,000.

We want all clients to be aware that there has been and will continue to be increased scrutiny on all immigration fronts for the foreseeable future. Immigration laws and policies are in flux and practices and procedures that were routine for many years are now changing. Human Resources Directors and Managers need to remain informed, as do foreign employees that the company may be sponsoring. This advisory is not legal advice and does not substitute for legal advice inan individual case. If you have any questions concerning these changes or any other procedures or policies concerning foreign nationals within your company, please contact:

Sarah Lea Tobocman – Chair, Immigration Practice Group
Phone: 305-376-6065 – E-mail: stobocman@gunster.com

Armando A. Olmedo – Senior Associate, Immigration Practice Group
Phone: 305-376-6061 – E-mail: aolmedo@gunster.com

Jennifer Estrella – Associate, Immigration Practice Group
Phone: 305-376-6031 – E-mail: jestrella@gunster.com

 

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