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Retrogression, priority dates and Visa bulletins Issues surrounding the retrogression of the priority dates for the various employment based categories

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:10 PM
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Default Is Money Behind USCIS Move To Have Department Of State Take Unprecedented Action

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0710-lee.shtm

Is Money Behind USCIS Move To Have Department Of State Take Unprecedented Action To "Update" July Visa Chart?
by Alan Lee, Esq.

Was the Department of State's unprecedented action on July 2, 2007, issuing an "Update on July Visa Availability" closing off visa availability for the rest of the fiscal year for employment based cases and essentially gutting its July visa bulletin (which opened the employment based categories EB-1 through EB-3 for adjustment of status applications) all about the money with U.S.C.I.S. in the role of culprit? We believe the answer unfortunately is "yes" and reflects U.S.C.I.S.'s desperate desire to grab its huge future fee increase from individuals that it saw slipping through its fingers. U.S.C.I.S. undoubtedly perceived its expected windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars through its outlandish July 30th increase in fees for petitions and applications (average increase 66%) threatened by the July visa chart which would allow many employment based individuals and their families to beat the fee increases. A typical family of four (husband, wife, child aged 16 and the other 12) applying for adjustment of status currently pays $1,605 to U.S.C.I.S. (including I-140 charge). That same family on and after July 30th would pay $4,105, an increase of $2,500, or 255%. If one multiplies those figures by at least 100,000 ( $250 million difference),[1] one can imagine the explosive temper of top U.S.C.I.S. officials when they saw the Visa Office July chart. U.S.C.I.S. has made no bones that it is depending upon the fee increases to fund its proposed systems and structures for the 21st century.

The Visa Office made it clear through the updating of the visa bulletin that its update was only because of U.S.C.I.S. action using the phrases "The sudden backlog reduction efforts by Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices during the past month....", and "As a result of this unexpected action....." The Visa Office cited these efforts as resulting in the use of almost 60,000 employment numbers. It is also clear that the Visa Office had no wish to defend U.S.C.I.S. when it issued its update on July 2nd. Whether it retains its stance in the future of washing its hands and pointing the finger at U.S.C.I.S. remains to be seen in light of probable Administration pressure to spin the story in a more positive light to the government as this Administration has exhibited a continual attitude of "soaking" immigrants, legal or otherwise ( $25,000+ for a family of four to immigrate under the recent fallen Senate bill ( See our article, "$10,000 Required For Earned Legalization and Adjustment Under the Secure Borders, Employment Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act", http://www.alanleelaw.com/english/ar...007-05-26.htm), which figure was modified from the earlier Administration proposal of $82,000+ ( See our article, "Mr. Lee's Comment to March 28, 2007 White House Immigration Reform Proposal - Z Visas", http://www.ilw.com/immigdaily/digest/2007,0403.shtm in "LETTERS" section), the passed amendment to S. 1639 raising H-1B surcharge fees to $5,000 on top of the fraud ($500) and filing ($190) fees, and the rapacious July 30th U.S.C.I.S. fee increase). The author recalls his telephone conversation with Charlie Oppenheim, the chief of immigrant visa control and reporting, Visa Office, in December 2004 concerning the 101,000 "pool numbers", in which Mr. Oppenheim gave no credence to U.S.C.I.S. figures that the agency had cleared over 100,000 cases (including dependents) between April and November. (The exact differential was 115,000 cases, a rate of about 16,400 per month). The author has no knowledge of the exact number of cases that U.S.C.I.S. claimed to close in June for the State Department to announce that almost 60,000 employment numbers were used (employment based immigrant visa numbers are also requested by U.S. consulates and embassies), but notes that the vast majority of employment based cases are with aliens in the States who adjust status here rather than consular processing their cases. If U.S.C.I.S. claimed to clear anywhere in the area of 40,000-50,000 cases last month, that number for one month is difficult if not incredulous to believe, and if true would have involved massive shifts of U.S.C.I.S. personnel from other responsibilities to comb through and adjudicate all files of persons eligible to immigrate through employment, or less than careful consideration of the cases. Hopefully the agency was not in such a desperate state as to cut corners to endanger our national security if it was the latter case.

