Articles Posted in Shihab Lawyers

GusShihab_14.jpgAttorney Gus. M. was featured this year by C.E.O. Magazine as one of the Top Lawyers in Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas. The magazine chose Gus Shihab from a list of over 1,250 AV rated attorneys to be one of six local attorneys it featured in its 2012 issue. This is quite an accomplishment since C.E.O. only considered AV rated attorneys. Also featured along with Gus Shihab is former Attorney General of Ohio, Betty Montgomery.

The AV rating is awarded by Martindale-Hubble, the world’s most trusted legal resource. It is the highest possible rating in both legal ability & ethical standards reflecting the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary. It is given only to attorneys who have it least 10 years in practice and who fulfill a variety of other criteria. The AV rating is the pinnacle of professional excellence earned through a strenuous peer review rating process that is managed and monitored by Martindale-Hubble.
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Breaking pencil.jpgThe US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that it will be altering decades’ worth of a well established procedure which has Columbus Ohio immigration lawyers and their clients confused and angry.

For as far back as I can remember in the 18 plus years I have been practicing immigration law, the USCIS’s established procedure called for mailing approval notices relative to employment based non-immigrant visas (such as H-1B visas) directly to the attorney who had filed a signed Notice of Entry as an Attorney of Record along with the petition. That procedure allowed the attorney to carefully monitor the progress of the case during the USCIS adjudication process as well as post the approval of the case itself. Simply put, the prior procedure worked well.
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It is worthwhile that our clients here in Columbus, Ohio know that USCIS has announced that as of July 15, 2011, approximately 20,500 H-1B cap-subject petitions were receipted. USCIS has receipted 12,800 H-1B petitions for aliens with advanced degrees. With so many H-1B visas currently available, there are great opportunities for businesses in central Ohio to take advantage of the H-1B visa category to help staff professional positions lacking sufficient US labor supply. Our lawyers are prepared to assist you in any H-1B related questions you have. Contact our firm today at 614-255-4872.

green card backlog2.jpgIf you filed an employment-based adjustment of status (I-485) application between July 1, 2007 and August 17, 2007, you were definitely not alone. Approximately 325,000 adjustment (I-485) applications were filed during this period. This is because the visa bulletin briefly became current for all employment-based visa categories, except “other workers.” Since the visa bulletin retrogressed, many of these adjustment applications reverted to a “pending” status. Many of our clients have asked what they can do in this frustrating situation.

Adjustment (I-485) Switching: The Permissible Line-Jumping
This article addresses the issues of transferring I-485 applications (in a process called “I-485 switching,” transferring adjustment applications, or adjustment conversion) to a new or subsequent family or employment-based immigrant visa petition. Thousands of people are eligible for this benefit and didn’t even know it! These procedures are invaluable to aleviate the backlog created by the onslought of I-485 applications sent to the Service Centers in 2007. Properly done, you can dig your case out of the “blizzard of I-485” saving yourself and the Service years of pending paperwork and frustrating processing delays.
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In response to a FOIA request submitted by a fellow AILA member, USCIS released 486 pages of materials used to train USCIS officers in the adjudication of EB-5 immigrant investor cases. These materials include voluminous information on how adjudicators work a typical EB-5 case. This information is extremely important in understanding the EB-5 adjudicator’s approach in dealing with an EB-5 case. The attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates have obtained a copy of these materials and utilize it when advising a potential EB-5 investor.

1275428_air_travel.jpgIf you have filed for a green card (I-485) and submitted a request for work authorization (I-765) and advanced parole travel document (I-131), and you must travel before your I-131 can be adjudicated in the normal processing time, you can request expedited processing of the I-131. This article addresses those expedited I-131 procedures:

You MUST Make a Request
Typically, anyone who files Form I-485 in the U.S. also files Forms I-765 and I-131 concurrently with the Form I-485. If you have found that you must travel before your Advanced Parole Travel Document Form I-131 can be adjudicated within normal processing times, you can call the USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC) or make an info pass appointment at your local field office. Here in Columbus, Ohio, infopass appointments are simple to make and are usually scheduled within 3-5 days.
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gus_m_shihab.jpgGus M. Shihab, Esq. founder of The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA, has been named Top Lawyer in Columbus CEO Magazine. This is the third edition of Top Lawyers in CEO Magazine. Martindale-Hubbell provided a list of local attorneys who have attained “AV” ratings–the highest available. The rating is given only to attorneys who have at least 10 years in practice, and who fulfill a variety of other criteria.

Almost 1,250 lawyers in Franklin and contiguous counties are AV Peer Review Rated. The entire list, as provided by Martindale-Hubbell, appears in the April issue of CEO Magazine. For more information about Martindale-Hubbell, Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Ratings or the listed attorneys, visit www.lawyers.com.

Paper Pile.jpgAs the Democrats and Republicans of congress continue to negotiate a compromise to the federal budget that is set to expire Friday, April 6th, 2011 at midnight, immigration attorneys in Columbus, Ohio have turned their attention to how a government shutdown will affect the normal adjudication of visas. Visa applications, including employment based I-140 and H-1B petitions as well as family based petitions including I-130 and I-485 applications, filed in the United States are usually adjudicated at one of the USCIS service centers throughout the country. These service centers are staffed by immigration officers who adjudicate visa applications. These immigration officers are employees of the federal government and could be furloughed if the federal government shuts down for lack of congressional funding.

Historically, government shutdowns have resulted in delays for visa adjudication. The reason for the potential delay is based upon the wording of the federal Antideficiency Act. This law states that in the event of a governmental shutdown the only governmental employees that will be permitted to continue to carry out their work will be employees who prevent or respond to “emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property.” The law goes on to state that “ongoing, regular functions of government the suspension of which would not imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property” are not to continue their operations during a shutdown. Officers who adjudicate visas at the service centers will most likely not be deemed essential to the protection of safety or property and will be furloughed. With no-one to adjudicate visas, visa applications will be backlogged to some extent. However, other aspects of United States immigration policy will continue to be enforced. Customs and border patrol officials, for example, should remain active.
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On March 13, 2011, the USCIS issued a policy memo on the new fee waiver guidelines. The lawyers at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates are available to answer any questions about fee waivers under the newly issued memo.

The final rule establishes a new fee schedule for immigration-benefit requests and amends the regs governing fee-waiver eligibility. Our clients may now use a new Form I-912, Request for Fee Waiver, to facilitate the fee-waiver request process. The form has been available since Novermber 23, 2010. Only forms listed in AFM Chapter 10.9 are eligible for a fee waiver. Please refer to AFM Chapter 10.9 by accessing the USCIS website found here.
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The AAO recently approved an EB-3 case that was denied at the Texas Service Center for a petition for immigrant worker seeking to employ a quality assurance manager/researcher and development specialist (professional food technologist) in the skilled-worker or professional EB-3 classification.

The position required a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in food science. The beneficiary had a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and master’s degreee in animal science from the Philippines, as well as a PhD in agriculture and forestry from the University of Melbourne, Australia. The Service Center denied the petition upon the finding that the petitioner failed to submit persuasive evidence to demonstrate that the beneficiary possessed a four-year single-source U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher degree or a foreign equivalent degree in food science qualifying her for the position at issue. The petitioner appealed. Reversed.
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