Hello everybody. This is Cyrus Mehta. Welcome to this week's edition of Immigration Matters.
This week we will talk about fees and other developments. Effective Sunday, December 17, 2000, the training fee for the H-1B petition will increase to $1000 from $500. Those who have not filed petitions till today, will have to pay the higher fee, as any application, sent even by overnight courier, will reach an INS Service Center on Monday, December 18, 2000. Petitioners claiming to be exempt from the fee should submit a copy of the relevant provision of law with their petition along with evidence that they qualify as an exempt organization.
The INS has said that it will not judge the filing date by the receipt notice date, as that takes between two to four weeks to issue. The filing date is the date that the H-1B petition arrives on to the premises of the Service Center. Please note that in addition to the training fee of either $500 or $1000, the regular application fee of $110 also needs to be paid. Any H-1B filing that arrives at the INS on December 18, or later, must have the new $1,000 fee plus the $110 filing fee, or it will be rejected.
In another development, the Commerce, State, Justice Appropriations Bill, still to be approved by the President, authorizes the INS to collect a voluntary "premium processing fee" of $1000 on business immigration petitions. In exchange for this premium fee of $1000, the INS would issue a decision or request for evidence within 15 days.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and other groups, have registered concerns about the premium fee with the White House and Members of Congress. They feel that the expeditious processing of some applications over others would merely increase the overall backlogs at the INS. It is also possible that the INS, in a need to respond within 15 days, would issue frivolous requests for more evidence to meet the deadline.
Unfortunately, important issues such as advancing the registry date to 1986, reintroducing § 245(i) as well as creating parity for people who formerly escaped right wing dictatorships in Central American countries are languishing in this lame duck Congress.
Finally, in a surprising development, a Federal Appeals Court in California issued a decision that would once again give life to the amnesty cases of the 1980s, particularly the CSS and LULAC cases, that were rejected a year earlier by the same court. The decision will require the INS to issue work permits to class members nationwide and may also lead to several hundred thousand class members having their application for legalization adjudicated after fighting for that result for over ten years.
We will continue to keep you posted on further developments.
I hope you found this segment interesting and helpful. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Cyrus Mehta at 212-686-1581. The number once again is 212-686-1581. You can also e-mail us at email@example.com
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This is Cyrus Mehta wishing you a wonderful weekend and see you in two weeks.