The facts and the legality of U.S.C.I.S.'s actions will undoubtedly be the subject of multiple lawsuits. However this turns out, the agency and the Administration will wind up with less respect than before. This Administration needs all the good publicity that it can muster in light of its unpopular Iraq war and recent actions freeing Scooter Libby (not even Paris Hilton avoided imprisonment) and supporting Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and creating further public mistrust of the justice system even after confirmation that he and other White House aides politicized the selection of United States Attorneys. Unless U.S.C.I.S. and the Visa Office can change course, this episode will unfortunately become a black eye to all parties as further facts emerge in the coming days.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Endnotes
1 100,000 + figure based upon author's conjecture of number of labor certifications granted since March 2005 (pre and post PERM), cases pending with U.S.C.I.S. in early 2005, and non labor certification employment based immigrant categories set off by the annual allotment of available employment based immigrant visas since March 2005. Further research would have to be done to establish more accurate figures, but the author would be surprised if the figure was any less as even U.S.C.I.S. believed that an open employment chart for July would cause an avalanche of applications. To deal with the anticipated level of applications, the agency closed premium processing of I-140 petitions for 30 days using phrases in its June 27, 2007, announcement such as "due to pent up demand for preference visa categories for which visas will become available...", "substantial increase...", and "volume of Form I-140 petitions ... expected to exceed USCIS' capacity to provide the Premium Processing Service."

Alan Lee, Esq.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About The Author

Alan Lee, Esq. is a 25+ year practitioner of immigration law based in New York City. He was awarded the Sidney A. Levine prize for best legal writing at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1977 and has written extensively on immigration over the past years for the ethnic newspapers, World Journal, Sing Tao, Pakistan Calling, Muhasha and OCS. He has testified as an expert on immigration in civil court proceedings and was recognized by the Taiwan government in 1985 for his work protecting human rights. His article, "The Bush Temporary Worker Proposal and Comparative Pending Legislation: An Analysis" was Interpreter Releases' cover display article at the American Immigration Lawyers Association annual conference in 2004, and his victory in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a case of first impression nationwide, Firstland International v. INS, successfully challenged INS' policy of over 40 years of revoking approved immigrant visa petitions under a nebulous standard of proof. Its value as precedent, however, was short-lived as it was specifically targeted by the Administration in the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004.

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The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

Copyright 1999-2007 American Immigration LLC, ILW.COM
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:25 PM
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Default What else??

Yes, its $$$,$$$,$$$! No other justification to prove they used up the annual 2007 quota three months before the last date (sep 2007) for using it.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:29 PM
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I am compelled to believe this theory.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:29 PM
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Default

Well then why not make everythng current in August?? That way they get the money and we get our benefits. Why Screw us over this way and make us pay so much extra, no to mention heartache
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:32 PM
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luckylavs is just really nice luckylavs is just really nice luckylavs is just really nice luckylavs is just really nice
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Very simple .. the issue must look realistic that 2007 quota has been completly used up..God only knows the truth
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:44 PM
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Default

I think that certainly the USCIS were not unaware that delayed filings would result in greater revenue. However, I believe that at the bottom of this was really the fact that the USCIS said, "Send us 500,000 more applications on one month ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?"

I think that the decision to go current was utterly stupid. Clearly 500,000 new applications in July is an absurd way to prevent a 10,000 (or whatever) shortfall of used visas by years end.

The USCIS realized they needed to prevent the deluge so that

a) they would not be drowned when they don't have enough boats as it is
b) they knew that that deluge would leave people with priority dates from as early as 2001 and 2002 but who have not yet cleared labor and I-140 through no fault of their own, stuck with anything up to 3 or 4 year FURTHER waits JUST TO FILE.
c) yep, that's right, the money too.

It's likely a combo of the above.

Frankly, the reversal was very hard and unfair on a lot of people, but it will most adversly impact people with recent priority dates. Those with older priority dates will likely only have their filing delayed briefly and most of the legwork has been done and will still be usable. To me they just restored an overall fairer state of affairs. Unfortunately at the expense of a some people that were heartlessly put through the ringer. (I believe they should be compensated for their material loss by the way).

Last edited by swo; 07-09-2007 at 06:57 PM.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:49 PM
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Well then TAKE the damn money and give us our GCs QUICK!!
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eb3_nepa
Well then TAKE the damn money and give us our GCs QUICK!!
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 08:13 PM
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Default Or is It DOS teaching USCIS a lesson

DOS felt USCIS is going too slow. So they make everything current.
USCIS paniks because everyone eligible will file without their new fee schedule which would hurt them in a big way.
So they sit over the weekend and finish the whole quota itself approving the old applications, making it illegal for them to accept any more.
Now whatever you do sent flowers, beg, plead USCIS can do nothing unless congress intervenes and gives some relief by allocating more numbers temporarily.
The most confusing thing here is according to ombudsman report, visa number is used only when 485 is approved at the end of the process, then why cant USCIS take in July applications and atleast put them in process until October so that atleast in next fiscal year numbers wont get wasted.
DOS is doing a good job, but USCIS needs some help with their budget so that they dont actively retrogress their work.
Who doesn't need money after all. There might be so many families working for USCIS.They might have been promised pay hikes from next fiscal year. Everyone needs money for survival after all.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 08:30 PM
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Default wonderful!

