Arkansas State Medical Board
2100 Riverfront Dr.
Little Rock, AR 72202
Phone: (50 I) 296-1802
Fax: (501) 603-3555
Peggy Pryor Cryer, Executive Secretary
Colorado Board of Medical Examiners
1560 Broadway, Suite 1300
Denver, CO 80202-5140
Phone: (303) 894-7690
Fax: (303) 894-7692
Susan Miller, Program Director
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Georgia Composite State Board of Medical Examiners
2 Peachtree Street, NW, 6th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303-3465
Phone: (404) 656-3913
Fax: (404) 656-9723
LaSham Hughes, Executive Director
Hawaii Board of Medical Examiners
Dept. of Commerce & Consumer Affairs
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
1010 Richards St. Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-3000
Fax: (808) 586-2874
Idaho State Board of Medicine
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720-0058
1755 Westgate Dr., Ste. 140
Boise, ID 83704
Phone: (208) 327-7000
Fax: (208) 327-7005
Nancy Kerr, Executive Director
Indiana Health Professions Bureau
402 W. Washington St., Room 041
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (317) 232-2960
Fax: (317) 233-4236
Lisa R. Hayes, Executive Director
Iowa Board of Medical Examiners
400 Southwest Eighth Street, Suite C .
Des Moines, IA 50309-4686
Phone: (515) 281-5171
Fax: (515) 242-5908
Ann Mowery, Ph.D., Executive Director
Kansas Board of Healing Arts
235 SW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66603-3068
Phone: (785) 296-7413
Fax: (785) 296-0852
Lawrence Buening, Jr., ID., Executive Director
With the H1B visa filing season coming upon us once again, employers, graduating students and others that have been waiting should begin preparing to meet the H1B filing rush. Applicants and employers should plan to have any H1B petitions submitted and received by the USCIS by April 1, 2008.
While the USCIS is likely to begin accepting applications on April 1, 2008, the date on which employment and H1B status can actually begin is October 1, 2008. Those whose prior visas expire before October 1, 2008 will be out of status for the period in between.
Since it is impossible to determine how quickly the cap of 65,000 visa will reached, applicants should begin the process now so that their petitions are ready for submission by the end of March.
For those who may not meet the initial rush, there are additional considerations that may offer some hope for later submissions, as follows.
U.S. Master's Degree Holders - H1B visa applicants in this category have a larger number of visa allocations and may take longer to reach the cap.
Chile and Singapore Citizens: Applicants in this category are subject to different H1b caps that may not fill as quickly as the normal cap.
Citizens of Mexico and Canada: These applicants may be eligible for the TN classification under NAFTA that is not subject to the H1B cap.
Citizens of Australia who qualify for the H1B classification would likely qualify for the [E-3 classification] that is not subject to the H1B cap
H-1B Cap-Exempt Employers: Educational institutions and certain non-profit and/or research organizations that are affiliated with educational institutions are entirely exempt from the cap. Qualifying employers in this category may apply for H1B visas at any time without regard to the cap.
Returning H-1B Visa Holders: Those who held H1B visas in the past and left the country for one year or more may avoid the cap if they have not exhausted the 6-year limitation on H-1B stay.
J-1/Conrad 30 Visa Waiver Physicians: Physicians who received a Conrad 30 waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement are not subject to the H1B visa cap at all. Visit our Physician Information Center for details.
Health Care Workers: The law provides multiple visa options for health care workers that may provide additional avenues for avoiding the cap.
H-1B visa Options for F-1 Students on Optional Practical Training (OPT)Bridging the Gap
Graduating students with F-1 optional training visas (OPT) that will expire before October 1, 2008 will either need a method to bridge the visa gap or leave the country and return on or after October 1, 2008. The following considerations will help applicants in this situation evaluate their options.
60-day Grace Period: An F1 student is considered to still be in status during the 60-day grace period after the expiration of the F1 optional training visa (OPT).
Returning to F-1 student status: If appropriate, a candidate may apply for admission to an program for the period of the gap by securing a Form I-20 and extending his or her F1 visa status until an H1B visa status can be assumed.
