Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida


CBO Report on Foreign Nationals in the United States

Dilip Patel


In its recent report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provides various data on the foreign national population residing in the United States:

Update on Visa Availability

The June and July 2013 issues of Visa Bulletin provide encouraging news for those waiting, especially in the employment-based third preference (EB-3) category (all chargeability) and the family second preference F2A category (all chargeability). EB-3 worldwide cut-off dates jumped 18 months in two months, from Dec. 1, 2007 (in May) to Jan. 1, 2009 (in July). However, EB-3 is not expected to progress further in this fiscal year until demand over the next three to five months can be evaluated. For the F2A category (spouses and children of permanent residents), worldwide cut-off dates jumped seven months in two months, from March 11, 2011 (in May) to Oct. 8, 2011 (in July). Perhaps more significantly, however, the Visa Office predicts that the F2A category could become current at some point during the coming months. Other categories have also advanced during this two-month period.

The Department of State (DOS) reminds applicants generally that dramatic advances prompts higher demand for visa numbers, which in turn decreases the overall supply of visa numbers for the fiscal year and slows forward movement in cut-off dates. 

Agreement Reached in Nationwide Class Action Regarding Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

In mid-April, the departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) agreed to settle a nationwide class action challenging the denial of work authorization to asylum seekers who have been waiting six months or more for a decision on their asylum applications. If approved by a federal judge, this agreement will help ensure that asylum seekers, who have fled persecution in their home countries, are not unlawfully prevented from working while the government adjudicates their cases. The agreement stems from a case filed in late 2011 by several advocacy groups, including the American Immigration Council (AIC) that challenged widespread problems with the “asylum clock” — the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States. Asylum applicants normally have to wait at least six months to obtain employment authorization; however, asylum officers (AOs) and immigration judges have the power to stop the EAD asylum clock — the six-month time period the applicant must wait — for any delay in the adjudication process that the judge or AO determines was requested or caused by the applicant. As a result, some applicants have ended up waiting several months or even years; in fact, AIC had documented excessive delays and instances where an AO or immigration judge improperly stopped, or failed to start (or restart) the clock. The suit alleged that these practices, combined with growing backlogs in U.S. immigration courts, violate the Constitution, federal statutes, and governing regulations. Because the suit is a class action, the settlement agreement will have to be approved by the federal court judge overseeing the case.

Dilip Patel of Shutts & Bowen LLP, a Florida Bar board-certified expert on immigration law, can be reached at (813) 227-8178 or e-mail

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