Quote:
Originally Posted by swo
I think that certainly the USCIS were not unaware that delayed filings would result in greater revenue. However, I believe that at the bottom of this was really the fact that the USCIS said, "Send us 500,000 more applications on one month ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?"

I think that the decision to go current was utterly stupid. Clearly 500,000 new applications in July is an absurd way to prevent a 10,000 (or whatever) shortfall of used visas by years end.

The USCIS realized they needed to prevent the deluge so that

a) they would not be drowned when they don't have enough boats as it is
b) they knew that that deluge would leave people with priority dates from as early as 2001 and 2002 but who have not yet cleared labor and I-140 through no fault of their own, stuck with anything up to 3 or 4 year FURTHER waits JUST TO FILE.
c) yep, that's right, the money too.

It's likely a combo of the above.

Frankly, the reversal was very hard and unfair on a lot of people, but it will most adversly impact people with recent priority dates. Those with older priority dates will likely only have their filing delayed briefly and most of the legwork has been done and will still be usable. To me they just restored an overall fairer state of affairs. Unfortunately at the expense of a some people that were heartlessly put through the ringer. (I believe they should be compensated for their material loss by the way).

this is so amusing.
i guess you are one of those for whom "fairness was restored"!!!
and so you actually think USCIS did it out of a sense of "goodwill" for you"
HA HA- and i'm the next president of the US too.
what all people will believ if it suits their interests :-))))))))))

on a more sombre note i'm sick of this bullshit from the BEC backloggers. I have had a lot of sympathy for these people and always believed they deserve to be treated fairly. Now i'm not sure as every post crawls in that i care as much. Soon i will care jackshit, and like you, will think only for myself. Why even be in one organization?

i've written here a million times, once retrogression hits, PD is all that counts. late filers go to the back of the line. still you grudge us the interrim benefits because you were denied. ok, got the message pal. don't bother with last last patronizing line, your words are loud and clear.
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 09:40 PM
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wizard20740 has a spectacular aura about wizard20740 has a spectacular aura about wizard20740 has a spectacular aura about
Default Money the only motive?

Well USCIS have clearly demonstrated that they can clear more than 60,000 visas in a month, if they set their mind to do it.

And if CIR had passed, they would have had over 11 million applications to deal with. So fear of increased workload does not seem to a convincing argument .

Quote:
Originally Posted by swo
I think that certainly the USCIS were not unaware that delayed filings would result in greater revenue. However, I believe that at the bottom of this was really the fact that the USCIS said, "Send us 500,000 more applications on one month ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS?"

I think that the decision to go current was utterly stupid. Clearly 500,000 new applications in July is an absurd way to prevent a 10,000 (or whatever) shortfall of used visas by years end.

The USCIS realized they needed to prevent the deluge so that

a) they would not be drowned when they don't have enough boats as it is
b) they knew that that deluge would leave people with priority dates from as early as 2001 and 2002 but who have not yet cleared labor and I-140 through no fault of their own, stuck with anything up to 3 or 4 year FURTHER waits JUST TO FILE.
c) yep, that's right, the money too.

It's likely a combo of the above.

Frankly, the reversal was very hard and unfair on a lot of people, but it will most adversly impact people with recent priority dates. Those with older priority dates will likely only have their filing delayed briefly and most of the legwork has been done and will still be usable. To me they just restored an overall fairer state of affairs. Unfortunately at the expense of a some people that were heartlessly put through the ringer. (I believe they should be compensated for their material loss by the way).
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 09:47 PM
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Default One more approval - http://boards.immigration.com/showthread.php?t=256760

One more approval. Where are these approvals coming from? When visa numbers are not available? How can they assign visa numbers that they want to approve in August or September? See the information of the original poster
**********************************

Finally... I am approved

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guys

After waiting for more than 5 years, finally I am appoved a short while ago. Therefore it's now clear that we are going to see more approvals in coming days. I got card ordered email at 5:15 PM today. (no approval email, no LUD prior to approval). I got approval email for my spouse also though I am still waiting for approval email for my son.

Thanks to everybody in this forum and best of luck to everybody.

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Application Type: I485, APPLICATION TO REGISTER PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR TO ADJUST STATUS

Current Status: Card production ordered.