B-1/B-2 Visa Change: If appropriate, those affected can explore whether it is appropriate to seek a visitor visa to cover the period of the gap
O-1 Visa Option: Candidates should thoroughly evaluate whether they qualify for the [O-1 visa] which is not subject to the cap. Note however, that the requirements for this visa are quite significant.
Green Card/Permanent Residency Option: Applicants who qualify for permanent residency through the EB-1 or EB-2 classification may complete the green card process fairly quickly if these classifications remain current in the visa bulletin.
Recent Developments April 2008
USCIS announces that F-1 Optional Practical Training Student Visas (OPT) can be extended from the previous limit of 12 months to a total of 29 months now. This F-1 Visa OPT extension is available for F-1 Students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or math who are employed in their area of study by businesses enrolled in the E-Verify program. Read USCIS announcement.
The Regulations that address this H-1B OPT Cap Gap issue and extension contain detailed requirements necessary to qualify Read the Regulations..
Call Uche O. Asonye at (312) 795-9110, or Contact us or e-mail him at email@example.com to evaluate your H1B visa options and how to deal with the issues raised by the H1B visa cap for yourself or employees. Our firm attorneys are experienced H1B visa issues, other employment visas as well health care worker visas issues. See HIB Overview for general information.
K-1 Visa - International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005
The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005 is part of the Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, which President Bush signed into law in January 2006, and becomes effective on March 6, 2006. The Act places new regulations on international marriage brokers.
International Marriage Broker Requirements
As part of the Act, an international marriage broker is prohibited from providing information on any individuals under the age of 18. The broker is also required to take the following steps:
- Search the National Sex Offender Public Registry for information on the U.S. resident and disclose that information to the applicant;
- Collect a signed certification by the U.S. resident which includes current or past protection or restraining orders; criminal arrests and convictions; arrests and convictions for domestic or sexual offenses; convictions of substance and/or alcohol abuse; arrests and convictions for prostitution, solicitation of a prostitute or derived income from the earnings of a prostitute; marital history; and whether the U.S. resident has previously sponsored an alien to whom the resident was engaged or married. The certification must also include the ages of any of the U.S. residents children who are under 18, and all states and countries in which the U.S. resident has resided since the age of 18;
- Distribute a pamphlet to the applicant that is now being developed by the government to inform the foreign applicant about his or her rights and resources in the U.S.; and
- Obtain the applicants written consent, in the applicants primary language, to release the applicants personal contact information to the U.S. resident. The broker is also prohibited from releasing this information to any person other than the U.S. resident (petitioner).
For purposes of the Act, the international marriage broker is a for-profit matchmaking entity whose main business is to charge fees to provide dating services between U.S. residents and foreign residents.
K Visa Interview Changes
During an interview with a K nonimmigrant visa applicant a consular officer must provide, in the primary language of the applicant, information on protection orders or criminal convictions collected on the petitioner. The consular officer must also provide and explain the pamphlet regarding the rights and resources of the nonimmigrant. The consular officer must ask the applicant whether an international marriage broker facilitated the relationship between the applicant and the U.S. petitioner. If so, the officer must get the identity of the international marriage broker from the applicant, and confirm that the international marriage broker provided the information it was legally bound to provide to the foreign applicant.
Limitation on K Visas
A consular officer may not approve a fiancé(e) visa without first verifying that:
- Before filing the current pending petition, the U.S. resident had not filed for a K visa for two or more foreign applicants; and
- If the U.S. resident had filed a fiancé(e) petition and it had been approved, more than two year had passed since the filing of the approved petition.
The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security may waive these limitations if there is justification for such a waiver, but this waiver will not be granted if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses against a person or persons unless there are extraordinary circumstances. The Department of Homeland Security will maintain a database of those U.S. residents who have filed for two or more fiancé(e) visas. If a petitioner has had two or more fiancé(e) petition approved, or if another petition is filed less than 10 years after the date the first visa petition was filed, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security will notify both the petitioner and the beneficiary of such petition about the number of previously approved fiancé(e) petitions.
Click here for actual text of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005.