Real Approvals in Small Business Immigration

They say the sun always shines in California, and that surely seems to be the case in Laguna Niguel, home of the California Service Center, but not just there. "Almost everything now is being approved," according to very reliable sources within the California Service Center. It seems that policy has changed from top to bottom. Fuji Ohata, national Director of Service Center Operations for CIS, called it quits on routine denials and Requests for Evidence. Requests for Evidence are those pesky letters from CIS requesting sometimes little documentation, sometimes the kitchen sink. Hooray! Demise of the routine RFE and denial is very, very good news, especially for small businesses, which were the target of bad news from CIS in the recent past. In the old days of just a few years ago, tiny companies of one person, without million dollar income could be easily approved for H-1 or L-1 status. O-1s and P-1s were permitted for other than Nobel prize winners and top paid league players. Immigrant employment cases were not bogged down in a system of attrition and could be approved in reasonable time frames. Progressively over time after 9/11 things began to change for the worse. Many a lawyer complained about a 50% denial and RFE rate. Not me, fortunately, as I prepare my cases with lots of work by both me and my client to avoid RFEs and denials like the plague. Still, these hurdles concerned me as well as my clients. 

The genesis of the problems was of course, 9/11 as well as bad press about a few bad apples who abused the immigration system and ruined it for everyone else. According to last year's Chief Counsel of CIS, adjudicators nationwide were scared to death of approving cases of terrorists. What if they made a mistake? Could thousands of people die as a result? Their response was to not approve cases. That mentality persisted, increasingly over time after 9/11. 

BUT EUREKA, in one fell swoop, rampant denials and RFEs are ending. It seems Ms. Ohata got tired of the problems and the broken lives of business people who are working very hard to abide by the immigration laws. She has directed her supervisors to start approving cases. It seems nearly everything is getting approved now! So risk takers, roll up your sleeves, and be prepared to work legally in the U.S.! Your time has returned! How long will this last? No one knows, so, enjoy the possibilities while they last and file your case as soon as it makes sense to do so.