On July 9, 2007, we ordered production of your new card. Please allow 30 days for your card to be mailed to you. If we need something from you we will contact you. If you move before you receive the card, call customer service. You can also receive automatic e-mail updates as we process your case. Just follow the link below to register.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 10:01 PM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by akkakarla
One more approval. Where are these approvals coming from? When visa numbers are not available? How can they assign visa numbers that they want to approve in August or September? See the information of the original poster
**********************************

Finally... I am approved

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Guys

After waiting for more than 5 years, finally I am appoved a short while ago. Therefore it's now clear that we are going to see more approvals in coming days. I got card ordered email at 5:15 PM today. (no approval email, no LUD prior to approval). I got approval email for my spouse also though I am still waiting for approval email for my son.

Thanks to everybody in this forum and best of luck to everybody.

Receipt Number:

Application Type: I485, APPLICATION TO REGISTER PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR TO ADJUST STATUS

Current Status: Card production ordered.

On July 9, 2007, we ordered production of your new card. Please allow 30 days for your card to be mailed to you. If we need something from you we will contact you. If you move before you receive the card, call customer service. You can also receive automatic e-mail updates as we process your case. Just follow the link below to register.
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Just where are all those 25000 approvals that apparently happened over the past weekend? I was expecting a big flood of approval postings from people, nothing yet. THe calm before the storm??

It could be that this case was internally approved and assigned a visa number in June, and the online status and card production etc is happening now. Same thing should happen to 24997 other people
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 10:33 PM
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Default That's correct !!

They need to prove that its a natural speed up (Not chasing Money)
in paper....

A lot of Govt agencies are like sick industries - Today i heard that Phily Govt services are SHUTDOWN and govt employees are forced to take UNPAID leaves.

Exxon Mobil CEO is enjoying Billion dollar Profits , Dick chenny's company
Haliburton is seeing spike in profits due to IRAQ war and common americans are paying the Price....

Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylavs
Very simple .. the issue must look realistic that 2007 quota has been completly used up..God only knows the truth
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2007, 11:24 PM
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Default

Actually, no paskal. I filed in June, as per my signature. I am totally unaffected by July. Their decision didn't directly impact me.

I am accutely aware of how priority dates work. The problem for backloggers is that despite what you say, applications are actually initially processed in receipt order, even though the order in which they are finished processing varies depending on any given number of factors. Priority date has no impact on submitted 485s UNTIL they are ready for adjudication. At that point, when the visa numbers are (supposed to be) handed out, they are, theoretically anyway, handed out in priority date order. Other than that, the priority date is only of value for determinig when one can make a submission. Furthermore, the setting back of priority dates after the flood of applications might have been so totally profound that only those from the VERY early days, 01, 02, might be able to file any time soon. Those emerging from the backlog with PDs in 03 and 04 might have had to wait up to 2 more years just to file.

Of course, this is conjecture because we don't know what will happen, and further more, the flood was, in quite disagreeable fashion, avoided. However, that's what discussion boards are for. Discussion.

The fact is that if the number of pending applicants swells to insurmountable numbers , then future calculations taking into account pending approvable 485s, which determine cut-off dates in some categories, could possibly render them unavailable for some time into the future - EVEN when the new quota takes effect in October 1st. That would actually deny backloggers the opportunity to file then too, despite finally clearing labor.

Anyway, as I said, I'm already being processed. I just take an interest in these matters because I know they affect people's lives. Unlike what you are suggesting, I am thinking of others. Not myself. I care about those that have been waiting for 5, 6, or even 7 years. You feel free to be condescending and patronizing if that's what makes you feel productive. Sorry if I have an opinion that doesn't map well to your own.

And if you don't mind, I'll continue to refrain from seeking your approval before posting my own thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paskal
this is so amusing.
i guess you are one of those for whom "fairness was restored"!!!
and so you actually think USCIS did it out of a sense of "goodwill" for you"
HA HA- and i'm the next president of the US too.
what all people will believ if it suits their interests :-))))))))))

on a more sombre note i'm sick of this bullshit from the BEC backloggers. I have had a lot of sympathy for these people and always believed they deserve to be treated fairly. Now i'm not sure as every post crawls in that i care as much. Soon i will care jackshit, and like you, will think only for myself. Why even be in one organization?

i've written here a million times, once retrogression hits, PD is all that counts. late filers go to the back of the line. still you grudge us the interrim benefits because you were denied. ok, got the message pal. don't bother with last last patronizing line, your words are loud and clear.

Last edited by swo; 07-09-2007 at 11:55 PM.
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